Black Thought, Redman, Doug E. Fresh & More Lead the 2015 Hip Hop Awards Cyphers
Last night (October 9), the 2015 BET Hip Hop Awards were taped at Atlanta, Georgia’s Boisfeuillet Jones Atlanta Civic Center. Hosted by “Uncle” Snoop Dogg, the annual affair honored Scarface with the “I Am Hip Hop Award,” and handed out trophies to Rap and R&B’s brightest and best. For TV audiences, the excitement is pinned until October 13’s airing, at 8pm EST.
For Hip-Hop Heads, a center-piece in the gala always seems to surround the cyphers. Already, and right on time (October 9), fans were treated to a Def Squad cypher featuring founder Erick Sermon alongside Redman and Keith Murray. The onetime Def Jam Records-backed act is just one of many factions—new and old—that make up 2015’s bar derby. In promotion of this coming Tuesday’s airing, BET.com has shared the whole lineup—as groupings and order are to be revealed upon airing.
Legends of lyrics, such as The Roots’ Black Thought, Redman, and Erick Sermon are among the keystones. Beatbox icons, including Doug E. Fresh and Rahzel are on board, in addition to to viral YouTube sensation Nicole Paris (who Heads may recall sonn’ing her father in a ’15 battle).
New sensations such as one of the current list-toppers Vince Staples are involved, along with Casey Veggies, as is Dr. Dre’s Compton co-signed King Mez. Along those same lines, Timbaland protege Tink joins the fold. She shares the light with the District of Columbia’s Muggsy Malone and Grammy-nominated writer J-Doe. New York hopeful Tripz, Massachusetts’ Joyner Lucas, North Carolina’s Jackie Spade are also involved, out to leave marks.
Cast members from hit play Hamilton (including mastermind Lin-Miguel Miranda, Daveed Diggs, and Renee Elise Goldsberry) are part of the cyphers as well. A theme or style remains to be seen until October 13.
One of Hamilton‘s producers, Questlove will be joining Roots-fam Black Thought and Rahzel, along with his cast stars, in keeping the cyphers’ back-beat on the drum pads. DJ Premier, a mainstay behind the turntables at the BET Hip Hop Awards cyphers, reprises his role. Additionally, EPMD/Def Squad alum DJ Scratch shares the spotlight with his onetime band-mate Erick Sermon once more.
With an assortment of skill-sets, talents, and styles—and having already seen one top tier showing, who are you most anticipated to see rhyme in the cypher? Could this moment put major level attention back on the beatboxer, or the Hip-Hop-savvy theatrical production?
Speaking of cyphers, check out some of the greatest, from the last 30-plus years—as seen on AFH.