Raleigh hip hop is alive and well thumping hard from the tunnels of NC State. What started as a gathering of Raleigh’s finest for a photo shoot 3 years ago has grown into a weekly freestyle cypher featuring local and legendary talent. My man Ghost Dog put me on to this event that goes down every Monday night at 11:30 at the Graffiti Tunnels of NC State. You know Oak City Hustle had to pay a visit.
L!ve, a member of Ghost Dog’s crew “1100 Hunters” was the first to call the gathering that connected the livest local emcees while Ill Tactics painted a graffiti backdrop for the album art shot by Khali Rhe & Darryl Smith. After the photoshoot was over these emcees couldn’t leave without a proper cypher. The night was so hot they decided to make it a weekly gathering. For three years the event has grown under the organizational watch of Ghost Dog, Eternal, Brother Jru, & Fernando Sanders. Legendary emcees have been know to show up including Blueprint (Rhymesayers), Prince Po (Organized Konfusion), 9th Wonder & the Jamla camp, as well as other Justus League members such as Cesar Comanche & DJ Flash.
I spoke to Ghost Dog about his vision for the gathering and what is on the horizon for upcoming cyphers:
“Our aim is to preserve the art of lyricism & encourage heads to tap into their inherent creativity & for spectators & new listeners to gain an understanding & appreciation for the elements of hip-hop. As such, we have had some of the cypha heads spread out as they maybe moved/transferred/just got around that have started cyphers at several universities across the state including Central, A&T, & UNC Charlotte. We are trying to make this a lasting movement”
We are having a HUGE back-to-school cypher on August 26th. Already confirmed is a DJ on-hand, b-boys, Ill Tactics (who was responsible for the original cypha tag-session; which can be seen in the God Cypher Divine credits) returning to lace some more artwork, & what we are trying to accomplish for the event is to get some of the pioneers of the game to attend & support; as we push to make this a lasting & legitimate part of NC (& hip-hop) culture. It’ll be a bit of an earlier cypher; bout 9-9:30-ish instead of the usual 11-11:30 start time.”
Connect with Ghost Dog on Facebook for more info and make sure you find your way to the tunnels to see how NC holds it down.