Last night, BET aired its annual BET Hip-Hop Awards, which means one thing: cyphers. While the awards themselves are more often than not treated as an afterthought at the ceremony, the cyphers still have the potential to make waves. With an early clip of Kendrick Lamar’s appearance leaking weeks before the show, anticipation was higher than ever. Luckily, the event didn’t disappoint.
The appeal of the cyphers is simple: Watch rappers rap. The real fun comes the next day when you’re trying to pick apart who delivered the best verse, who surprised you and who dropped the ball. This year the lineup was more eclectic and wide-ranging than ever, with whole cyphers devoted to hip-hop’s hottest crews TDE and the A$AP Mob, an appearance from the legendary Lil Kim and opportunities for young rising artists like Jon Connor to make a name for themselves. There was even an online cypher, along with one from the Real Husbands Of Hollywood. The pressure was on.
So let’s get to it. Who was the best? We’ve already asked you, but now it’s time to break down each verse—with the exception of the online cypher and the jokey Real Husbands one, though Nelly did have some bars. Here it is: The 2013 BET Hip-Hop Awards Cyphers from worst to best. –Dan Jackson And Eric Diep