Eminem, Mos Def And Black Thought: Who Ruled The Cypher?

By Steven Roberts

The BET Awards aired last night, and there were plenty of memorable moments. Jay-Z and Young Jeezy opened the show with a performance of "As Real as it Gets," Hov took home the MVP of the Year Award and Ice Cube was honored with the "I Am Hip-Hop" lifetime achievement award for "knockin' n----s out the box, daily, weekly, monthly and yearly." There were also performances from Snoop, Gucci Mane — excuse me, GUCCI! — and the recently-reunited Goodie Mob.

But the main segments everyone is talking about this morning are the three cyphers that took place during the show, most notably the cypher featuring Mos Def, Black Thought of the Roots and Eminem. Half of the MTV Newsroom is still debating who came the hardest.

Mos Def started off the cypher introducing the three MCs and proclaiming that since they were in his hometown, "I gotta do this for Brooklyn." The Mighty Mos proceeded to shout out various blocks in the borough in his freestyle. Black Thought represented for Philly and completely blacked out. And Eminem brought up the rear and completely murdered it. Slim Shady blended the pill-popping, inane pop culture references and amazing lyrical talent that everyone was expecting from Rehab.

There were also plenty of stand-outs from the first two cyphers. The first saw Nicki Minaj switch up her cadence between her regular high-pitched voice to an even squeakier animated one, while Joe Budden brought the same lyrical prowess that has made him such a polarizing figure. The second was a blend of teachers and students: Old-schooler KRS-One introduced newcomers Wale, Nipsey Hussle and Tunisian MC Gsan, each of whom threw down like veterans.

What do you think? Did Eminem steal the cypher or should the lyrical crown be given to Black Thought or Mos Def? Leave your thoughts in the comments!