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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

Mysonne Says He’s Today’s Tupac & Nas On The Best Freestyle Of The Year (Video)

Mysonne is far from a new artist. The Bronx, New York MC has made his impression felt for years, on major platforms like his show-stopping performance at last year's BET Hip Hop Awards cypher stage. However, awareness surrounding the MC who appeared on Ma$e's Double Up and Ruff Ryders' Ryde... 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

Eminem Details The Making Of His Raging Freestyle Storm Against Donald Trump

One of the most memorable televised Rap performances of the last 20 years came courtesy of Eminem and Elton John. Although Dido famously sang on "Stan" (it was her would-be hit "Thank You" that producer 45 King sampled), the diamond-certified John stepped in during 2001's Grammy Awards. Besides the great... 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

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

In A Tumultuous Week, Hip-Hop Remains The Great Unifier (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

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

Page Kennedy, Elzhi, Kxng Crooked, Cassidy, King Los & Mickey Factz vs. EVERYBODY (Audio)

Earlier this month, Page Kennedy dropped jaws when he added an unofficial (but very compelling) new chapter to JAY-Z's "The Story Of O.J." The Detroit, Michigan actor/MC is clearly out to keep his profile buzzing and pushing this year's Torn Pages LP along. This time, he rallies up a crop... 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

Shock G Takes It Back To The Streets With A Lit Freestyle…Literally (Video)

Shock G and his brainchild of Digital Underground helped introduce the world to Tupac Shakur, Saafir, and others. The Oakland, California group may have taught the world how to do the "Humpty Dance," but their albums and hits run much deeper than just a crossover single. With a career spanning... 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

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

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 1998 Ma$e & Guru Freestyle Brings 2 Different Sides Of Hip-Hop Together (Audio)

Six months from each other Ma$e and Gang Starr moved the Hip-Hop needle in 1997-1998. To some, that needle went in two directions. Released on October 28, 1997, Ma$e's Grammy-nominated, quadruple-platinum debut Harlem World certified the newest Bad Boy Records superstar. On March 31, 1991, Gang Starr released its first... 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

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 Hear When Ghostface Killah, Jeru The Damaja & Cappadonna Blazed Freestyles Together? (Audio)

Wu-Tang Clan and Gang Starr Foundation appeared to run in different circles in the late 1990s. While RZA and DJ Premier reportedly go back to the Prince Rakeem days, Gang Starr only worked with Inspectah Deck by Y2K (care of "Above The Clouds"). That does not mean, however, that two... 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’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

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

Redman, Keith Murray & Erick Sermon Have a Hip Hop Awards Cypher

The BET Hip Hop Awards are taking place tonight (10/9) in Atlanta, and will air on Tuesday, October 13 at 8pm. This year's event is once again being hosted by Uncle Snoop Dogg, and Scarface will be presented the "I Am Hip Hop" Award, honoring his 25-year legacy. As always,... Read more

Ever See This Big Pun & Terror Squad Cypher in the Back of a Limo? (Video)

Here's a look back at a behind the scenes moment with Big Pun, Prospect and Cuban Link from Terror Squad, and Charlie Hustle. In an experience that was much like a true to life segment from Wu-Tang Clan's Enter the Wu-Tang Clan: 36 Chambers, the crew was in the back... Read more

Joell Ortiz, CyHi The Prynce & Jarren Benton Serve a Cypher for the Backpackers (Video)

Three animated lyricists come together for Team Backpack's latest cypher. Joell Ortiz, CyHi The Prynce, and Jarren Benton all have recent projects to promote. However, on stage together before a hungry, live audience, it's all about simply promoting skills. Jarren kicks things off with a mischievous mosaic of bars, combining... Read more

GQ & Locksmith Drive Rhymes From The Backseat Of A Lyft (Video)

In the latest installment of the increasingly popular "HipHopLyft" series, Bay Area MCs Locksmith and GQ (of Jamla Records) drop conscious gems in freestyle form as they are driven around the streets of San Francisco. The two spitters both represent Team BackPack, a musical conglomerate that is dedicated to connecting... Read more

Ever See This Cypher With Snoop, Kurupt, Daz, Nate Dogg and Dr. Dre? (Video)

Ain't nuthin' like a gangsta party...Here's a look back at an amazing studio moment from The Chronic era. Snoop Doggy Dogg, Kurupt and Daz conduct a crazy off the top cypher, with Dr. Dre holding down the melody on a piano and Nate Dogg in the background with the vocals.... Read more

Chris Rivers, Grandmaster Caz & More Bridge Generations in a Cypher w/ R.A. The Rugged Man (Video)

R.A. The Rugged Man is gearing up to go on his Shoot Me In The Head Tour, but before heading out, he did a show at SOB's in New York City and brought out an all-star cast to join him in a cypher on stage. The cypher bridged together generations... Read more

