Eminem & Black Thought Release Their 1st Collabo. The Cypher Is Complete (Audio)

After appearing alongside each other in a 2009 BET Award Cypher with Mos Def, Eminem, and The Roots' frontman Black Thought have frequently been mentioned in the same conversation together as two of the best MCs of all time. Since that standout moment, both Em' and Black Thought have continued... Read more

King Los Kicks The Best Verse Of The Night In The Last Standing BET Cypher

Last night (October 8), BET broadcast the 2019 Hip Hop Awards. The event included a tribute to Lil' Kim (featuring a Junior M.A.F.I.A. reunion of sorts), performances by Rapsody, YBN Cordae, Anderson .Paak, Chance The Rapper, Rick Ross, and a salute to Battle Rap. Notably, a TV event recognized for... Read more

Common Takes An MC From The Streets To The Tonight Show For A True Cypher

Anybody who has ever attended a Common concert knows that the Chicago, Illinois veteran is one of the best improvisers with the mic. For years, Comm' has impressed audiences with his knowledge of local landmarks, street names, and fun facts, no matter in what city he was performing. Meanwhile, even... Read more

Common Joins A Street Performer In An Off The Top Cypher That’s GREAT!

Common is a Hip-Hop legend who carries his love of the art-form. No matter how many plaques, spokesman gigs, or hits that the Chicago, Illinois veteran achieves, he has never been too big to freestyle, participate in the culture, and spread awareness of its foundation. In the last month alone,... Read more

Here’s The Story Behind The All-Star Cypher That Ended The Arsenio Hall Show

Twenty-five years ago this month, The Arsenio Hall Show dimmed the lights on a massive television platform, especially for Hip-Hop. Since early 1989, the actor/comedian/host planted his flag with a new kind of late-night talk-show with a penchant for the issues, people, and culture that inspired him. From M.C. Hammer... Read more

Ever See This ’91 Cypher With Leaders Of The New School, Biz Markie & More? (Video)

At the top of the 1990s, many Hip-Hop artists were coming together in the name of peace, unity, love, understanding, and having fun. Collectives like the Native Tongues and Diggin' In The Crates (which was not even minted yet) earned the respect of the pioneers by keeping alive the 1970s... Read more

Busta Rhymes Leads A Cypher Between His 2 Crews. He’s Still The Top Dragon (Video)

Since his Leaders Of The New School days in the early 1990s, Busta Rhymes has always had a posse surrounding him on stage and in the studio. For most of the last 25 years, it was the Flipmode Squad, which included DJ Scratch, Rampage The, Rah Digga, Baby Sham, Spliff... Read more

Reason Represents TDE With One Of This Year’s Best Cypher Verses (Video)

2018 has been the year Reason's music career has really started to take off. Beginning the year with an appearance on Top Dawg Entertainment's #1 charting Black Panther Soundtrack, Reason has since gone on to officially sign with the coveted label, re-release his debut album There You Have It with... Read more

Freeway Explains How One Cypher Changed His Career With Roc-A-Fella

On a scorching summer afternoon, Freeway is lounging in a cool recording studio in the Northern Liberties section in the City of Brotherly Love. The smoky lab is in the same high-rise building as accounting firms, law offices, and working folks pausing for a late afternoon snack in the ground... Read more

J.I.D. Makes J. Cole Proud By Demolishing This XXL Cypher (Video)

It has been a busy 2018 for Dreamville Records. J. Cole's K.O.D. set new streaming records upon release, in addition to garnering critical acclaim (including appearing on Ambrosia For Heads' midyear best-of list). Cozz released a strong sophomore in Effected, which features Kendrick Lamar, Curren$y, and Cole. Meanwhile, EarthGang released... Read more

Redman Blasts Critics Of Eminem’s BET Cypher & Says EVERYONE Should Respect It (Video)

Redman and Eminem are friends. Over the years, each has showered the other with praise, great MC to great MC. It started with Eminem showing his love for Reggie Noble's music by remaking "Pick It Up" in 2002, alongside Proof. Years later, Redman returned the favor, by flipping Em's "Just... Read more

Mysonne Used His Turn In The Spotlight To Shed Light In An Underrated BET Cypher (Video)

Hip-Hop news and culture move fast, and it’s easy to miss significant developments. Every week, Ambrosia For Heads takes a look back at the LAST 7 days. This video series, hosted by Justin “The Company Man” Hunte examines the current issues with a colorful rundown of the what, where, and why. While the LAST... Read more

