One of the most fun parts of the BET Hip-Hop Awards — or at least the part most people seem to look forward to most each year — are the annual cyphers which collect groups of five or six rappers to spit some of their hottest bars. It’s a time-honored tradition in hip-hop: Young MC’s gathering together on stages and street corners to flex their lyrical muscles and participate in some friendly (and sometimes unfriendly) competition.
The BET Hip-Hop Awards Cyphers have always been a highlight of this cultural rite of passage, with previous iterations featuring truly iconic verses from the likes of Mos Def, Black Thought, Eminem, Royce Da 5’9, CyHi The Prynce, Phonte Coleman, and Lupe Fiasco. 2017 was no exception, as the award show brought together a some of the hottest up-and-comers and veterans from within the culture, including 6lack, Tee Grizzley, Little Simz, Cozz, J.I.D., Fat Joe, Denzel Curry, and Belly, to tear into beats provided by the legendary DJ Premier, with a few truly jaw-dropping moments taking place throughout. The Cypher is a chance for newcomers to make a name for themselves, and many did, but it was the vets who showed up in spades Tuesday night, showing why their status in the streets is sealed and unshakeable.
Check out each of the Cyphers below as they air.