The life of hip-hop received a breath of fresh air last night on BET's 2013 Hip-Hop Awards show. The resuscitation came from the rappers of the T.D.E camp, Kendrick Lamar, Schoolboy Q, Ab-Soul, Jay Rock, and Isaiah Rashad. Each rapper committed a lyrical murder to Mobb Deep's "Shook Ones (Part II)" instrumental, in a freestyle cypher.
Schoolboy Q kicked the cypher off, delivering rap bars about how no other crew can compete with his. Jay Rock, Ab-Soul, and Isaiah Rashad followed, spitting their own impressive lines over the classic beat used in Eminem's 8 Mile climax scene. Of course, the much talked about man of the night, Kendrick Lamar, was saved for last.
If the "Control" verse from Kendrick caused a stir, then his verse in the cypher may triple the reactions. Rhyming as if he had a huge chip on his shoulder, the Compton MC did not waste a breath rapping to the beat, as he addressed those who felt upset about his previous rapper call-out.
"And nothing's been the same since they dropped Control, and tucked a sensitive rapper back in his pajama clothes," Kendrick furiously rapped, a clear shot at Drake. Drake was not the only rapper who received bullets during the lyrical warpath last night. Meek Mill was a victim as well, who was in attendance for the show. "I say hold up wait a minute, your career ain't shit unless you got some Kendrick in it," referring to Meek's album intro from Dreams and Nightmares.
When the cypher was finished, social media went into a frenzy. Fans raved in tweets and Facebook posts about Kendrick, very reminiscent of when "Control" first dropped. This opens the door to competitive nature in hip-hop again, and we should expect responses from those who may have gotten their panties in a bunch soon.
Check out Kendrick's reaction to being in the BET cypher for the third time:
Also, Schoolboy Q's take on delivering a freestyle in the cypher:
For a full recap of the awards show last night, go to the BET official website.