Award shows aren’t generally designed for hip-hop fans. The biggest award shows like the Oscar’s and the Emmy’s seem to barely acknowledge the impact of the culture. For hip-hop heads, the most consistently thrilling moment in any award show around remains the BET Cyphers shown during the annual BET Hip-Hop Awards. The cyphers are a true showcase for hip-hop’s most lyrically gifted, allowing rappers to do what they do best – rock the mic.
After the brief 15-second snippet of Kendrick Lamar’s upcoming cypher hit the internet two weeks ago, anticipation has never been higher for the BET Hip-Hop Awards. Speculation is rampant that Kendrick and the rest of Top Dawg Entertainment is dropping “Control 2.0″ on the industry and everybody – fans, rappers, industry-folk alike – are waiting to see if the self-proclaimed King Of New York is ready to snatch the throne.
In anticipation for tonight’s annual round of freestyles, XXL is looking back at 10 of the best BET Cypher freestyles dropped since the BET Hip-Hop Awards’ inception in 2006. Check it out.