Behind-The-Scenes At Sincere Cypherz' "The Essense"

Frankie Piff gives a first-person perspective of the cypher that featured Ave, Mike P, Ty Law, MyVerse and more.

June 11. It's roughly 7:30 p.m. when I arrive at Damatrix Studios in The Bronx for Sincere's eighth rap cypher event, "The Essence." It was supposed to rain that afternoon but the Rap Gods had other plans as emcees like Mike P, Ave, Jai and others gathered outside on the studio rooftop discussing upcoming match-ups and battle rap politics over blunts and cups of Hennessy.

MyVerse isolates herself in her own corner of the rooftop, pacing back and forth rehearsing her bars as last-minute stragglers like DOT and Ty Law show up and are embraced like family by fellow emcees and supporters.

All the while Sincere — known for his role in the PG Bloggers and now as the founder of the cypher series that bears his name — busily yet calmly scrambles between the roof and sound studio checking on his talent while finding himself on the other side of the camera lenses taking interviews with media. It’s about to go down!

Sincere Cypherz started two years ago outside of a URL PG event. The ritual has since evolved from battle rappers spitting throwaway bars in front of PG Blogger cameras to small venues being booked and fans buying tickets to watch juggernauts like Tay Roc, DNA and Cortez perform material written specifically for the event.

Who knew there was an untapped market for battle rappers to display their talents outside of the ring? The music route has been an uphill battle for most emcees in the culture and these cyphers could help make the stage-to-wax hurdle an easier transition for fans. Or it could grow into its own monster.

Sincere started the cyphers to help emcees develop their non-battle sound.

"I figured let me get these battle rappers together so we can hear bars from them other than hearing rap battle bars. They are all-around artists. They shouldn't just be labeled 'battle rappers,'" he explained.

One thing that stood out to me most at "The Essence" was some of the emcees' own unique ways of displaying uncharted lyrical territory within their styles in their verses. DOT kicked off the cypher with a surprising no-BS, straight-to-the-punch approach.


Ave gave the haymakers some time off to offer a deeper look into his personal life.


Mike P probably brought the most substance to the table forcing listeners to take a look in the mirror while still riddling the cypher with metaphors to remind his fellow emcees he won’t be outshined.

Mike P

MyVerse fiercely showed the depth of her ability, proving she’s more than just a pretty face with some bars.


Ty Law probably got the most reaction in the building that day, using the opportunity to prove he can do what he does in a battle on wax too: punch your lights out.

Ty Law

Jerry Wess had an insane scheme that included every cypher participant’s name.

Jerry Wess

Brooklyn emcee Took gave us all a face-scrunching look into a young father’s life trying to excel in the game for his child’s sake. Yeah, shit got real.


Sincere also added a non-battle rapper to the mix, an emcee by the name of Beans, a petite young lady with a soft voice that wowed the crowd spitting some heavy shit with a hardcore demeanor. Safe to say nobody was expecting that.


Ya Boy Clip had my favorite flow out the bunch, bouncing multies off the instrumental like nobody’s business.

Hip Hop in its purest form was in the building!

“My goal is to have the best cyphers that anyone's ever thrown. Each cypher I throw I want it to be better and better. I organized my cyphers accordingly and I know how to choose the artist and the instrumentals. I got a gift for that,” said Sincere of the future of the series.

Check out TWR's behind-the-scenes footage from the event too:

Photos all courtesy of @THESIS_HYSC.

UPDATE: The video is up now.