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March 05, 2009 - Image 9

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The Michigan Daily, 2009-03-05

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B The Michigan Daily I

michigandaily.com I Thursday, March 5, 2009

weekend
essentials
Mar. 5 to Mar. 8
CONCERT
No performance this
year will carry more
clout and pure artistic
star power than the
New York Philharmonic
at Hill Auditorium this
Saturday at 8 p.m.
Established in 1842,
the orchestra is led by
celebrated maestro
Lorin Maazel, now in
his last year of con-
ducting. Don't miss the
chance to see him live.
Tickets starting at $10.

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STUDENTS IN THE CYPHER REACH FOR AUTHENTICITY
WITH THEIR COMMITMENT TO FREESTYLE RAPPING
BY RHIANNON HALLER I DAILY ARTS WRITER

IT'S AROUND 9 p.m. on a
Tuesday in East Quad's Abeng
Multicultural Lounge. A few
students sit in comfy armchairs7
listening to hip-hop beats, recit- de
ing poems to each other and spt
discussing a mixtape they plan it i
on recording. Kinesiology senior spa
Walt Lacey begins freestyling co
and the people around him begin
to clap. As the clapping gets st
louder, the energy in the room in
builds. People cheer in response .m
to certain lines and jeer at others; a
a few guys start dancing and the ti
beat gets more complicated as The tc
Cypher's Tuesday meeting comes s
into full swing.o
After a few minutes of one or h
two people rapping, everybody 1
joins in with a chorus of "Tell them1
to get back!" The flowing energy1
continues, and then the group qui-
ets down as a female voice comes
in, humming softly while gradu-
ally getting louder. People begin
rak in over her takin turns and

The Cypher is a hip-hop collective
dicated to perfecting the art of both
oken and written word. Lacey founded
n 2004 when he saw the need for a safe
ace for Michigan's student hip-hop
mmunity to practice its work.
About 15 minutes pass, and the free-
tyle circle - or "cypher," as it's known
the hip-hop com-
unity - breaks. After
few minutes of chat- FINDING
ing, Lacey walks up
oa .chalkboard and IN THE
crawls a few wordsh
on it: passion, legacy, TO CREA
heart, love, struggle,
life, movement, hip RHYThM
hop, music, rhythm,
bass and soul. These
words act as prompts for a free-writ-
ing exercise, which concludes The
Cypher meeting.
Engineering freshman Alex
Wyszewianski and LSA junior Isaac
Boachie-Ansah are two regular
Cypher attendees. Wyszewian-
ski heard about The Cypher when
he went to a freestyling event on
the Diag during Welcome Week.
Boachie-Ansah discovered The
Cypher by randomly running into
a group of people freestyling on the
Diag during his sophomore year.
For him, attending Cypher meet-
ings was originally just a creative
outlet. But now .it has become
something more.
"The Cypher became a family

4
+

for me," he said.
Though The Cypher's members all
joined the group for differentreasons,
it's clear that they're held together by
a common thread: a love for hip hop.
"It's what I was raised on," says
Boachie-Ansah.
While hestill lis-
tensto other genres
SYNERGY of music, Boachie-
Ansahlikes hip hop
MOMENT because it address-
es everyday strug-
TE MUSIC, gles. For Lockett,
whogrewup listen-
AND SOUL. ing to Gloria Este-
fan and Billy Joel
and didn't become
interested in rap until high school, it's
the creativity that draws him in.
Wyszewianski views hip hop as a
tool to further a social agenda. He says
that hip-hop artists not only express
their opinions, but also tell people
what they think should be done to
effect change.
"A lot of other music doesn't have
this," he explained.
The kind of hip hop the members
of The Cypher are talking about, they
insist, isn't the kind students dance
to at college parties. Wyszewianski
explains that there are four elements
to "real" hip hop: emceeing (freestyl-
See+IiP HOP, Page 4B

FILM
Is there asingle student
who hasn't seen the
timeless college clas-
sic "Animal House?"
The "College" T-shirts
will be out in full force
at the Michigan The-
ater on Monday at 7
p.m., when the film will
show as part of the the-
ater's "Coming-of-Age
Comedies Series." If
that doesn't sound like
your cup of tea, there's
also Terry Gilliam's
cult classic "Brazil,"
playing Saturday at
midnight at the State.
ON STAGE
This Friday, up-and-
coming comedian Mike
Birbiglia brings his
shtick to the Michigan
Theater as the main
attraction of Pi Kappa
Alpha's seventh annual
Pike Comedy Night.
Birbiglia has appeared
on both Late Night and
The Late Show, and has
been featured on Com-
edy Central. Birbiglia
is helping Pike raise
money for local Ann"
Arbor charities, as pro-
ceeds will be donated.
Tickets starting at $15.

i

making sure that her voicF
audible.
1 1 It's remarkable how intu
: 1"one is with one another. T
down, speed up and switcht
and harmonies at the same t
a perfectly rehearsed orch
except the synergy is all cs
ated in the moment.

e is still
rne every-
hey slow
the beats
time, like
hestra -
re-

READING
Long before iPods,
movies and late-night
"M*A*S*H" reruns,
humans had to rely on
storytelling to keep
themselves enter-
tained. This Saturday,
one of the most primi-
tive forms of entertain-
ment will take on new
life at The Ark's 22nd
Annual Storytelling
Festival. Cuban-Amer-
ican raconteur Antonio
Sacre will headline
the event. Fellow sto-
ryteller Sue Black will
also perform. Tickets
$20. Show starts at
7:30 p.m. Doors at 7.

CHANEL VON HABSBURG-LOTHRINGEN/Daily
Every Tuesday, members of The cypher meet in East Quad's Abeng Multicultural Lounge to express themselves
through a variety of artistic outlets, including freestyle rapping and writing exercises. The gro.up was formed in 2004 to
give Michigan students a hip hop forum that kept its focus on the music.

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