Ever See This Early 90s 8-Minute Wu-Tang Clan Cypher? You Should…(Video)

When rhymes are razor sharp, there's no need for a track, a beat or even a hand clap. Wu-Tang Clan make that abundantly clear in this eight minute, a cappella cypher from their days in the early 90s. Video Fusion caught up with The Clan in what looks to be... Read more

Witness a Cypher with Kenny Smith, Grant Hill, Ernie Johnson, Shaq & Nicki Minaj (Video)

Nicki Minaj paid a visit to the set of Inside the NBA and the hosts put together a Cypher in her honor. Kenny Smith, Grant Hill and Shaq flexed their skills to varying degrees of success. Kenny, ever the competitor, actually came with some BARS (relatively speaking) and Shaq took... Read more

Detroit Che Follows Her Cypher with a Monster Backroom Freestyle (Video)

Detroit Che earned her way into the 2014 BET Hip Hop Awards Cypher by winning the Hot 16 contest sponsored by Sprite. She was grouped with MCs like Logic, Lil Mama, Troy Ave and Dee-1. Undaunted, she stood toe to toe with each and came away with one of the... Read more

Ras Kass Joins Some Detroit Bad Boys Around A Barrel Fire For A Cypher (Video)

This year, West Coast MC vet Ras Kass linked with Detroit, Michigan's Apollo Brown to make a celebrated, highly-cohesive LP in Blasphemy. Keeping things focused on Motor City, Ras circles up around a barrel-fire, Doo Wop-style, to unleash a monstrous cypher. Apollo's beat seems to pay careful homage to Diamond... Read more

Ever See This Cypher with Big Pun, DMX, Mos Def, Canibus, John Forte & Mic Geronimo? (Video)

Some moments are worth re-living...Like this cypher between Big Pun, DMX, Mos Def, Canibus, John Forte and Mic Geronimo. Back in the day, the 6 skilled MCs were at a table sharing a true Hip-Hop moment and decided to have a friendly cypher. Onlookers included Toure, Irv Gotti and others... Read more

CyHi The Prynce, Rapsody & Caskey Light Up This Team Backpack Cypher (Video)

Team Backpack cyphers have become a staple in the Hip-Hop zeitgeist for several years now. The collective's videos have made stars out of fresh-faced artists, and cultivated talent in a format that Heads can respect: the free-form cypher. It's competitive, it's stripped-down, it's pure MC'ing. So how about this? T.B.P... Read more

Here Are the 2014 BET Hip Hop Awards Cyphers. Who Had the Best Verse (Video)

The 2014 BET Hip Hop Awards featured a variety of artists and different styles. From up and comers to grizzled veterans, each had something to prove. Many also had something meaningful to say, with references to the killing of Mike Brown and the protests in Ferguson manifesting throughout several verses.... Read more

Who’s Part Of The 2014 BET Hip-Hop Awards Cyphers? See The List!

The 2014 BET Hip-Hop Awards will air on October 14 at 8pm. Hosted by "Uncle" Snoop Dogg, the affair will reportedly include performances by Jay Electronica, Common, T.I., Mike WiLL Made It, and others. The annual music event will also continue the honored tradition of the annual cyphers. While specifics... Read more

Locksmith Might Have 2014’s Strongest Freestyle, But Does He Also Have Best Cypher?

Locksmith is out for titles. Richmond, California's own has a great (but slept-on) album out in A Thousand Cuts. He has one of the year's most jaw-droppingly great freestyles, care of DJ Kay Slay's Streetsweeper Radio spot, and now, care of Team Backpack, Lock' is bidding for top cypher. With... Read more

Jon Connor, Troy Ave, Jarren Benton & Lil Bibby Close Down The 2014 XXL Cyphers (Video)

Jon Connor has so much energy. The Flint, Michigan MC sets it off with DJ Drama on the turns, as the tireless Aftermath Entertainment sensation ramps up the final of three 2014 XXL freestyles. Then Jarren Benton is true to form, with his odd-ball humor, and vivid references. Lil Bibby... Read more

Watch Big L & Big Pun in a Never Before Released Cypher (Video)

Yesterday (5/30) would have been Big L's 40th birthday. To celebrate the fallen MC's life and legacy, Complex premiered never before released footage of Big L in the studio dropping a verse AND a previously unreleased cypher that included L, Charlie Hustle and Big Pun. Check out both videos below.... Read more

DJ Kay Slay Brings It Back To His Graffiti Roots With Termanology, Chris Rivers, Papoose & More (Video)

The Drama King has been a nonstop content supplier lately. The Harlem, New York graffiti writer-turned-DJ-turned-radio personality let go of a visual from recent audio single "Enter The Cypher," featuring Termanology, Papoose, Chris Rivers, and William Young. As was the case with another recent Slay and Pap' collabo, the visual... Read more