Should Anyone Care About The 2013 BET Hip-Hop Cypher?

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it’s that time of year. when the rap world comes to a screeching halt so that 34 people can freestyle during an awards show that doesn’t give out awards.

the BET Hip-Hop Awards comes from a long tradition of shows that have no original concept, and sport that trademark negro-tainment stamp of copycat desperation and debra lee’s jackal eyebrow arches. it’s like the NBA Slam Dunk Contest but hosted by kevin hart and featuring the lyrical stylings of uncle murda.
there is one stand-out segment that sets this rap broadcast apart from all the others, and it’s not diddy nursing a Ciroc goblet or 2chainz tucking his leopard-print bustier into his jeggings. the freestyle cypher, which made its debut in 2007, tends to steal the attention from the backstage smoke clouds and the promethazine puddles pooling in the pews. slaughterhouse gets to remind everyone what they do, and why they’re around. eminem cozies up to the black audience for one time a year, certifying his G pass for just long enough to put out another Rehab Manifesto, and dr. dre and his beard show off their creative influence by introducing the next rapper to take over the world.
unfortunately, like the dunk contest, the cypher is populated with no-names instead of heavyweights, obscure internet fan poll winners, and a dj who hasn’t made a relevant beat since nas and jay had their first “creative differences” over carmen. the thing that made it genuinely exciting — like debating whether black thought or eminem had the best verse that one year — has also been what makes it disappointing now, as we have to endure an actual cypher made of the unplanned offspring of 80s rappers. this 3-minute tragedy happened and diggy simmons was the lone participant who looked like he didn’t belong in the condom out of which he spilled. word to cory gunz.

this year, however, promises to showcase the latter stage of a brewing hip-hop beef that could take on cube/common or nasir/sean level importance. drake was conspicuously absent from the ’13 BET Hip-Hop Awards, as news spread that kendrick lamar had grabbed a grand total of 345 nominations. the two have been subliminally engaging in a feud that’s mostly based on them kinda digging each other’s music but not being mature enough to admit it. and boy does drake seem sore over it, ‘specially considering almost every interview he did in the run-up to his album’s release included a question about his relationship to kendrick lamar. being the drake that he is, he took the Scorned Ex-Lover approach that has salted his albums and pretended not to care while passive-aggressively banning kendrick from his life ONCE AND FOR ALL.
‘lose my number, k bro? not cool.’
while no one knows for sure where this conflict originated, kendrick lamar reportedly extended it by one more 60-bar verse that allegedly lights aflame the rap scene and its lackluster lyricism. rap’s resident anderson cooper, skillz, reports via twitter:


well, this just got interesting. a certain message board poster even transcribed lyrics from the next Kendrick Verse Heard Round The World, and it doesn’t look pretty for other people rapping. way more fierce and directly squared on its nameless targets and seemingly aubrey-pointed, k. dot has decided to take the aggressive route and essentially triple-dare The Drizzler to say something.
the internet is, of course, enraptured by the prospect of rapper’s inciting beefs and the inevitable barrel-crab pinch-fest that will ensue.
from Billboard:

Kendrick Lamar had the best verse of all the cyphers. Hip-hop heads saw “Control” Kendrick reappear — his energy built on itself with every bar, his flow switched up, he made reference to his competition’s response to the verse that started the controversy.


The BET Hip-Hop Awards this year was heavy on hip-hop, but light on actual awards. BET presented only three awards during the show […]

plus the list of (╯︵╰,) participants, via Complex:

Cypher 1 – Wax, Rapsody, Emis Killa, Rittz, Jon Connor
 Cypher 2 – A$AP Mob: Ferg, Twelvy, Nast, Ant & Rocky
 Cypher 3 – Action Bronson, Star Life Breezy (Sprite Contest Winner) ,Travis $cott, Tifanny Foxx & Lil Kim
 Cypher 4 – Slaughterhouse: Joell Ortiz, Crooked I, Royce da 5’9 & Joe Budden
 Cypher 5 – TDE: ScHoolBoy Q, Jay Rock, Ab Soul, Isiah Radhad & Kendrick Lamar
 Cypher 6 – Real Husbands Of Hollywood: Chocolate Drop (Kevin Hart), Nick Cannon, Nelly, Boris Kodjoe, Dwayne Martin, JB Smooth
 Cypher 7 – Asia Sparks, Bad Lucc, Problem & Astro

if this leaked video is any indication, we will have to sit through 93,000 seconds of mic booth perishables before any real impact blows are dealt. that will include some highlights, doubtless, but will also include the plastic remnants of lil kim, which begs the hope that biggie saved her one last verse from the Hereafter for just such an occasion. although, that seems like a thug’s prayer in comparison to the Botox Bars she’ll spit in reality.

there’s always royce and rihanna, though.
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