Complex City Cyphers: Episode 1 (feat. Wiki, Your Old Droog, A$AP Ferg & Christian Scott)

Complex has started a series called Complex City Cyphers where they travel to a different city every episode and collaborate with local musicians there in the form of live cyphers. The pilot episode takes place in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn where, assisted by a live band, Grammy-nominated jazz musician Christian Scott provides the music for a cypher with Wiki, Your Old Droog, and A$AP Ferg. Check out the dope collaboration above.

-AO

XXL Freshman Class Cyphers: Part 3 (Dej Loaf, Fetty Wap & Shy Glizzy)

XXL has released the last cypher from this year's freshman class. Dej Loaf, Fetty Wap and Shy Glizzy 'wax poetic' over a calm, slow-tempo beat. Dej Loaf was decent and takes the crown in this cypher by default as Fetty Wap and Shy Glizzy failed to deliver much to think about. Check it out above.

My Rating: Dej Loaf > Shy Glizzy and Fetty Wap

-AO

XXL Freshman Class Cyphers: Part 2 (GoldLink, OG Maco & Vince Staples)

Part 2 of XXL's Freshman Class cyphers features GoldLink, OG Maco and Vince Staples going in over a dope beat by DJ Don Cannon. Both Vince Staples and GoldLink were very impressive. Stay tuned for the remaining cypher coming soon.

My Rating: Vince Staples > GoldLink > OG Maco

-AO

Watch Tyler, the Creator and Vince Staples Freestyle On Hot 97

Tyler, the Creator and Vince Staples stopped by Hot 97 to chop it up with Rosenberg and Ebro; while there, they decided to drop a freestyle. Staples delivered some written material, but seemed to stumble over the lines. Tyler went straight off the top and delivered a pretty nice freestyle. Check it out and enjoy.

-AO

Raury, Goldlink & Vince Staples (XXL Freshman Class Freestyles)

The next installment of XXL's Freshman Class freestyles features Raury, Goldlink, and Vince Staples. They decide to take a traditional route with their freestyles, laying down some fierce bars for the camera. They've set a high bar for their remaining classmates as they all delivered top notch verses. Enjoy.

-AO

Fetty Wap & Dej Loaf (XXL Freshman Class Freestyles)

XXL's Freshman Class season is a busy time. The inductees perform freestyles, cyphers, roundtable discussions and more. Needless to say, they receive a lot of exposure. The first two freestyles of this year's class have now been released. Fetty Wap and Dej Loaf are up first, and they deliver a couple safe verses that don't really showcase much of their ability. Hopefully, the rest of the freshmen show us something special. Enjoy.

-AO

Shady CXVPHER (Slaughterhouse, Yelawolf & Eminem)

Eminem and his Shady Records label are releasing their Shady XV album on November 24th. it is a double-disc album that will feature greatest hits on one disc and new material on the other. In promotion for the album, Eminem, Yelawolf, and Slaughterhouse (Joell Ortiz, Crooked I, Royce Da 5'9", and Joe Budden) decided to bless us with a cypher. They each went a cappella, spitting verses in areas located in their respective cities.

My ranking: Eminem > Joell Ortiz > Crooked I > Royce Da 5'9" > Yelawolf > Joe Budden

Joe Budden seemed to "wax melancholic" for his verse and the act he was playing of rapping his verse only to fulfill an obligation didn't really seem like an act after a while. He seems to be going through it and his verse didn't really look like he was trying. The other standouts for me were Joell Ortiz and Eminem. It's never been a secret how lyrical the members of Slaughterhouse are, but I think Ortiz really outclassed his group members. His intricate wordplay and aggressive delivery really stood out. 

Now I think it is safe to say that Eminem is the best technical rapper out there. The way he approaches verses is methodical and calculated. He SLAYED his verse. The dude is just unreal; he could probably outrap anyone alive. However, I do think his comments about the Ray Rice situation were in very poor taste. There are some things you just don't say, but I guess Eminem has never stayed away from those things. Other than that, he continues to show that he's still got it. Enjoy.

-AO

Tyler, The Creator (#LIFTOFF Open Bar Freestyle)

The LA Leakers have introduced a new segment called 'Open Bar' where they give artists a beat and they spit 4 bars on 4 topics. Big Sean, Chris Brown, and Tinashe have tackled this segment so far but I think Tyler, The Creator has done the best. He's a really good freestyler and even though he was being silly, he laid down some nice bars. Check it out above and enjoy.

-AO