The Best Hip Hop Convo

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After returning from participating in a panel discussion for Hip Hop Education Week at Essex County College in Newark, NJ today, I started to think. Some of the best conversations about Hip Hop have already happened. They happen in schools, back stage at shows, in bars, in back yards, or in living rooms and basement studios around the World. Sometimes its a room full of True Hiphoppas of no particular public fame or in the case of the Cypher, rap stars of special significance. Shades of Hip Hop – The Cypher was originally recorded in December of 1997 on DMX’s birthday at the Match Cafe in NYC. This particular segment is some of the unedited footage from the roundtable discussion with Big Pun, Mos Def, John Forte, Mic Geronimo, Canibus and of course DMX. Here they talk about their favorite word among other things. Stay tuned for more…

By the way if you’re wondering how I got this footage, you’ll be happy to know it’s me doing the sometimes wobbly camera work. However, don’t hate cause for a one camera shoot, in a small-ass crowed cafe at lunch-time in downtown Manhattan, I think I got some pretty awesome shots (lol).  Check out the shots of DMX blowing smoke rings and the shots over Mos Def’s shoulder into the mirror. There’s also some shots of Pun on the phone talking to his wifey during the convo. In the business, they call that awesome b-roll!


Kurt Nice

Kurt Nice aka Kurtiss Jackson is a behind the scenes pioneer in the Hip Hop Kulture, creating the first nationally distributed video mix tape series, Shades of Hip Hop, in the late 1990s. Since touring the country with the Stop the Violence Movement and the Temple of Hip Hop as KRS-ONE’s National Marketing Director, Kurt Nice has been a constant commentator on conscious Hip Hop and its relevance to the new rap music of today, through radio and cable appearances. contact Kurt at

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