The Chronicle presents the Black History Cypher

February 25
11:43 2021

Culture is defined as the customs, arts, social institutions, and achievements of a particular nation, people or other social group, and nothing says Black or African American culture like hip-hop. Created on the streets of New York in the mid-1970s, for years hip-hop has been the voice of the people and today this art of storytelling is exported and recreated across the world.

To celebrate hip-hop and Black History Month, a few weeks ago The Chronicle invited seven local artists to participate in a cypher. The term cypher refers to a friendly group performance where a beat is played and the different artists take turns performing their verse.

The artists were asked to write a verse on culture, to a beat supplied by Grammy Award-winning producer 9th Wonder, who is a graduate of Glenn High School. The artists were invited by local videographer and artist manager Gregg Penn. Before recording at Digital Recordings (DLR) studio on Indiana Ave., on Thursday, Feb. 12, artists sat down to discuss the cypher, the beat, culture, and the current state of hip-hop. Artists included Ricky Ruckus, Chris Lewis, Cali Madrid, 14K Numbers, Young Dirt, Piiiiipe Extras, and Royal P.

Although all the artists had a different flow and sound, they all said it was an honor to be invited and to be able to rap to a 9th Wonder beat. Ricky Ruckus, who is an artist and a producer, said when he first heard that 9th made the beat, he knew he had to come with his best.

“It just gives you that classic feel and instantly I was like, I know big bro is going to hear this, I gotta go in,” Ricky Ruckus said.

Young Dirt, who is a native of Reidsville, said he thought the cypher was a good idea because it’s time that we celebrate hip-hop as an art form. He said, “It’s time for that now and I’m definitely happy to be a part of it.”

Chris Lewis echoed those sentiments when asked the same question. He said, “With it being Black History Month, the timing was perfect.”

Cali and 14K Numbers, who are both from Winston-Salem, thanked The Chronicle for creating the platform for local artists. “I put myself aside and I looked at what the purpose was and it made me feel like I had a place here,” Cali said.

14K Numbers said, “I felt privileged just to have this opportunity, especially with the platform it’s being presented on with us being from here, that makes it even bigger for me.”

The Black History Month Cypher can be viewed by visiting The Chronicle’s YouTube channel.

The Chronicle presents the Black History Cypher - overview



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Tevin Stinson

Tevin Stinson

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