Every year, during the BET Hip-Hop Awards, the show airs little black-and-white vignettes of people rapping in warehouses — sometimes in crews, sometimes in random-as-fuck thrown-together groupings. In certain circles, these videos, the fabled BET Cyphers, are all anyone talks about the day after the show; the Ace Hood/Juelz Santana/Fabolous/Jadakiss one from 2008 is still basically my favorite thing ever. This year, the big news going into the show was Kendrick Lamar, and the big news after the show is still Kendrick Lamar.
This year’s Cyphers were typically fun and messy — strong verses from Action Bronson and Rittz and Jon Connor, a fascinatingly awful staring-at-his-shows thing from Travi$ Scott, Lil Kim there for some reason, the entire A$AP Mob doing fake patios. But before the show, bits and pieces of Kendrick Lamar’s verse from the TDE crew cypher leaked out, and it was apparent that he had some things to say about old friend/collaborator and recent low-key foe Drake: “Nothing’s been the same since they dropped ‘Control’ / And tucked a sensitive rapper back into his pajama clothes.” And yes, that stuff is in there, and it is pointed. But it’s just one part of a ridiculous, masterful, exhilarating Kendrick verse.
The show also had impressive performances from people like Meek Mill, Future, and Kendrick again. Watch the cyphers and the performances below. First, the cyphers.
The TDE crew:
Action Bronson, Starlife Breezy, Travi$ Scott, Tiffany Foxx & Lil Kim:
Wax, Rapsody, Emis Killa, Rittz & Jon Connor:
And now, the performances.
Kendrick Lamar with Schoolboy Q & Jay Rock:
2 Chainz with Mannie Fresh & Juvenile:
Future with Rick Ross:
(via Miss Info)