Although it’s a cypher and a freestyle arena, you can’t make it out of the VS Class without constant practice. Unless you’re Vector tha Viper. He’s probably done ten times more practice than your average rapper.
When you’re upcoming and still at the point of climbing, and you passed the auditions; you won’t want to mess your self up on that cypher. These live session are a very important yardstick of measurement in hip hop.
So you gotta just write, rehearse, freestyle, and do all those before getting into the class. Maybe this is why many “freestyles” on the Hennessy Cypher 2017 sounded like whole full-blown songs (Vemor, I’m looking at you). While some were just too fast to be completely of the dome (What’s his name… Erm, Prometh)
Vector is a freestyle Lord, we know. It’s not necessary to add him to this list. And, another point worthy of note is that the lyrical legends actually all sounded freestyle-ish. I guess that’s why they were just “doing anyhow” on the clip.
Having said all that, here is a list of nine rappers from the Hennessy Cypher 2017, who delivered freestyles that actually sounded like freestyles in my opinion.
He opened the Hennessy Cypher 2017 for me. Seriously, some people didn’t watch “Unstoppable Rebels” as much. The atmosphere was heated up. Like he was literally sweating. When he started, I was relaxed and calm, nodding my head and slowly catching the vibe. But soon it escalated. It’s a great freestyle, and that’s why a new age rapper in 2017 could rhyme the word “Equal” with “People”.
He is my favorite rapper. But it has nothing to do with my previous article about his lyricism nor his appearance on this list. Man, did you hear the man rap? He was actually freestyling meaningful bars and catching his breath. No too much speed, no jumping up and down.
He sounded like a Pro freestyle rapper. But, I wondered why he wasn’t so funny. Well, maybe it’s just how a freestyle goes. Now that brings me to the next on the list.
7. WALE TURNER
Seriously, he was doing a comedy skit. Even his gestures were totally hilarious. And his lines are Falz-esque. They actually remind me of Falz’s role in Jenifa’s Diary. (That part where Adaku ate the cake he bought for Jenifa)
Apart from the comic approach, and the fact that he really had nothing to talk about. The lack of too many poetic devices shows he was on a freestyle. He was so relaxed, he didn’t notice he was rapping off the beat.
“E nor easy to be rapper, asin to dey flow with sense”
“I’m not regular, wallahi, Eyan Speed Darlington!”
From The Gidi Gang, Poe dishes his bars with sense like Falz but not as effortless as Wale Turner. He was actually feeling the heat on his brain. I could tell from the look on his face. This was a certified rap couplet, It’s dope sh*t, but it was “actually” a freestyle.
“Don’t blame it on the BOMB, blame the one to light the fuse..” At first, I thought he was saying “Leave the one till I defuse”
The Kings Quest was BANG! Jessay was cool on it and so was Prometh, but his verse there can’t be any farther from a freestyle. It was a trap beat, and he drops his bars rhythmically, leaving plausible, understandable spaces for catching his breath. Once he said:
“I want the credit card, but no Dammy Krane”
Everything changed. Vector and PJ exchanged surprised looks and started grooving to what he had to flow next.
But, this is the kinda freestyle I’m expecting on a trap beat, and not
“Mum I’m on TV, look at me / Soon I’mma buy you a Buggati” OR
“Back to the wrap, hustle like Efe, but I can actually rap”
I knew Payper, even before Hennessy Cypher 2017. But I don’t know he could actually freestyle. I became a fan when he dropped “Look What You Did To Him” featuring Terry Tha Rapman.
On his freestyle, I did feel his bars, not because it was the best ever. But because I wanted freestyles and not the best bars ever.
The part that actually stood out was: “..dishing verses with the King Of The South”
3. CLEO THELMA
Finally, someone from the “Femme Fatale” makes the list. All the ladies were awesome, but it’s so hard for me to imagine that all the stuff Muna or Phlowetry were saying had not been written somewhere and rehearsed for two weeks.
What about AT? That chic is hawt. But, here is Cleo. The girl can freestyle, if it wasn’t a freestyle, I don’t know why she needed that “ahaa” and that long “ah” behind “Mayweather fight” phrase.
And let me gist you; freestyle is the only reason you’ll rhyme “that sh*t” with “that sh*t”. And keep repeating it over and over. I counted like fifteen “that sh*t’s” Now, that’s some poetic device called repetition.
Vemor successfully performed a mind-blowing super-duper jam that’ll make sense on a Sess-beat, and stepped off for Holyfield. He was the winner last year and he can actually rap. I love what I heard. Dropping four straight bars without catching his breath.
I don’t think there’s a first aid treatment around if he eventually chokes. “Small work / no play…” and it stepped up a bit. To be honest if I hear this anywhere, I can easily tell it’s a freestyle. But why was Holyfield looking like somebody beat him, and took his biscuit from him?
Give this guy any crown available. He killed the Hennessy Cypher 2017. He’s an attention-grabber. He started by dropping a three syllable word and it was a signal. Like “wait, hear the next line”.
Falz, and everyone in the building, even me at home, waited keenly to hear the next line. He didn’t disappoint: “Fack with me, and your Ogede (banana) gor turn Boli (roasted plantain)” Chai! Falz’s reaction to that line was enough. He went further;
“Incredible, that’s till I cash, making fast money”
And we all waited for the next line, again, only for Dremo to say:
“their money slow, like their income’s Bob Marley.”
Even me at home couldn’t contain that. And please help me ask Staqk G why he was scratching his whole body. You don’t have to make it obvious you’re from Ibadan.
And the sequence of the stuffs he dropped next wasn’t too organized, true to a freestyle!
Almost every freestyle this year made sense to me. However some were actually rapping what should’ve been their last single. Vemor, it’s not fair oh. And what was Yung6ix rapping? Wait, was he actually trying to mumble. BlaqBonez was really good too.
Watch Hennessy Cypher 2017’s Gidi Gang.
About the author
Tylz Ceazar Yo is a young rap artiste and an outspoken music industry commentator. He writes in a very controversial manner and is known to “never let the sleeping dogs lie”. In October 2017, he was inducted into HipHopHead as a contributor.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent the views of HipHopHead.