In the dark…around the back….down the driveway…in the basement…people gather in a circle amidst a bass that thumps…Hard. I was redirected where to park by some silhouetted breathers, but assured the trek in the rain was “well worth it”. So I reverse, with a chide promising repercussions for anything less, my teasing slightly irritating “my date”, but exciting my nerves. I return dank with rain, but as I step across threshold of Wonderroot, I became saturated with pure emotion. At the nucleus of the orbit was Acosta, governing through the operation of documentation, along with a MC of the mcs, facilitating the ebb and flow.
Soul Food Cypher was created as a platform for lyrical expression and creativity. Acosta, a self-proclaimed, “disciple of the culture” savored the moments of unfiltered, metered, lyrical spontaneity, but was dissatisfied with its lack of organization and regularity. A regular scheduled program was born that would not only support these happenings with a time and space, but also work against negative conceptions of hip hop, as well as, challenge and develop artistry and skill.
With the serotonin circulating through my veins, good vibes, and smiling faces all around I couldn’t help to wonder where the cypher’s daggers were hiding. The ones that cut through to your soul all the way to your week-old Jordans. The ones that have made boys men through volatile haikus, limericks and non-sequiters swiftly perforating the shield of bravado and attacking one’s skill and dexterity of vocabulary. Does it exist here? Is there a limit to the free part of their freestyles? “There is freedom of speech but there’s a big emphasis on respect and not offending anyone. And if something isn’t pg-13 or cleaner then it won’t be showcased thru videos or anything. That can lead to MCs feeling muzzled slightly…”, a source tells me.
Though there is an understanding that limits the linguistic blade, it’s not totally outlawed…..though certainly not supported and promoted. At any cost, SFC offers the opportunity to use your first inalienable right to address moments in your life, experiences, frustrations and celebrations.
Sadly, on this occasion we memorialized a soul gone home. I learned of SHY, whose use of word manipulation fascinated all who had a chance to witness it. Rest in Power SHY.
Go Now to http://www.soulfoodcypher.com or see for yourself at Wonder Root, Memorial Drive, Atlanta every 4th Sunday 6pm.