Cypher – the process of tapping into your subconscious. A state of mind where thoughts and actions flow from your mind rather than being instrumented.   Clearly shown in freestyle rap circles. 

There are certain rituals that need to be followed when you enter a neighborhood where thugology and convictonomics are not just career choices but also a lifestyle. You’ve got to keep your eyes down but your awareness up. You got to walk with a swagger that says you’re confident while showing a little humility to prove you don’t own the place. You want your face to say I’m approachable because I’m one of you, while daring somebody to even approach you. You got to keep your head straight, pretending not to see these future felons, while at the same time keeping your head on a constant swivel in case some fool tries to run up on you. I’m only sixteen, all this posturing and pretending is exhausting.

It’s bad enough I’m doing this at night when it’s dark, but it’s October and the heat came back like my Dad from his latest stint from rehab. (Yesterday morning my Dad really came to me, tears in his eyes, and asked if I was going to congratulate him on being "thirty-six hours sober." Then he asked me for three bucks.) So I’m sweating like all I got is an EBT card in a cash only spot, and I know each bead of perspiration will look like punk juice to these goons out here and I’m not trying to quench anyone’s thirst. I need to preoccupy myself.

I pull out my phone, go to favorites and press on the only name there. A robotic voice instructs me to listen to a song while my party is located. One of my favorite hip-hop joints begins to play. I ignore the lyrics, and replace them with my own rhymes. I’m rapping along softly when a raspy voice breaks the trance I’m in. 


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