Welcome to the Cypher

By Rasaan Booker

Apart from the beefs, blogs, award shows, and record labels is the cypher. In an age where rappers are engulfed in the music industry's colorful festivities, the essential art of storytelling can get overlooked; in the cipher, emcees gather to tell their own unique narratives using a diverse set of flows, schemes, and tropes. Fellow wordsmiths and onlookers observe intently, heads bobbing to every line, faces scrunched in amazement. So let's take a break from the glamour of the posing for paparazzi, making it rain in amidst the smoke machines to take some time to simply rap in a circle with our friends.

Check out this vintage cypher of Chance the Rapper and other Chicago natives!

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