The Cipher is a podcast featuring in-depth conversations with the most interesting figures in Hip-Hop and culture
252: Shawn and Josh With Jay Smooth
As many of you know, The Cipher is going on an indefinite hiatus following this episode. For more information about why, visit us on Twitter or Facebook, or just listen to this episode. But in short, we have no plans to make any more new episodes after this one. Our archives, however, will still be available and free on our website, on iTunes and other podcast apps, and on SoundCloud.
For this goodbye episode, we called up our friend and episode 201 guest Jay Smooth to interview The Cipher’s host Shawn Setaro and its producer Josh Kross. Jay, as you’ll hear, did an amazing job, and got us to touch on so many aspects of the show’s history, and of ways we thought about it over the years.
So here’s the end of the road, for now. Thanks for listening.
See http://theciphershow.com/episode/252/ for full show notes and comments.
251: Xmas Jollies 2018 With Bill Adler
Every Christmas since 2013, we’ve sat down with Bill—who is the former head of PR at Def Jam, among numerous other accomplishments—to talk about his world-famous Xmas Jollies mix. Bill spends the whole year scouring record stores, flea markets, the internet, and everywhere in between to find the perfect batch of great holiday music, and then shares it with his select mailing list, and with us. Now, we talk to him about some of this year’s selections.
You can hear Bill’s mix in its entirety at our Soundcloud page.
See http://theciphershow.com/episode/251/ for full show notes and comments.
250: Masta Ace and Marco Polo
Masta Ace is a legendary rhymer whose career began with the Juice Crew and has continued through a series of beloved solo and group albums. Marco Polo is a Toronto-born producer who moved to New York City in the early 2000s, and took his adopted hometown’s traditional boom-bap aesthetic to heart. Marco has brought his rugged sound to Torae, Pharoahe Monch, Ruste Juxx, Sean Price, Vinnie Paz, Rah Digga, and many more.
Now, Marco and Ace have joined up for a new album. A Breukelen Story combines a set of incredible songs with a series of skits that follow Marco’s journey from Toronto to NYC—an Ace-written storyline that both mirrors and features people from the producer’s real life.
See http://theciphershow.com/episode/250/ for full show notes and comments.
249: Mike Heron
Mike “Heron” Herard is a record exec, producer, manager, label owner, and all-around music business legend. He first came to the attention of underground hip-hop fans when he was the co-founder of Hydra Records, which released music by Screwball, Godfather Don, and many others. He then moved over to Rawkus Records, where he played a key role in Big L’s posthumous album The Big Picture. He has also managed Joell Ortiz, and is currently the Vice President of A&R at Shady Records. In addition, he runs the company BeatHustle, a firm that manages composers who compose music specifically for rap producers to sample.
See http://theciphershow.com/episode/249/ for full show notes and comments.
248: Jonah Hill and the 'Mid90s' Cast
Mid90s, which opened this past Friday, October 19th, is a film Hill wrote and directed about a group of skateboarding friends in—you guessed it—the mid-1990s. The incredibly authentic period piece features plenty of nods to the skateboarding scene and the music of the time period, including songs from the Pharcyde and the Gravediggaz, and a memorable cameo appearance by Del the Funkee Homosapien.
This is Jonah’s first film as a writer/director. He has, of course, starred in tons of films, from Superbad to Moneyball to The Wolf of Wall Street. For this interview, Hill was joined by Sunny Suljic, who plays Stevie; Na-kel Smith, who plays Ray; Olan Prenatt, who plays Fuckshit; Gio Galicia, who plays Ruben; Ryder McLaughlin, who plays Fourth Grade; and Alexa Demie, who plays Estee. To rap fans, Na-Kel Smith’s name and voice may sound familiar—he has a music career of his own, and has appeared on songs with Tyler, the Creator and Earl Sweatshirt.
See http://theciphershow.com/episode/248/ for full show notes and comments.
247: Jericho Jackson (Khrysis & Elzhi)
Jericho Jackson is a group made up of producer Khrysis and rapper Elzhi. Khrysis is best known for his work with the rap collective the Justus League, which counts among its members 9th Wonder. He is currently a member of 9th’s production team the Soul Council. In addition to his North Carolina crew, Khrysis has produced for Sean Price and Heltah Skeltah, Jean Grae, Evidence, Talib Kweli, Black Thought, and many others.
Dedicated Cipher listeners will remember Elzhi from our talk with him on episode 152. The Detroit rapper came to a lot of fans’ attention during his time as a member of Slum Village. He followed that up with a staggering series of solo albums, including the Nas reinvention Elmatic and the deeply personal Lead Poison.
Khrysis and Elzhi’s recent joint album is called Khrysis and Elzhi Are Jericho Jackson.
See http://theciphershow.com/episode/247/ for full show notes and comments.
Customer ReviewsSee All
This is one of my favorite podcasts. They really delve into the artists and ask great questions. Unlike most interviewers who ask the same questions as the last person and leave the listener with unanswered questions at the end. They also seem to ask the questions that keep the interviewees interested and it’s very interactive rather than when you can tell they’re bored because they’ve answered the same questions a million and one times. If the news media were as detailed and involved with the questions they ask our politicians we’d be much better off. I only wish it was still continuing.
In depth, informative, and entertaining interviews with hip hop greats
💪🏼 Best longform interviews
The show was great! Love the longform interviews with pop buttons. I’ve learned a bunch of stuff about people I hardly knew, got deep dives into people I thought I knew everything about, and always walk away and with a handful of new tracks or albums to look up.