2012 BET Hip-Hop Awards Cyphers: Snoop Dogg, Kendrick Lamar, Childish Gambino, A$AP Rocky Shine
Undoubtedly, the most exciting part of the 2012 BET Hip-Hop Awards are the cyphers. This year, there were numerous freestyle performances from both veterans and up-and-coming rhyme-slingers worth mentioning. The “West Coast” cypher boast established rappers Snoop Dogg and E-40, and newcomer Kendrick Lamar.
With DJ Premier on the turntables spinning an old-school hip-hop breakbeat, Xzibit kicked things off with his gruff rhyme flow. He rapped, “Put my motherf—ing records on so they can relate through the hate and the pain / Through the struggle and strain / Never take it in vain / Breathing one in the same / Pressure push through your forehead out the back of your brain / It’s the West.”
Lyricist of the Year winner Kendrick Lamar shined in the cypher giving a nod to the O.G. that came before him. “If Snoop passed us the torch I’m going burn you rappers with it,” he spits. Now while the veterans like the slanguage master E-40 (“I’m not rapping too fast, you’re listening too slow“), Kurupt, and DJ Quik dropped some cool freestyles, Snoop Dogg killed the cypher with his cat-in-the-hat rhyme flow.
He rapped, “B-E-T / Easily / Let me show you how it go / S-N double-O / Break it down a smooth flow / Break it down like dominoes / Lay it on the table for ya / Let cha gain game for ya mind / Get a lawya / This is too much for ya.”
Meanwhile, another noteworthy session was the “Iron Mic” cypher hosted by the RZA and featuring Childish Gambino (aka Donald Glover), A$AP Rocky, Angel Haze, Joey Bada$$ and Driicky Graham. While Gambino is not known to be a freestyle spitter, his lyrical display caught many off guard. “I got the black AMEX gotta to pull the race card” and “the game is f— up like my hairline” were some of his memorable lines.
But the Harlem rapper came through to close the cypher with his braggadocios rhymes. “No one in the cypher has swag like I do / Church with this verse / I’m going to hit ’em with the gospel / Ever since a baby / Ask my ol’ lady / My first four words were f— you pay me.”
What do you think? Which was the best cyphers at the 2012 BET Hip-Hop Awards? Tell us in the comments below.
Watch the Cypher Featuring Childish Gambino, A$AP Rocky + More