South Florida Hip Hop Promoters Turned Online Radio Personalities
Miami Fl. Circa 2009:
In the midst of a thriving Hip Hop Scene in South Florida, chock-full of MC’s performing and recording original music; Hungry up and comers making a name for themselves in cyphers & the Freestyle Battle Circuit; B-Boys and B-Girls organizing monthly Jams and Competitions; Graff Writers bombing Miami way before Wynwood made it common and “Legal”; When Hip Hop DJ’s ruled the The Grove and South Beach Night Life. Two friends who met by chance at a Christian Youth Group Retreat in 1994, and formed a long lasting bond over their mutual obsession with Hip Hop Culture, decided to combine their talents of Visual Graphics and Public Speaking to organize and host small events customized for the Underground/ Independent MC Community. While you could often see an “established” South Florida Rap Act performing at one of the hundreds of clubs on Miami Beach and Coconut Grove, there really weren’t any nights dedicated to the huge community of hungry artist who were busy crafting their sound in the lab and honing their Off The Top skills in Rap Circles and Battles. 8ch2Owens ( Pronounced H2O Wins) and Charlie Fast saw this void in the community and instead of complaining about it, decided to do something about filling the need. Thus VICE CITY CYPHER was born.
That year they teamed up with long time friend and Spiritual Mentor, Joel Stigale, Founder of the legendary Catalyst Hip Hop Broward & Miami, who invited them to host an “MC Night” at Catalyst Miami in Miami Springs in hopes of attracting more spitters to spot that was quickly becoming a Hub for South FL BBoys and Graff Artist. So on a Saturday night in the Summer of 2019, the 1st SATURDAY MIC LIVE @ CATALYST was hosted. A Free event that put the spotlight on the Art of Emceeing. From Cyphers on the Stairwell, to Open Mics sessions on stage, MC Obstacle Courses testing the spittas “Off The Top” prowess, Live Performances that gave the artist a chance to showcase their original music, and MC Battles for the Official SML Battle Belt. MC’s in So. Flo. finally had a place they could call home. The VCC used this monthly event as breeding grown for talent and later began to book actual clubs to host larger shows at with more of a Party Feel where the MC’s who showed a higher level of preparedness at Catalyst could perform in front of larger audiences that weren’t made up of only other rappers. The snowball was already rolling, and the growth and evolution of Vice City Cypher happened naturally. During the Years of 2010 – 2015 they were responsible for organizing Miami’s 1st Official Battle Rap League: STREET WARS, and after 7 Classic Events, they passed the torch to what is now the Largest Battle Rap League in Florida: ART OF WAR MIAMI. VCC was also responsible for bringing down such heralded names as ACTION BRONSON, BLU, PLANET ASIA, RAS KASS, CHINO XL, CANNIBUS, QWEL AND MAKER, LADY DAISY AND BATSAUCE, & BLUEPRINT. If there was an event where True Lyricism and Hip Hop Culture were on display, you could bet the VCC Logo was on the flyer somewhere. After going a Year straight in 2015 of hosting a weekly show in Miami (SPIT 305) and Broward County (Cloud 954), the workload and grueling night life took its tole on the 2 MC/ Promoters and they ended up falling back and stopping all Vice City Cypher activities. Saturday Mic Live was handed over to the dynamic duo of Kosi Victor and Luni Loven who hosted and ran the event under the new name of Props and Bonds Promotions, who kept the event running for all locals to enjoy. But 8ch and Fast would not be seen on that stage again for years.
Fast Forward to the Present: In the midst of a fizzling South Florida Hip Hop Community, where flyers for Events are hardly seen anymore, and artist mostly keep to themselves other than through Social Media, a spark has re-awakened. With a vision of getting both the generation he grew up in, and the generations that have come after him excited about actually living Hip Hop Culture again; 8ch2Owens and Charlie Fast have flipped the sign on the door of VICE CITY CYPHER from Closed to Open once more, but this time under a whole new medium…Online Radio. July of 2019 marks the birth of #WVCC #CyphLyfeRadio, which was born in a garage, filming Hip Hop Music Videos playing on one Samsung Mobile Phone, through another Samsung Mobile Phone….If thats not Hip Hop I dont know what is. 2 months later their 2 shows, #NewBlazeTuesdays and #ThursdayNightCypher can be heard and watched from 9-11pm streaming live on 8ch’s FB Page ( @Rudy Barro on Face Book) and have been growing their audience numbers weekly as they play the Hottest Releases in Underground and Independent Hip Hop from around the world, along with their special blend of comedy, social awareness, hip hop history insight and lunacy that you wont find anywhere else.
Now for the next phase in the #WVCC Mission. Welcome to the official Blog Site for #WVCC #CyphLyfeRadio. #CyphLyfeRadio and #CyphLyfeBlog were created by the VICE CITY CYPHER as a platform to promote Hip Hop Culture, Art, Music, Business, and Life Style in all its facets to a broad audience. Hip Hop as a Musical Genre has influenced all aspects of American life for the past 40 years. This has created a demographic of ages 50 to as young as 10 years old, who are exposed to Hip Hop daily and relate with the language, culture, and philosophies found in the Hip Hop Movement. We seek to educate the newer members of the Community; the youth of our Cities, on the foundation, rich history, and strong roots of this great movement, not only musically, but bringing to their attention the origins and creative innovations behind the Elements of DJ’ing, Break Dancing, Graffiti Art, Emceeing, Beat Boxing, Music Production, Fashion, Journalism, the fusion of different art styles and the spirit of Entrepreneurship. At the same time our aim is to bridge the gap between “The New Wave” of Young Hip Hop followers and the “Old Heads” who guard the culture so vigilantly. We will not only focus on Hip Hop’s History, but will also shine light on its unstoppable future.
Our long term goal is to become the Hub for South Florida’s Avant-Garde Hip Hop scene. A source of information for the Tri County Hip Hop Audience. The online show and blog you turn to for the latest Local Hip Hop/ Spoken Word/ Open Mic Event announcements, Album Reviews, New Artist suggestions, Battle Rap News and more. We want #WVCC to be the home of the Too Lyrical; Too Conscious; Too Grimey; Too Neo Soul; Too Funky; Too Old; Too New; Too Jazzy; Too Artsy Artist and Audience. Those who prefer no labels. The New Music Makers that no one is giving a chance to. If this sounds like you and the kind of Hip Hop you are into, we welcome you home. If not, we ask you to give us a chance….we will grow on you. We are doing our part to keep the scene alive. Join us, together we can #MakeHipHopGreatAgain. -8ch2Owens of Vice City Cypher