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Mic Checking, Not Reserve Army Training at ROTC - San Francisco's Return of The Cypher

Posted by Billyjam, January 16, 2016 06:45pm | Post a Comment

Don't let the name ROTC fool you. San Francisco's weekly session at the Boom Boom Room, fondly referred to as ROTC by regulars, is no Reserve Officer Training Corps. Rather it's the popular Bay Area hip-hop improv session Return Of The Cypher that takes place every Sunday night at the Fillmore District club that is traditionally a blues spot. ROTC is one of the Bay Area's best long-running hip-hop weeklies. It's also one of its most unpredictable. And that's a good thing!  With the cypher's ever rotating lineup of emcees and beatboxers, no two weeks are ever the same. And it is the total spontaneity of hip-hop events like this that make them so fun and true to hip-hop's roots, and ROTC's roots run deep. Long-time Bay Area club and radio DJ Kevvy Kev is the musical curator and turntable manipulator each week. Meanwhile, live beats are  provided by the Gemstone Band. Guest musicians have been known to stop by and jump into the freestyle mix, while b-boys and b-girls might spontaneously break out some moves on the dance floor. Some weeks feature special guests including next Sunday, January 24th, when local multi-talented artist Taharka Chango will present his conscious hip-hop piece entitled "The Sermon."

As far an ongoing Bay Area event that stays true to hip-hop's elements, ROTC regular mic-wrecker GiGiO says it's the best.  "Every Sunday night they keep the spirit of live hip-hop music high. I would say it's the dopest hip-hop event in the Bay right now. Lot of dope cats on the come up," said the emcee who is a member of the Oakland-based crew Smooth Beast along with fellow emcees Mike Fish, Karen Less, and Monolyth who will release their debut album in 2016. GiGiO noted how Smooth Beast first connected via the ROTC sessions -- a place he contends is central to a new Bay Area hip-hop wave. "The Bay is going through some kind of [hip-hop] renaissance right now. Feels good to be apart of it!" 
 

Return Of The Cypher (ROTC) happens
every Sunday (no cover) 9pm to 2am
at the Boom Boom Room located at 1601
Fillmore St. in San Francisco, CA 94115

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Boom Boom Room San Francisco (1), Boom Boom Room (1), Dj Kevvy Kev (1), Rotc (1), Smooth Beast (1), Gigio (1), Bay Area Hip-hop (36), Return Of The Cypher (1)