Boom Boom Room Needs Your Support

The historic Boom Boom Room in SF’s Fillmore district has been the home of Return of the Cypher for almost seven years now. Our weekly open-mic has rightfully earned the title, “where Hip Hop Culture resides in the Bay Area”, and I consider my involvement with the event to be one of my most meaningful experiences in Hip Hop. R.O.T.C. has definitely taught me the values of camaraderie, selflessness, diplomacy, and giving back; I credit the event for making me not only a better MC, but a better human being. Yes I acknowledge that sounds cheezeball, but I have really learned a lot on the human level through this event.

Unfortunately, the Boom Boom Room is facing permanent closure, due to the current Corona Virus pandemic; BBR has set up a Covid Rescue Fund to alleviate some of their compounding debt. Although the total sum necessary for the emergency fund is stated as 150K, this fundraiser is trying to reach the 60K goal to get dialogue going amongst community members about the seriousness of the situation. Please help out if you can.

Marcus Murray Website

Marcus Murray has always been my graphic designer. I’ve known dude since the late-90’s/ early-2000’s Telegraph Berkeley scene, and he has done every single album cover and official logo of mine. These album covers chronicle my life experience in Hip Hop culture, and I plan to hire him for all future official projects. He has a site now, and limited prints are available!! Artists, if you’re in need of professional graphics, Marcus is your dude.. I can tell you from experience that he’ll diligently work with you through the process, is extremely responsive to feedback, and is very familiar with the independent music scene.

In 2017, he did the album cover to 2nd Floor Samurais’ “Shogun Stories.” I initially approached him with a vision of an energy source amidst warring empires, and he took it from there..
In 2013, he did the cover to “the Program EP”; check out how California and Japan are facing each other under the dragon..
2010’s “Projekt Life Force” was probably the most challenging piece for Marcus.. this one took forever to finalize.. but as you can see, it’s something that will stand the test of time.
2006’s “Rewritten Code ov Honor”.. this was the one that convinced me that he was the only graphic designer that I would need..

I cannot recommend Marcus Murray enough. Hit my man up when you need some quality work done.

La Rime Métisse “Vivement” Corona Awareness Video

My peoples in Paris France, La Rime Metisse (King Siroko x Architeknic) just released “VIVEMENT”, a Corona awareness video. Yours truly has a brief cameo appearance.

The duo is in the midst of preparing their upcoming album “Jusqu’au bout”, so stay tuned..

Methadone (Hip Hop Against Drug Abuse)

If you know me from real life, you know that I am a product of sobriety/recovery.. Although I was able to celebrate 8 years of continuous sobriety this past August, I remain extremely concerned about the normalization, satirization, and promotion of AUD/alcoholism, substance abuse, mental disorders, and dual diagnoses, prevalent in our culture. I have known certain artists for over a decade whom I have never seen sober. There are numerous men huddled by a bathroom stall sniffing lines at any given venue. Young people are conditioned to sing lyrics about pills and codeine without even knowing it. I am that one MC who’s gonna tell you that this is NOT cool.

This one is dedicated to anyone who has suffered from alcoholism, addiction, and/or dual diagnosis.. you are welcome to holler at me anytime..

the Means of Money w/ the Heroes of Time

I teamed up with my cohorts, the Heroes of time (Señor Gigio x Mister Cleen), to bring you this brand new banger. I have known these two for years, and they have tirelessly released hustled in the Bay Area Hip Hop scene. We spit from the perspective of independent musicians (duh, that’s what we are) and the song serves as a breath of fresh air in this era of financial fantasy fiction. Production by: Mister Cleen Cover by: Señor Gigio Mixed by: D-Wiz

Kensho Kuma Verse: “I think like the man behind the register/ been broke for so damn long, gotta get my cheddar up/ live life benevolent, just like an emperor/ numbers mean everything, it’s not about better luck/ It’s all mathematics, know the economics/ while rappers showing off, huh smoking on that chronic/ I fly around the world, get rings like Sonic/ never buying Gucci, investing my profits/ on real-ass producers that make my shit raw/ and then spend the rest on vacations in Prague/ when the facts are involved, see your fraudulent facade/ while tryna flirt with, teenie boppers at the mall/ I’m on a Skype call with potential investor/ from overseas, which means, Ken’s getting cheddar/ but the sense of adventure means more than a guarantee/ passion for traveling, burning like kerosene/ even with scrilla, I don’t floss my assets/ never am I bragging ’bout the props and mad checks/ when I’m broke, it’ll never cost me respect/ let’s make a million, and get lost in Tibet/”

R.O.T.C. Wednesday Weekly

Return of the Cypher is teaming up with the Legionnaire Saloon in Oakland to bring you the East Bay’s rawest Hip Hop weekly. Every Wednesday, starting 02/06/2019, we will be facilitating the top-tier, organic MC cyphers our brand has become synonymous with. Myself and R.O.T.C. Director Unlearn the World will serve as host MC’s and DJ Kevvy Kev will be on the decks. We plan to regularly schedule guest artists to make appearances in the near future.. if you’re interested, please write and send your pertinent EPK, links, and videos.

