I’ve had the opportunity to review 3 projects by Cypher the Avatar during 2015, so I’m going to repeat myself again, just so that it is clear to everybody – Cypher the Avatar is definitely an artist carving out his own uniqueness. Fans of creative music in general, not just rap heads, will appreciate this man’s raw talent and ability to make interesting alternative hip-hop music. It has been like this on all his releases, and continues to be so with his latest 16 track mixtape “fallout” which is a prelude to the upcoming “Radiation” collection of songs.
The music that Cypher the Avatar makes is an anomaly. The way Cypher wears his heart on his sleeve is rare, and his words combined with the various eclectic beats supplied by specially selected producers, is the type of sound that helps define the underground, and the independent hip-hop movement.
The hip-hop genre has fragmented into such strange territories that the concept of alternative hip-hop almost doesn’t mean much anymore, but Cypher the Avatar is still fighting to keep this scene strong.
That puts “fallout” in a strange position. It’s a strong mixtape, yet it almost sounds traditionalist compared to some of the stranger sounds that can be found in modern hip-hop. Cypher however, still is a hero of the underground; the line between him and the mainstream as usual is quite clearly defined.
Cypher has done a good job at remaining true to its roots while the rest of hip-hop has changed drastically around him. That commitment to a certain style can either be praised or criticized, but at least with Cypher the Avatar the music is consistently enjoyable.
It’s fitting then that the artist continually pushes the genre into newer, more interesting territory. It’s a generalization, sure, but his lyrics tend to document the messed-up world around him while contextualizing his own thoughts and actions within that world as it changes. “fallout” is a continuation of that trend.
Most of the lines on the mixtape sound spontaneous and smooth-flowing, especially when articulated clearly in Cypher’s slow, straightforward delivery. His sing-song flow strengthens the instrumental stabs on songs like “Wake n Bake ft. Mikul (prod. by CD Moura)”, “Open Eye (prod. by Shaquon Thomas) and “fallout (prod. by CD Moura)”.
The production throughout, shines alongside the rapping, while the lyrics are often as strong as you’d expect from Cypher the Avatar , but it’s the way they’re delivered that has become more unpredictable, and more interesting as the mixtape progresses.
Many artists that have faced problems of relevance after continued subsequent releases, while Cypher the Avatar has made a mixtape that’s somehow, both, really good and pretty exciting. “Fallout” is a Cypher the Avatar mixtape, which means that it is going to be better than many hip-hop releases this year, but it’s also exactly what you’d expect from this artist.
Essential tracks to look out for: “Tsunami (prod. by WakeO Castle)”, “FWM3 (prod. by Grayson Michael)”, “Bud God ft. T r e Z (prod. by Mikul)”, “Llama (prod. by CD Moura)” and Wanna Tell You Everything (prod. by Lil Ugly)”.