Eminem Was A Political Rapper Years Before The BET Cypher. Here’s The Proof (Video)

Tuesday night (October 10), Eminem spit what already appears to be the most talked about freestyle verse of all-time. At Detroit's First Street Parking with Shady Records artists and friends looking on (some would later get their turn to rap), Marshall Mathers went off the rails on an a capella... Read more

Meet Eminem’s Newest Signee In The Rawest BET Cypher Of 2017 (Video)

Last night (October 10) Eminem's BET Hip Hop Awards cypher shook the universe, in what stands to be the MC's most political moment in a career that's never shied away from dissing public figures of all kinds. The previous time Marshall Mathers blessed the BET cypher stage, he brought his... Read more

Mysonne Puts Morality Over Money In One Of The Most Woke BET Cyphers Ever (Video)

Mysonne is a Hip-Hop rarity. After spending seven years in prison, rather than seeking to glorify his stint, as most rappers do, he's used the experience to caution others against following in his footsteps. He also consistently has been one of the more outspoken voices against much of the negative... Read more

CyHi The Prynce Shows Why Rap’s Biggest MCs Buy His Rhymes, In A Killer Cypher (Video)

Although CyHi The Prynce might not be a household name yet, his rhymes are already universal. As one of Kanye West's most acclaimed co-writers, CyHi's prodigious pen was a prominent part of West's albums My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy and Yeezus. His contributions would earn him a spot on Kanye's... Read more

Eminem Destroys Donald Trump For 5 Minutes In A Devastating BET Cypher (Video)

Beginning in 2009, the MC cypher has taken center stage at the BET Hip Hop Awards. Exciting groupings of rappers, often tied by region and label affiliation or simply raw talent, freestyle on one of the mainstream Rap world's biggest platforms. Eminem is a cornerstone of the Hip Hop Awards... Read more

Rapsody Says Forget Best Female MC. She Wants The Top Spot (BET Hip Hop Cypher)

Cypher Season is upon us, as the 2017 BET Hip Hop Awards is ahead. With one of the most lauded and overall talked about albums of the moment in Laila's Wisdom, Rapsody sets off a grouping of MCs who happen to be women—and DJ Premier resumes his post as cypher... Read more

See The Full Historic Conversation & Cypher Between Mos Def, Big Pun, Canibus & DMX (Video)

Twenty years ago, Hip-Hop was in crosswinds. Microphones were grabbed by emerging voices from across the landscape, geographically, stylistically, and regarding content. As the genre collected itself following the sudden and tragic killings of Tupac Shakur and Biggie Smalls, it wanted new sounds, messages, and conversations. Mos Def & Dave... Read more

Joey Bada$$ & Logic Go Bar For Bar In A Cypher Strictly For The Love Of Hip-Hop (Full Video)

While much attention has been focused on the unspoken competition between Kendrick Lamar and Drake in the quest for 2017's biggest album, both Logic and Joey Bada$$ released 2 of the finest LPs of the year. Each featured heady concepts, strong lyricism and beats made for the body and the mind.... Read more

Snoop Shows He’s Still A Top Dogg In A Freestyle Cypher With A$AP Rocky (Video)

Although Snoop Dogg has enjoyed one of the longest careers in Rap music, having logged 25 years in the game, he has often been under-appreciated. His name is seldom mentioned in GOAT or Top 5 discussions, and he has never won a Grammy, despite 17 nominations. Perhaps the area in... Read more

Tech N9ne & Smoke DZA Ignite A Cypher On A Fresh Pete Rock Beat (Video)

In less than two weeks, the unit of Smoke DZA & Pete Rock, as well as Tech N9ne will release albums, respectively. As Smoke has become a force to be reckoned with in 2010s independent Hip-Hop, Tech may be the standing giant of that field—given his commercial success and cult... Read more

A Newly Released ’96 Cypher Shows A Tribe Called Quest Schooling Phony Rappers (Audio)

This month, A Tribe Called Quest released their sixth and said to be final album. We got it from Here... Thank You 4 Your service appeared to shock to the music world, when it was revealed to exist, less than six months after Phife Dawg's March death. It had been... Read more

Did Chris Rivers Have The Best Verse Of The 2016 BET Cyphers? (Video)

For many Heads, the handful of cyphers that take place during the BET Hip-Hop Awards telecast are some of the most exciting aspects of the event. This year, fans had plenty to look forward to, with State Property, Dead Prez, Biv & Devoe, and others using 2016 to showcase scorching... Read more

