MC’s to watch: BET Hip Hop Awards Cyphers

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The 2016 BET Hip Hop Awards Cyphers gives us 3 MC’s to keep on our radar

On Tuesday (Oct 4), all eyes were peeled to BET for the most prominent Hip Hop showcase of all time- the BET Hip Hop Awards. Boasting the return of Gucci Mane, and politically driven performances by Big K.R.I.T. and T.I., this year’s awards will potentially dominate headlines all week. In addition to the major keys dropped by DJ Khaled and the gif-laden musings of Black Twitter, the most anticipated moments of the night have always been the notorious BET Hip Hop Awards Cyphers.

Each year the cyphers spotlight Hip Hop in its purest form; with MC’s huddled around a DJ over one sick beat trading 16’s. Pairing music royalty like Mike Biv with rap newcomers like Empire’s Yazz the Greatest was the formula  this time around, curating a mix of talent that we may have never heard on the same platform.

While all of the featured artists left their best bars on the floor, we’ve narrowed down the three that we know you need on your radar. Check out our MC’s to Watch from the 2016 BET HipHop Awards Cyphers, and let us know who you think had the sickest verse.


1. Young M.A., Dave East, Ms. Jade, Kur and Sam Black Cypher. MC to watch: Sam Black

Dubbed the “Rappers on the Rise Cypher”, this round featured a few emcees that have dominated over the past year. Newly minted Def Jam signee Dave East has catapulted to superstar status and Young M.A. gave us the song of the summer with her hit “OOUUU”. Yet The TakeOvah MC to watch is Sam Black. The Jersey City native landed his spot in the cypher via Sprite’s Hot 16 competition, and by the sounds of things this won’t be the last we hear of him.

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“Put a couple you lame rappers on bed rest.” Sam Black

2. Kent Jones, Nick Grant, Russ, A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie, Don Q Cypher. MC to Watch: Nick Grant

The “MC’s with Melodies Cypher” celebrates rap contributors with a silky smooth flow and the carefully curated lineup certainly fits the name.  The MC to watch in this round however is the South Carolina born- ATL transplant Nick Grant. A natural wordsmith, Grant marries his commitment to lyrics with with a nostalgic flow that makes it impossible not to pay attention. His unmatched bars made him the standout of the entire show.

“So who’s the King? I’m surrounding they spot. Modern day Pac, I’m BIG, Jay, Andre & Nas”- Nick Grant

3. Locksmith, Oswin Benjamin, Dead Prez. MC to watch: Oswin Benjamin

The only cypher to be introduced by Sway Calloway, the “Hip Hop Made Me” cypher may be the most talked about of the night. Eyes are peeled on Oswin Benjamin, a native New Yorker with a razor sharp tongue. We’ve seen a lot of growth in Benjamin over the past year and were excited to see him on the BET stage, thus he’s our final MC to watch from the 2016 BET Hip Hop Awards Cyphers.

“I promised my momma I wouldn’t curse on television, but f*ck Trump with a used condom from out the shelter system”- Oswin Benjamin

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