Veteran DJ, radio personality and businessman Cipha Sounds spoke on The NY Hip Hop Report, detailing his Hip Hop Improv show series, as well as his relationship with Rihanna, respect for Hov and why he is not going to break your record on Hot 97.
Days after the pop princess Rihanna gave unexpected but heartfelt Instagram props to the Hot 97 Morning Show co-host, Cipha Sounds called into the weekly New York hip hop radio talk show and explained the relationship between the two.
“There’s lots of artists that I played their record first, or I was part of the movement of getting them known,” the former Def Jam A&R executive explained to show host Manny Faces. “But there’s a handful of artists that I really feel I was monumental in their career. She’s one of them.”
He continued, “For her to put that up the other day, out of the blue, and just show the love… It feels amazing.”
Later in the interview, Cipha explained why he wasn’t in a position to break new music on the radio anymore, a criticism that some mainstream DJs often face, particularly in hip hop. Cipha explained, “There’s a time and place for it. I used to be on at night or the weekend, where you can play new music and it won’t disrupt the ratings. I’m on the morning show now. There’s no fooling around with the morning show ratings. That’s where we get all the money for the station. I’m DJing for moms driving their kids to school. So when people come up to me and say ‘Yo, you don’t break new music!’ I’m like, ‘You right!, I don’t. But Rosenberg does. Kay Slay does.’
Moving on to his new love, Cipha Sounds was excited to detail the ongoing success of his Take It Personal: Hip Hop Improv series, held weekly on Friday night at the UCBEast Theater. He explained how the show came to be, and how transformational it has been, especially for the rappers who come to participate, often not fully aware of what they’re getting into.
“Jadakiss walked in and had the grimiest, sourest screwface on,” Cipha Sounds recalled. “He’s looking at the audience and said ‘Ciph, what you got me doing?’ I said, ‘Kiss… Just trust me. All you gotta do is come on stage and tell a story.’ He comes up. He tells his story. He watches the first half. He’s dying laughing. He comes back on stage for the second half. Screwface is gone. He’s smiling, laughing. That happens to every rapper that comes. They don’t know what it is and they end up loving it.”
Cipha Sounds also spoke on working with Jay Z, his respect for the late Chris Lighty and The Movement, his current project seeking to improve collaborative efforts in the music scene.