Biv & DeVoe Host A BET Cypher With Some New Editions Of Their Empire (Video)

The members of New Edition have been entertaining audiences for nearly 35 years, and they show no signs of slowing down. The group consisting of Michael Bivins, Ralph Tresvant, Ricky Bell, Ronnie DeVoe and, at times Bobby Brown and Johnny Gill has experienced a resurgence in 2016, in anticipation of... Read more

Dead Prez Lead The Most Meaningful BET Cypher Ever. It’s Bigger Than Hip-Hop (Video)

Tonight, BET aired its annual Hip Hop Awards. The show honored Snoop Dogg as the recipient of the "I Am Hip-Hop Icon Award," which was presented to him by Kendrick Lamar, and included performances by Gucci Mane, Travis $cott, Lil Uzi Vert, Young Thug, Young M.A., Quavo and more. Big... Read more

Freeway, Beanie Sigel & More Made the BET Cypher Their State Property (Video)

With a little help from DJ Premier on the 1s and 2s, Philadelphia's State Property led the charge in a cypher during tonight's (October 4) BET Hip-Hop Awards. Freeway, Peedi Crakk, Neef Buck, and Omillio Sparks each took turns putting on for Philly, but social media was set ablaze with... Read more

Token Torches The BET Hip-Hop Cypher While DJ Premier Cuts The Record (Video)

The 2016 Hip Hop Awards are airing on BET on Tuesday, October 4, and with them come the annual Cyphers. While this year's Cypher participants have not yet been announced, several details have surfaced about the show which was taped in Atlanta, GA on Saturday, September 17. Snoop Dogg Is... Read more

Members Of Das EFX & Organized Konfusion Led A Sick Cypher. This Is The Remix (Audio)

Two of the most heralded New York City Hip-Hop acts introduced at the top of the 1990s were Das EFX and Organized Konfusion. Das, a duo of Skoob and Dray, made platinum noise when they launched with 1992's Dead Serious. Produced by EPMD, and fixtures of the Hit Squad, these... Read more

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... Read more

CyHi The Prynce & Locksmith Combine Their Superpower Skills In One Cypher (Video)

In the freestyle Hip-Hop community, CyHi The Prynce and Locksmith are two of the most exciting MCs out. From across the country (Georgia and North California, respectively), both of these fervent lyricists are able to jam substance into their fiery flows. These artists touch upon social issues in a way... Read more

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... Read more

This Notorious B.I.G. & Lord Finesse Cypher Will BLOW YOUR MIND (Video)

The Notorious B.I.G. (a/k/a Biggie Smalls) is revered as one of Hip-Hop's greatest MCs. The Brooklyn, New Yorker beautifully inserted wit, wordplay, and lots of self-confidence into his most memorable rhymes. Somebody who started out just a couple years before Biggie was Bronx, New Yorker Lord Finesse. The MC/DJ/producer who... Read more

Ever See This Cypher Featuring Big L & AG? (Video)

In the late 90s, one of the first Internet Hip-Hop shows came courtesy of 88hiphop.com. The site was far ahead of its time, as it launched when the overwhelming majority of consumers still had dial up modems. For those with the access and the patience to endure endless buffering, however,... Read more

Eminem & D12 Go Off During A 25-Minute Previously Unreleased 2004 Cypher (Audio)

Tim Westwood continues his Throwback Thursday series with the release of an epic 25-minute cypher featuring Eminem, D12 and Stat Quo. While portions of the freestyle have surfaced over the years, this is the first time the entire session is being released in full. Featuring Eminem, Proof, Swifty McVay and... Read more

Kendrick Lamar Leads A Freestyle Cypher With Musicians In The UK & Rocks It (Video)

With all the chatter around the political themes embedded in Kendrick Lamar's To Pimp A Butterfly, and the album's immense critical acclaim, it's sometimes easy to lose sight of the fact that, at his core, Kendrick is an MC who loves the sport of rhyming. But, before he showcased the... Read more

A$AP Ferg, Your Old Droog & Wiki Crush A Next Level Cypher With A Live Band (Video)

There are few things in Hip-Hop more exciting than a great cypher. Over the years, there have been some special ones, big and small. On a grander scale, Eminem, Black Thought & Mos Def rocking together comes to mind, as well as the TDE cypher where Kendrick Lamar went absolutely... Read more

Ever See This 1992 Cypher With Bushwick Bill, Snoop, Scarface, RBX & Big Mike? (Video)

