Ghostface Killah, Twista & Cassidy Smash A Cypher Like Legends (Video)

Ghostface Killah, Twista, and Cassidy represent three vastly differently Hip-Hop stories. However, they prove they can perform together with finesse.

In the early 1990s, G.F.K. and Tung Twista each burst onto the scene with unconventional, highly-gravitational deliveries. While the Speedknot Mobstaz O.G. spit his bars with AK-47 precision and nimble cadence, Wu-Tang Clan’s ornery lyricist would extend bars, sometimes disregard rhyming couplets, and deliberately go off beat to make his points felt. In each case, these artists have careers that are over 20 years strong.

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For Philadelphia, Pennsylvania’s Cassidy, he would emerge during the incline of the 2000s Battle Rap era. The would-be J Records star was one of the few battle-tested MCs who could use punchlines and drawn-out similes, and translate it to commercial, crossover success. People who never knew Battle Rap existed somehow knew the directions to “Hotel” and the follow-along anti-dance song “My Drink n My 2 Step.”

Team Backpack assembled this unlikely lineup of MCs for a one-night-only cypher performance in New York City. To start things off, Twista begins with a straightforward delivery—rapping as well as any MC of his caliber. About halfway into his set, he takes flight and goes to lyrical speeds that others could not even get close to. Even live, Heads can hear the lyrics from the Windy City warrior—and he may be stealing the show.

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Ghost, raspy voice and all, uses his cypher verse to do some storytelling. Using some real street figure names, this linear tale of caution feels like a verse that could fit on a W.T.C. LP, or albums such as Fishscale.

Cassidy, who has not released an album in nearly six years, plays clean-up. The onetime Swizz Beatz protege and Ruff Ryders Entertainment affiliate shows that while he’s not been prolific, he has not grown rusty. Holding to his punchline, witty style, the MC with the nasal delivery finishes out the triple-play.

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On paper, this collaboration might raise eyebrows. On stage, all three of these acclaimed artists are themselves, and keep it moving for a strong performance of three completely different rhyme styles.