North Texas Daily

Rappers battle on campus

Rappers battle on campus

Rappers battle on campus
February 12
00:01 2015

Samantha McDonald / Senior Staff Writer

Students cheered on their favorite rappers Tuesday night at the university’s first ever hip-hop freestyle battle, UPCypher.

Teaming up with student organization Poetic Justice, the University Program Council hosted the cypher, or rap performance in which everyone uses the same beat, at 7 p.m. at the Gateway Ballroom. Nearly 20 student rappers performed for a crowd that showed its support by voting for the best artist of the night. Communications junior Curtis Rembert took home bragging rights as the winner.

UPC live arts coordinator Montreh Nariman, who helped organize the event, said UPCypher was the council’s first collaboration in several years with Poetic Justice, which often holds rap battles during its meetings.

“I really wanted to partner with UPC to showcase it to students who may not be aware of Poetic Justice and who they are,” Nariman said.

Communication design freshman Ari Solorio attended the cypher after going to a DJ battle on campus last semester. He said UPC did a good job promoting the cypher and the performances.

“There were some who just brought some to the table,” Solorio said. “It was real. They talked about life – not just cursing, money or women. That’s always nice to hear because you don’t always hear it.”

Poetic Justice community service chair Brayon Potillo said he was frustrated with the way the rappers competed against one another. He described a cypher as a performance in which a group of artists gather to rap to the same beat, taking turns and allowing the crowd to choose the best among them.

“Personally, to me, tonight was not the definition of a cypher,” Potillo said. “This was more in the form of a battle, even though we asked the contestants not to aim anything at each other.”

Psychology junior Malik Hampton, who rapped as a contestant, said although the event wasn’t exactly a cypher, he was impressed with the performances and called it a friendly competition.

He said the important part was that the rappers came prepared with their verses instead of simply free styling.

“You got to have the presence along with the artistry. You got to have the presentation,” Hampton said. “You got to have the confidence to go out there and believe in yourself so other people believe in you.”

Featured Image: Psychology senior Bruce Parker competes against fellow student rappers during UPCypher Tuesday night in the Gateway Ballroom. Photo by Ryan Bibb – Contributing Photographer

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