The connections between Death Row and Rap-A-Lop Records run deep, from the top down. Respective label heads Suge Knight and J. Prince have been tight for years and, the labels' artists have collaborated on a number of projects and, in the case of the Outlawz, even been signed to both... Read more

This 1998 Cypher By Eminem & Royce Da 5’9″ Was A Preview Of Much Greatness to Come (Mix)

As a DJ at NYC's legendary Fat Beats record store, as well as on college radio and about town, during the 90s and beyond, DJ Eclipse had a critical role at helping to break some of the most acclaimed MCs in Hip-Hop history. Similar to the Stretch Armstrong and Bobbito... Read more

Redman Breaks Down “Bars” From His BET Cypher Verse (Video)

Last month, Redman became a trending term after his 2015 BET Hip Hop Awards Cypher verse. The Newark, New Jersey veteran MC appeared alongside his Def Squad cohorts Erick Sermon and Keith Murray, where he spit a verse that had Heads replaying the video just to keep up. Related: So... Read more

Tech N9ne’s Cypher I Shows A Mental Giant Hard At Work (Video)

Yesterday (November 20), Tech N9ne released his latest "Collabos" project, Strangeulation, Volume 2. The effort features several Strange Music-stacked cyphers. These purely skills displays showcase the values of the Kansas City, Missouri-based independent label. The first is its face-painted founder, alone, ripping apart bars with his stretched cadence, and rapid-fire... Read more

Tech N9ne Evaluates Role Of Cyphers & Talks Next Solo Album (Interview)

Tech N9ne crams as many words and ideas into his energetic bars as he possibly can. It is this feat that has made him one of the most revered MCs of the last 15 years. He has become an independent deity, simultaneously skyrocketing in status, wealth, and respect, while much... Read more

Tech N9ne’s Strangeulation 2 Cypher #1 Is Lyrically Lethal (Audio)

Tech N9ne never sleeps. And he's never one to sleep on. Next week (November 20), the Kansas City, Missouri "mental giant" will release Strangeulation, Vol. 2. The 16th album for Tech is his sixth in a celebrated "collabos" series. As the title suggests, these pairings are all about the bat-and-snake... Read more

Ever Hear This 1996 Nas & Cormega Cypher? (Audio)

Nas and Cormega have been linked for more than 20 years, ever since Nasir shouted out Mega on Illmatic's "One Love" in 1994. Although the two would go on to have a rift that was eventually resolved, their microphone alchemy was always undeniable. This was, perhaps, never more apparent than... Read more

Joyner Lucas Stunned The BET Cyphers. He Brings That Excitement To A Busta Rhymes Collabo (Audio)

Since the 1990s, artists from Massachusetts have aimed to put New England Hip-Hop on the big stage. Between Gang Starr's Guru, Made Men (f/k/a Almighty R.S.O.), and Edo. G, a number of MCs have signed deals large and small. Acts like REKS, Akrobatik, Mr. Lif, 7L & Esoteric, and Termanology... Read more

The Best Overall Cypher Was Live & Shows Battle Rap Reigns Supreme (Video)

To many Hip-Hop Heads, names like T-Top, Rain, Charlie Clips, DNA, and K-Shine may not resonate. These are not artists with albums in stores or hit songs on social media. However, in the culture of Battle Rap, these are some of the most fiery MCs doing it. At last night's... Read more

So So Def…Redman Delivers One of The Best Cyphers in Years! (Video)

It has been almost five years since Redman released an album. However, that does not mean that the Funk Doc cannot steal the show on prime-time TV. Red' lit up the 2015 BET Hip Hop Awards cyphers with a Def Squad appearance (flanked by his mentor Erick Sermon and longtime... Read more

Doug E. Fresh, Rahzel & Nicole Paris’ Beatbox Cypher Is Supernaturally Dope. (Video)

Based upon its recognition in the mainstream, beatboxing may seem passé. While Rap groups like the Fat Boys and Get Fresh Crew kept the booming sound effects closely in tow, the emergence of the Hip-Hop producer and improved technology have challenged the gifted breath control and malleable mouths of yesteryear.... Read more

Black Thought Pumps Cypher Adrenaline In This Dazzling Display (Video)

Black Thought and The Roots rock the spot on television five nights a week. However, that doesn't mean that they can't shut things down in one fell swoop. Tariq and Ahmir hit the 2015 BET Hip Hop Awards with the kind of vocal precision that they made famous, when cyphers... Read more

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... Read more