Big Tigger & Rapsody Tear Down The Booth In A Rap City Freestyle

The 2022 BET Hip Hop Awards aired tonight (October 4), hosted by Fat Joe. The show has been BET’s celebration of the culture since 2006, featuring appearances and performances from Rap’s biggest stars, as well as next generation MCs poised to grab the torch. This year’s show featured performances by Busta Rhymes, Dead Prez, David Banner, Havoc, M.O.P., Method Man, Lil Kim, Joey Bada$$ and more.

In years past, the centerpiece of the show has been the cyphers that are sprinkled throughout the ceremony. Initially shot in black-and-white and anchored by DJ Premier on the turntables, the Cyphers were reserved for Hip-Hop’s most lethal lyricists and were the show’s primary platform for BARS. In years past, the Cyphers were often the breakout moments for the show, with verses by Kendrick Lamar, Slaughterhouse, Eminem, Nicki Minaj, Black Thought, Kanye West and more becoming iconic moments in Hip-Hop culture.

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This year, however, in addition to a spectacular tribute to Loud Records, it was a freestyle by Big Tigger and Rapsody that competed for the best bars of the night. The verses came during a special reprisal of Rap City–BET’s long running Hip-Hop video and interview platform–which served as a pre-show to the Hip Hop Awards.

After Tigger’s interview of Rapsody and actress Jamila Gray, who joined the show to discuss their upcoming film On The Come Up, Tigger invited Rapsody to join him in the Booth. Fans of Rap City know that the booth was where Rap City guests went to drop a freestyle, when appearing on the show. Rather than being a passive spectator, Tigger typically joined in, showcasing his stellar off the top rhyming skills.

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Over the years, Rapsody has earned a reputation as being one of the most fearsome MCs on the mic. She has gone toe to toe with Kendrick Lamar, J. Cole, Busta Rhymes, Black Thought and more and proven time and time again that she stands with Hip-Hop’s greatest lyricists. Tonight, was no different. When invited to join Tigger in the booth, Rapsody got on the mic and proceeded to obliterate the Kanye West-produced beat made famous by Talib Kweli on his song “Get By.” In the space of a few bars, she spoke about family, rumors regarding her sexuality, her status among Hip-Hop’s top MCs and more.

Tigger is visibly impressed after Rap completes her bars and simply puts his arm around her, after grabbing his face. It seems he is only going to congratulate her, until Rapsody exhorts him to get on the mic and finish the freestyle. Undaunted, Tigger kicks a quick verse complete with nods to Rapsody, the show’s DJ and even the shows lead sponsor. While it is not long, it is another showcase of his awesome impromptu rap skills.

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Whether for just one night or a preview of a potential reprisal of BET’s storied franchise, it was great to see Rap City back in primetime, featuring MCs doing what they do best.

#BonusBeat: A 2016 Rapsody interview with AFH during J Dilla Weekend in Miami, Florida: