Inside Look | Peep Delaware group Cypher Clique’s New Project “Everyone is Dangerous”
There’s a great deal to be said about the stars aligning when in pursuit of something great. That’s what Dover, Delaware hip-hop squadron Cypher Clique has been grinding for since 2007, and with the release of their latest EP and short story package titled Everyone is Dangerous on February 4, it’s clear to see that there’s some constellations shifting into motion, and the Clique is on the precipice of something major. Oh, and did I mention that they’re also fresh off the heels of being the named as the first Delaware hip-hop act ever to perform at the first state’s steady growing music festival, Firefly? With such a huge honor bestowed upon them coupled with the release of their latest project, the Clique realizes that their time is now, and none of that time can be spent half-steppin’.
“With Spring and Summer coming, we’re switching into tour mode. We’re in the process of booking a hefty amount of shows and expanding this year, and in turn hopefully reaching new markets,” says Mic Anthony, the group’s designated shit talker and one of the main contributors to the Clique’s ever developing sound. With a multitude of shows and opportunities on the horizon, the DE group has got a lot to be excited about, but there’s no denying that the first state’s festival isn’t just another notch on the Clique’s belt — one that includes opening for acts like Wale, A$AP Rocky, Mac Miller, Meek Mill, and Action Bronson.
“It’s historical. Hopefully the Firefly Festival continues on for the next fifty years so we can look back and say we were the first. Firefly is a great accomplishment, but there is still much more to be done,” Mic admitted. As Anthony alludes to, being named to the east coast festival’s 2015 lineup among the likes of Beatles front man Paul McCartney, OG west coast icon Snoop Dogg, Cleveland musician KiD CuDi, and EDM mastermind Steve Aoki is pivotal, but the booking isn’t a certified validation that the Clique has “made it.” Instead, it merely raises the bar for the collective, and with a long 2015 calendar year ahead of them, they’re dialed in on what’s necessary for them to progress to the next level. Keeping that in mind, their aforementioned project Everyone is Dangerous is surely a step in the right direction.
The project, which is actually a compilation of nine songs as well as a short, post-apocalyptic narrative written by Cypher Clique associate Erich, showcases what the group has been working on since they dropped their last joint “Greatest Show on Thirst” this past August. The EP does a thorough job in ushering its listeners into a musical environment that capitalizes on sounds and concepts that the Clique has perfected on projects prior, but a number of the tracks also wander into realms that could be categorized as experimental when you view the group’s musical catalog as a whole.
“Rakim in 88,” a joint produced by Clique member D-Major, is a prime example of the group doing what they do best, with all three members flipping the script over a boom bap beat that rips a sample from A Tribe Called Quest’s canonical record “Bonita Applebum.” As Mic staked claimed on the group’s vlog in January, the track features Major’s best verse to date, and Relay and Mic come through with a clinic on flowetry as well. Other tracks on the project that seem sonically familiar to the group’s formula are “Her Phone Died,” as well as Relay’s word play wonder “Midnight Rush.”
Since ’05, ran game like ball courts
Money was the motive, wasn’t into fall sports
Posted on the corner, more routes than Stallworth
— Relay – “Her Phone Died”
While a number of tracks came across as familiar territory for the Delaware trio, other joints on the EP stuck out as well, and for good reason. Tracks like the project’s intro jam “Michael Sam Jersey Sales,” “The Channel Davis Interlude,” and “298 Trafalgar Drive,” all bring forth sounds that are entirely new for the Clique, yet they’re what give the EP the legs to travel outside the boundaries of conventionality. One of the most notable additions to the Clique’s repertoire is that of member Mic Anthony singing, a tactic that he claims came up unconsciously.
“I honestly didn’t realize how much I was singing on the project until we started doing the final track list. After we released Greatest Show on Thirst in August, we just kept making music. Everyone is Dangerous wasn’t a project at all. It wasn’t until December that we realized we had a whole new project on our hands. We had a group of loose tracks that came together cohesively over time. I guess it all happened naturally.”
Whether intentional or not, Mic’s singing is a welcome addition to the Clique’s clip, as it allows them to branch out to a strand of hip-hop that’s becoming increasingly popular thanks to figureheads like Yeezy, Drake, and Childish Gambino. On the song “The Channel Davis Interlude,” Mic laments about a chick that he bagged back in the day, weaving through the Tribe Beats production with a chorus that’s sure to barricade itself in your head after only a few listens.
I was chillin’ wit a pretty twenty-somethin’ that night, said she got a man that can’t give pipe… Damn, I miss my hookah.
I was chillin’ wit ya shorty in the backseat (backseat), called it quits, now she messin’ with an athlete… Damn, I miss my hookah — I need my hookah.
— Mic Anthony – “The Channel Davis Interlude” ft. Frank Boy
The track also features verses from Relay and Cypher Clique frequent collaborator Frank Boy, and it’s undoubtedly one of the EP’s top tracks. In addition, “298 Trafaglar Drive,” is another joint that features Mic mixing melodies and rhymes, a tactic that Mic says he will look to improve upon over the course of the next year.
” As an artist and as a group I just want to continue to get more experimental with the sound. I’m a fan of rappers that push the limits of the genre, so I definitely aspire to be one of those artists in time.” As evidenced by the tracks mentioned above, Mic and his Cliquemates are progressing towards the next chapter of their musical journey as a unit, but thankfully with the assistance of some familiar faces. Tribe Beats, producer of former fire Clique jams “Good Money,” as well as “I Feel Right,” contributed three tracks on the project, and Erich, an artist on some of the Clique’s earliest projects, appeared all over the EP as well. The combination of Tribe and Erich making appearances on the Clique’s tracks is something that should be welcomed, as they further solidify the content that the group has found their footing on over the course of the past three years in particular.
“He enhances the swag of our group and he helps put the lifestyle I’m trying to portray into a better perspective that can be easily consumed and understood by our audience,” says Mic of Erich. “The short stories were completely Erich’s idea. He told me he was writing them so we decided to make it happen. No one else is doing it, so we definitely stand out.”
As for Tribe, Mic acknowledged that the producer is his go to guy when the Clique is looking to tread in uncharted territory.
“When I record at Tribe’s it’s a whole different vibe. Everything is usually created from scratch. Sometimes we’ll be locked in there for three days at time, with hundreds of bottles and different women coming through to inspire us,” Mic added nonchalantly.
With Erich and Tribe teaming up with the Clique on this EP, that lifestyle that Mic mentioned is coming into a sharper focus with the track “Wake Up Now Money,” and the EP’s crowning achievement (according to ME), “Lit AF.” Both tracks are produced by Tribe, and Mike’s claims of swag are quite evident, especially on the latter. “Lit AF” begins as what sounds like a cuffing season anthem driven by soft piano strokes — but quickly the listener is brought back to reality once Erich kicks off the vocals with a rather blunt “I’m petty and I’m rich as f–k.” At it’s core, “Lit AF” is a social commentary on the shallow relationships formed by members today’s young generation, but on the surface its a banger that you’re ears will beg you to continually revisit.
2014 is in the books, and with some major moves already being made in the new year, Cypher Clique is primed for big things over the course of the next 11 months. Everyone is Dangerous is valid proof that not only are the members of this Delaware collective getting better at the fundamentals that have delivered them to this point, but they’re also navigating new territory for the first time, and with relative ease at that. All nine tracks on this EP render up points of interest, and it’ll be interesting to see how the Clique continues to mold their sound and style with Summer and this year’s Firefly Festival quickly approaching. Check out the Everyone is Dangerous EP at hotnewhiphop.com, give it a listen, and head back here to tell us what you think. You can also read Erich’s short story also titled Everyone is Dangerous at everyoneisdangerous.com.
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