Bare with me as I reflect on one of the most memorable moments I had last year, and in my career. As I'm up waaaaaay past my bed time, I just finishing listening to what I consider one of the best ciphers ever.
The night was March 13th, and I was invited to celebrate the 5th Anniversary of Squeeze Radio on WKCR. What took place that night was incredible in itself. There were Hip Hop legends who had already cemented their legacies like Masta Ace and Jeru, but there were also fresh new voices like Homeboy Sandman. For me though, what was special was the cipher I participated in. I got to rhyme next to 2 emcees who challenged me to be great, and they were John Robinson aka Lil Sci and Torae the Young Vet.
Every time I go back and listen to our segment I always smile. There was definitely an incredible vibe about this particular cipher because I think we raised the bar. Once we started rhyming there was an air of seriousness, like everyone in the studio knew it was gonna be real lyricists killing the mic. What was especially dope was the fact that despite it being competitive, there was a sense of camaraderie between the 3 of us. It wasn't so much that we were trying to out do each other, but rather bring out the best in each other. This was never more apparent than when we were given the title of "Team Red & Black"/Bulls (90's Bulls that is). Rarely do you listen to cats rhyme the way we did without them being in a "crew". We never missed a beat and complemented each others verses perfectly. It was as if JR was the point, and Torae and I alternated between Guard and Forward. Just listen, and you'll hear the genuine ad libs of laughter, amazement, and excitement. That's what really made the night for me; I was reminded that I'm still a fan. While in the cipher, it rekindled the memories and feelings of old Stretch & Bob shows with Big L & Lord Finesse or Natural Elements. It was one of those rare moments you stayed up late for because you could never forgive yourself if you missed it.
I wanna thank Tor and JR for being dope, and especially Timm See and Suc for inviting me. I literally hadn't been on the show in a couple years, and it was dope to return and be a part of history. Now only if I could get my hand on the video footage. You can listen to the entire show "HERE" but our segments starts around the 48 minute mark.
Pictured below: Me going in, Team Red & Black: myself, JR & Torae, & Sucio's candid expression as we rhymed.
Photos courtesy of Photo Rob