Recap: Project Cypher IV at Shakespeare's Lower Level in Kalamazoo, MI

There was no mumble rap at Project Cypher IV.

The 4th annual charity concert created by hip-hop artist and philanthropist HighTyde raised $3500 for 1-year-old Sebastian Boice and his family on May 20, 2017. Taking place at Shakespeare’s Lower Level in Kalamazoo, MI, and sponsored by Townsquare Media, 103.3 WKFR, and 104.9 The EDGE, the young boy from Battle Creek, MI diagnosed with Dandy Walker and Hydrocephalus had the best seat in the house.

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Sebastian and his parents were the guests of honor for a show everyone who attended is certain to remember forever. was there the entire night to witness amazing artists slay the stage along with a few heartwarming special presentations.

The show started with HighTyde giving a passionate speech on dismissing fear before he introduced the Boice family. Parents Steve and Aixa took the stage carrying Sebastian, all three were welcomed with a tremendous ovation, a trend that continued throughout the night.

Co-host Mr. Joe Walker, the managing editor of Liquid A&E, would soon join HighTyde to introduce the night’s first act, Erik Stephen. The year-around-touring MC kicked things off with a superb set, setting the tone in admirable fashion.

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Stephen was among several first-time Project Cypher performers. One of those, Da Golden Child, got the women screaming as though he proposed to them.

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Red-carpet regular Mr. 1204 swaggered into his Cypher debut. Fresh off the release of his Honorable C-Note-produced single “Spendin All Night”, he got everybody bouncing. The towering star who also manages Model of the Year Kendra Kouture told, “It’s an honor and blessing to be part of a hip-hop show like this.”

Smoove of Roc Boize returned for his first Cypher since the 2014 original, and it was truly an emotional night for him. He told Liquid Lounge Radio he’d recently lost his mother, and his support of the Boice family came from an all-embracing personal place. Joined by his groupmate Dazh, Smoove turned tears to cheers as the two had everyone laughing and waving their hands to their catchy, clever wordplay.

A group of artists who’ve come to be known as “The Cypher Family” behind the scenes because of their continued support of Project Cypher – Nemoniq, Gerald “G-Ride” King, Erika Sherry, Sick Daze, J-Phrey, Konspiracy Kamp, Ckyttlez, and Griffin – were all back. As expected each of them gave mind-blowing performances. Most impressive was how much they greatly surpassed any of their previous ones. Nemoniq said to, “I like watching everyone and seeing where we’ve all improved and how much we’ve grown.”

The buildup from the initial act through HighTyde’s high-energy performance was a joy to watch. The line-up was certainly well thought out. Griffin followed HighTyde with a headlining performance that was awe-inspiring, to say the least. “The Rhythm” rhymer from California has a command of the stage that appears to come natural. At the conclusion of his set Griffin and Walker jokingly mocked WWE Superstars Enzo and Big Cass by uttering their famous catch phrase, “And you can’t…teach…that!”

HighTyde unified all the artists on stage for the show’s brilliant Cypher finale which was, like previous years, the precise way to cap a concert stacked with star-studded MCs. Once DJ FX dropped the speaker-rocking beat, they all taught the packed Lower Level what hip-hop is all about.

To be clear, though, the night was not all about hip-hop. It was about giving back and teaching everyone the story of Sebastian Boice. It was voiced with heart, honesty, and care.

One of the night’s most touching moments saw hip-hop artist and professional toy collector Big Kid Kingpin present a special gift to the Boice family. There filming a special episode of his YouTube collection series ‘Live from the Hunt’, Kingpin gave Aixa and Steve a special toy he’d hunted specifically for Sebastian, along with toys from his personal collection for the 1-year-old and his older brother. |

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Written by Mr. Joe Walker
Photos – GK Photography, Jon Worthington, Jamie Kolean
Mr. 1204 – as Himself
Nemoniq – as Himself
Producer – Liquid Arts & Entertainment
Creative Director – The Liquidation Committee
Editor – Mr. Joe Walker
Copy Editor – Mr. Joe Walker
Site Editor – Doug Sims
Webmaster – Doug Sims
Twitter – @LiquidAEMag
Instagram – @liquidmagazine

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