BET Hip-Hop Awards Preview!: We Remember the Best of the BET Hip-Hop Cyphers


As we lead up to this year’s BET Hip-Hop Awards, for which is nominated for Best Hip-Hop website, we take a look back at the BET Hip-Hop Awards Cypher over the years.

As most of you know, every year the BET Hip-Hop Awards has a cypher that airs during the show, featuring some of the hottest up and coming talent in the game. Since its inception, BET has been pulling talent from all parts of the world with a varied array of styles, setting a standard across the world for what a cypher should sound like.

Reminiscent of some of the famed cyphers on street corners during Hip-Hop’s early days, the cypher is often one of the most talked about parts of the BET Hip-Hop Awards. Granted everyone on Twitter has something to say about the performances, too, as the cypher truly showcases the true talent raw and uncut. They take it back to the corner with an MC and someone to beat box – unedited like banging on the lunch room table, the cypher is raw lyrics and just the beat. No special effects, just lyrics and the beat. Below is recap of a few cyphers we’ve loved over the years.

2007’s cypher kicked things off with Wyclef, Twista, Lil Mama, Dizzee Rascal, Phonte, Stat Quo, Kardinal Offishall, Joell Ortiz, Flo, and Cassidy. This was all before Lil Mama jumped on stage with Jay-Z…#FAIL. Either way, this was the first cypher and set the standard for what we would see in subsequent years. Wyclef was dope, Phonte, Stat, and Joell definitely had some nice verses as well…

2008’s cypher featured the likes of  Hurricane Chris, K’naan, Bun B, Q-Tip, Willy Northpole, Hime, Blaq Poet, Cory Gunz, Ace Hood, Juelz Santana, Fabolous, and Jadakiss. While the cypher was dope in its own right, Viacom has pulled all links for this cypher, so we were unable to embed the greatness of this lyrical abomination.

In 2009, we witnessed Eminem, Mos Def, Black Thought, Nicki Minaj, Joe Budden, Buckshot, Crown Royyal, KRS-ONE, Wale, Nipsey Hussle, and GSAN with DJ Premier on the tables. Just looking back on this cypher, we can see how Nicki, Wale, Joe Budden, and Nipsey Hussle’s careers grown – and, it was dope to hear KRS, Black Thought, Em, and Buckshot kick some legendary rhymes. This def set the bar for cyphers going forward.

The 2010 cypher featured the young seeds of Ice Cube and Rev Run – OMG, Doughboy, Jo Jo, and Diggy. It’s amazing to see how Diggy’s career has progressed since this point. As you can see, he’s making headlines for his beef with J. Cole as of late, but you can tell the kid has skills even back then. Raekwon introduced Wiz Khalifa, Bones Brigante, and Yelawolf, and Fonzworth Bentley jumped in a cypher with Vado and Reychesta, proving you truly never know what is going to happen in the BET Hip-Hop Awards cypher. Let’s not forget that G.O.O.D. Music had their memorable time in the cypher spotlight, too – one that included Kanye, Pusha T, Big Sean, Cyhi da Prynce, and Common.

2011’s cypher was highly anticipated, and it seems like the cypher is at its greatest point of popularity on the cusp of the 2012 awards show. Straight up, though, the Shady Records cypher with Em, Slaughterhouse, and Yelawolf was one of the most popular over the last five years. Check the cypher behind the scenes in Detroit. This was a CLASSIC!

And, we can’t forget about MCs Gilbere Forte, Chris Sutton (Sprite’s Hot 16 Winner), XV, and Jay Rock trading verses. Then, in another video, Rico Staxx, Wais P, Termanology, Sean Cross, and French Montana go back and forth. The best of the year, however, had to be the Big K.R.I.T., Tech N9ne, Machine Gun Kelly, Kendrick Lamar, and B.o.B. cypher. Ha! Plus, how could we forget Busta Rhymes, Luda, Reek da Villain and 2 Chainz? 2 Chainz said, “You a nobody, anorexic.”

So, who’s on deck for this year? Well, we’ve heard some whispers, but we’re not trying to ruin the show for you! Stay tuned for the airing of the BET Hip-Hop Awards on October 9.

What was your favorite year for the Bet Cypher? Comment and let us know!!!