Competition breeds innovation.
Hip hop music has always been about raising the bar. A highly competitive and braggadocio art-form, it’s not unlikely to hear rappers calling each other out (see “Control” verse). Not only is this confrontation a form of entertainment, it also evolves the genre in good old Darwinist fashion.
To be succinct, it’s a healthy mechanism for growth.
As such, a certain respect comes from being tight for the cypher. A cypher in hip hop is traditionally a circle of emcees freestyling as they take turns producing rhymes off the top.
Written cyphers have become another form through which rappers can showcase their abilities. The annual XXL Freshman cypher is a contemporary staple. The Black Hippy BET cypher is another must see. Several other cyphers have emerged as a sport-through-music. Everybody is trying to body everybody else on the same track.
Therefore at True Too, we cannot overstate the importance of the cypher to hip hop. To celebrate, we have compiled a playlist of some of the best recorded hip hop cyphers to date. This collection of songs ranges from old school to brand new, west coast to east coast. These tracks showcase multiple rappers going in on the beat one right after the other.
Listen to the playlist below, and make sure to follow us on Spotify to listen to all of our published playlists. For all things hip hop, keep reading at True Too.