Two MCs Try To Eat Chris Rivers’ Lunch In A Cypher Turned Raw Battle (Video)
Celebrants of lyricism in Hip-Hop, particularly in the current generation of artists, have much to tout in Chris Rivers. The son of one of the Greats (Big Pun) has by-and-large forgone the glossy, radio-friendly career path for one built on freestyles and collaborations with like-minded MCs like Joell Ortiz and Styles P. For much of 2015, he delivered weekly barrages as part of his Freestyle Fridays series, and waging his name to win a battle Rap would likely be a safe bet. However he’s hardly the only rapper to hold his own in the 2010s.
Enter: Oswin Benjamin and Denzil Porter. Since serving as a last-minute fill-in for a 2015 Friday Fire Cypher installment on Sway in the Morning, New York City’s Oswin Benjamin has been enjoying some exposure as a member of the artist-showcase collective TeamBackPack. Denzil Porter has worked extensively with Rivers, and was chosen by the Source as an inductee into its 2015 class of Unsigned Hype artists. All three represent the Bronx and performed in a recent TBP cypher as O.C.D. (aka the Three Wise Men), but as Heads will see, their performance took the cypher concept to another place entirely.
Over beats produced by Trox, Cardi, and Ill Brown, O.C.D. go in on the second installment of their TeamBackPack cypher series. At first, it’s a standard (though lyrically potent) cypher, with Benjamin using his opening slot to remark on running away from the Aryan race, and shouting out Kendrick Lamar, Ghostface Killah, Cyhi the Prynce, and Raekwon before saying “I love y’all, but now I need that spot.” Chris Rivers delivers a verse featuring his signature skills, the words to which Benjamin can be seen mouthing along, in a display of support. In fact, throughout all three of the first-round performances, the participating MCs can be seen supporting one another, with Benjamin actually joining Porter on the mic at one point.
However, around the 6:12 mark, the second half of the cypher takes off and begins to evolve into a battle, with all three MCs partaking in calling the others out. It’s Benajmin who’s up first and a minute into his second verse, he comes for Chris Rivers and his father’s reputation. “You’ll never hold a weight to get up out your father’s shadow/Yeah, that’s how you handle bars peddlin’ through a bar battle,” he raps. But the back-and-forth doesn’t end there.
Heads can check out the first installment of O.C.D.’s live TeamBackPack cypher here.