BET Cypher

Last night, BET aired its annual Hip-Hop Awards, and there were a couple of notable moments at the awards show proper. Kendrick Lamar got a solo-star showcase, performing “The Recipe” and “Swimming Pools (Drank).” And as a tribute to the recently-deceased rap-star manager Chris Lighty, a deeply fun and random crew of luminaries showed up for an all-hits medley: A Tribe Called Quest, Busta Rhymes, Missy Elliott, old foes Fat Joe and 50 Cent.

But the real reason anyone watched the Hip-Hop Awards is the Cyphers, the quick black-and-white shorts in which a ton of different rappers, of varying degrees of skill and fame spit verses in rapid succession, everyone (at least in theory) competing to outdo everyone else. This year didn’t have a clear winner (E-40, I guess? T.I., possibly?) or any real star performances, but it did have solid performances from a very long list of rappers: Kendrick again, DMX, A$AP Rocky, DJ Quik, Snoop Dogg, Childish Gambino, Talib Kweli, Schoolboy Q, Joey Bada$$, Jean Grae, Ab-Soul, Mystikal, Angel Haze, and a ton of others. Watch all the Cyphers, as well as the Kendrick and Lighty tribute performances, below.

I was extremely, embarrassingly excited to see the BET chyron announce DMX as being from Baltimore, not Yonkers.

Comments (2)
  1. Kendrick had to choose between spitting complete lines to swimming pools or doing his best DMX impression – he went with the latter and i think that’s something we can all learn from

  2. Joey Bada$$ for the win anyone? With Kendrick and A$AP tied at a close second.

    I thought everyone put on an impressive showing with the exception of the Ruff Ryders’ freestyle (this of course comes with the exception of Eve who surprised me).

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