R.O.T.C. TV Season 2 Episode 1

R.O.T.C. TV Season 2 Episode 1 is here!! Orchestrated by Return of the Cypher Director Unlearn the World and Boogie the Man, the debut episode for the new season accurately captures what our R.O.T.C. world has become. We will have ongoing episodes getting produced, so please stay tuned!! Photo credit: Sarah Arnold Photography

If you don’t know by now.. R.O.T.C. facilitates top-tier, organic cyphers powered by our in-house Get Down Band and songstress Jenna Medina. It goes down every Sunday evening at the Boom Boom Room in the historic Fillmore District of San Francisco. These cyphers are open to the public, and all MC’s, lyricists, rappers, vocalists, etc., are welcome to participate.. as long as they read our rules, acknowledge them, and receive a wristband. Our event also features a traditional dance party segment overseen by R.O.T.C. Commander DJ Kevvy Kev and a special weekly guest performer!!

Kensho Kuma & Cloud NI9E- Temple Work

Here we go once again.. my partner in crime Cloud NI9E and I released a brand new banger.. this one’s called Temple Work and it’s from a vinyl that we’re currently working one. This is the free version, so it’s been ran through a maximizer, but it hasn’t been mastered..

For those of you who don’t know, Cloud NI9E is a producer/DJ from Tokyo, Japan. I did a collaborative album with him back in 2013, and he has served as our tour DJ on numerous overseas solo and group tours.

Tenzin Verses ’04

I recently came across DJ E da Boss‘ 2004 Slept-On Records Mix CD which features Tenzin (Rest In Power.) 10z will always be my older brother and I am still learning what he taught me on our 20+ years of globetrotting adventures. He was the most naturally gifted fresstyler I have ever met.. I attest that these verses were completely improvised.

10z was a highly respected MC in the late ’90’s Telegraph street cypher scene; his spontaneous beat-boxing, which often incorporated banging on trashcans for additional percussion, served as the epicenter for an immeasurable amount of freestyle sessions. This is where I got my start as an MC. I followed him everywhere. Our first global Rap journey was in ’98, when we were flown out to Japan to record for a compilation and open for Planet Asia. By the mid-2000’s, Tenz had become the most successful booking agent and performer in Western China. I moved out there and our Hunters and Gatherers crew performed throughout the country. If we weren’t booked as a group, he would fly me to places like Urumuqi, Xiamen, and Kunming, as a solo artist. Our home was a Kung Fu trap house in Chengdu, and many world travelers would stay with us for months on end. Our biggest show during that time period was rocking at the Yue Festival in Shanghai, with several thousand attendees, with Talib Kweli and Ozomatli on the line-up. By the late-2000’s, both of us had relocated back to the U.S.; his entrepreneurial/ hustler spirit truly blossomed and manifested, and he created a watch company along with his wife.. (and other businesses too..)

Tenzin never placed much emphasis on rehearsing or writing.. I would routinely beg him to do both.. he was always much more interested in being outside and living. And as cliche as it may sound, “Hip Hop is something you live.” And my older brother epitomized this saying.. I will continue to look for unfinished 10z files and songs to share with the world. Thank you for everything and we’ll try our best down here.


Kensho Kuma featured on Rikinish’s Debut Album

Rikinish is a Japanese MC, producer, nomadic teacher, and R.O.T.C. regular; this past week, his debut album Everyday, was released through Orikami Records in France. Please be sure to support the official release!! Yours truly is featured alongside R.O.T.C.’s Jane the Message on a song titled “the Game.”

I am currently working on the “Lyricist ov the Lineage” project, which features new, old, and collaborative tracks.. I am going to compile 60-70 minutes worth of music, and have my uncle DJ Kevvy Kev mix it.. this one is the latest addition to the line-up thus far. Please be sure to check out the whole playlist.

Kensho Kuma “the Game” verse: “Not a freestyler/ want my name mentioned in the same sentence as a legendary writer/ Ernest Hemingway/ cats get resentful that they could never ever step in Kensho’s way/ I’m like Marley Marl, dropping science and math/ a lotta obstacles, popping up in my path/ but we separate, propaganda and facts/ and decisions get made properly with the stats/ yeah, you know the vulture type/ decent at rapping, but always acting stupid and can’t rep the culture right/ scene’s fulla punks frontin’ like millionaires/ but the foul stench of poverty is still in the air/ Kuma! developers be the villains in here/ leaving families without homes and children in tears/ regardless of era, I’m doing my thang/ I’m remembering Oakland, before them bike lanes/ yeah, snitching, literally meant you died/ now everything is vegan and gentrified/ feeling like kamikaze, sent to die/ and fuck pain, ’cause your boy been desensitized/”

“the Game” Chorus: “The game that we playing, life that we living/ we’ll be spitting raw, ’til the very last inning/ the mics we are gripping, the crowds we control/ the rules and traditions, we vowed to uphold/ the game that we playing, life that we living/ we’ll be spitting raw, ’til the very last inning/ anytime you see us on the stage, we wreck it/ it’s Kensho Kuma, Rikinish, and Jane the Message/”