It's the annual event we all love to hate to on. Rap stars of new and old all convene under the house of Black lampoonery to dispel our attention from something more conducive to human existence. But as arguably the biggest nucleus that promotes most of the happenings of our beloved culture, the love side of the relationship with BET shoots to the forefront as they do give those that deserve it a bit of shine, even if comes courtesy of a generic environment.
Contrived freestyles are NOT Hip-Hop as we'd like to represent it but still giving an avenue for artists to ride through the mainstream is worth overlooking such petty gripes.
Premier on the 1's & 2's. Let's go!
Cypher #1: a.k.a. The True Heads (Feat. Wiz Khalifa, Bones Brigante, Yelawolf & Raekwon)
While the placement of the lesser known Bones Brigante screams of a good manager/label relationship that will inconspicuously breed a new contract in the near future, homie had the most to prove and he followed through with a memorable performance that should garner new fans. Wiz and Yela both displayed why they're amongst the hottest in the game and Rae showed utmost class by cutting his vocals short to eulogize Inspectah Deck's dearly departed mother. Wu-Tang forever, baby.
Cypher #2: a.k.a. The Regional Outcasts (Feat. Tyga, Kuniva, Diamond & Royce Da 5’9")
When's the last time you seen a rapper from Detroit other than Eminem on BET? No, I won't wait. Even when he blows, Royce will always be one-hit away for the back credit he's undeservedly owed and he makes the most of his time as moderator/champ MC. Tyga been had bars and Kuniva reps for D-12. Sadly, Diamond's flow could use a bit of Massengill®. Performance was a little dry.
Cypher #3: a.k.a. The Family Affair (Feat. OMG, Doughboy, Ice Cube, Diggy, JoJo & Rev Run)
It was a battle of East & West, the Jacksons & Simmons but hometraining as well. The Cube Clan's verses had more censors than a screening of House Party on primetime TV while the occupants at Run's house knew they'd get a spanking in the dressing room if a four-letter word slipped out. Quiet as kept, on the lowskey-woahskey, Jojo had the smoothest performance.
"Rosewood! We can see out with our eyes closed..."
Cypher #4: a.k.a. The Rhyme Without A Reason (Feat. Reek Da Villian, Zawcain, Mickey Factz & Busta Rhymes)
For the record, everybody ripped it with tenacity and precision. However, none of the performances could move a feather in a wind storm. It highlights the perils East Coast Hip-Hop faces in present day. Rappers rely on appearance and (ugh!) swag to entertain instead of letting their lyrics do just that. And when have you ever known Busta Rhymes to pass on an alley-oop of a simple kick-n-snare to get busy? <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QK7juZHLqLM">Yep</a>.