Laud Reyes, Preacher Kingz and more on this year’s Hennessy cypher lineup

Featuring Laud Reyes, Matosan and more

Hennessy Artistry Cypher is back for another year running with a diverse spate of talented rappers including Psycho YP, Laud Reyes, Legendary Styles, Alpha Ojini and more. There’s no denying that, over the past few years, the focus of African music has shifted and focused solely on its more commercial sister, Afropop, leaving other genres such as Hip-Hop/Rap in the shadows. However, we’re coming into times where Hip-Hop/Rap is getting its long due flowers as a new generation of Rap stars take over the sound emerging on the continent from Durban to Lagos.

Over the years, brands such as Hennessy have only established themselves further as one of the leading names in Hip-Hop/Rap with the ability to constantly spotlight some of the hottest talents in these parts including artists such as M.I, Vader, Jesse Jagz, Falz, SDC and many more. This year’s lineup is even fiercer, combining new names in music such as Legendary Styles and Laud Reyes with more established names such as M.I and Vector.


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The premiere episode of the 2021 cyphers kicked off last week with Psycho YP, Legendary Styles, Barry Lane and Alpha Ojini to an incredible reception. This week, the second set of artists kick off the next leg of the cyphers featuring freestyles from Laud Reyes, Matosan, Preacher Kingz, and Escore Gatti.


Since her debut in 2017, Bayelsa-born rapper, singer and songwriter Zoey, famously known as Laud Reyes, has proven to constantly push the boundaries of her craft, delivering hot bars every time she steps to the mic. Like other female Nigerian artists, her career started off in the church where she began at a very young age, participating in musical and drama activities. However, her career only started taking shape while she was in university and began recording her own original music. 

The notable projects from her short discography include her famous single, “Fake” and her 6-track EP produced by Adobi Eddieroll, titled ‘Applaud The Queen’, released in the same year. Other tracks she’s released in more recent times include “Jamba Juice” and “Legendary” which were released last year as well as “Bad Love Lies” with Denle and “No Stress” featuring Nigerian Hip-Hop artist, PapiGunzo. Besides winning the Hennessy Vs Class Championship of 2019, Laud Reyes’ works is evidence of her recognisable talent which gives meaning to her self proclaimed title of “New Generation Queen of Rap”. For this year’s Hennessy Artistry Cyphers, she stands out as one of the few women on the list, hungry for more after winning in 2019. 


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Beginning from the young age of 14, Matosan has always explored his creative side allowing him to explore his talent and passion for not only making music but painting as well. He explains that his two crafts often intersect as painting has taught him patience, a virtue essential to his music-making process. The rapper also shared that he appreciates both crafts because they connect to various people by creating pictures in one’s mind, a primary reason for his love for both. 

No stranger to the Hennessy Cypher class, the rapper-songwriter-painter drew our attention with his unbeatable flow with his freestyle which stole the show amongst other talented peers including Abdulkhalid, Escore Gatti, Erenna Blaq, Spydermanne and Psypro. Down to the final performance, Matosan battled it out in an intense episode with Escore Gatti where the two rapped and performed an acapella but Matosan stole the show and emerged the winner for the Hennessy VS Class Season VII, 2020. Matosan promises to bring back his intoxicating energy in this year’s Hennessy Artistry Cypher. 


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With his musical influences including Kendrick Lamar, Ladipoe, Drake and JCole to name a few, Preacher Kingz who also refers to himself as Beginning of the Future is an artist who doubles down as both a rapper and a singer. Since grabbing our attention by landing as the first runner up of the 2019 Hennessy VS Class, he has produced a steady stream of content on social media from his covers of Olamide’s “Rock” to his freestyles with artists such as Slimcase and performances of his track “Wahala” featuring Dr Barz. In 2019, the talented artist released his debut EP, ‘Vasilas’ which combines Hip-hip and afro-fusion, alongside notable releases such as his 2020 single “Wobble Up”, and his EP released earlier this year titled ‘Peer Pressure’. With an enviable work rate, we’re excited to see what Preacher Kingz brings for his cypher. 

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Offiong Asuquo popularly known as Escore Gatti had his first run at the Hennessy Artistry Vs Class audition in 2018 and again in 2020 where he peaked in the competition as the first runner up. Undefeated and determined, Delta state’s artist is back for another fight this year at the 2021 Hennessy Artistry Cypher. Drawing inspiration from Lil Wayne, Phyno Olamide and fellow contestants M.I and Vector, Escore started making music at a young age and he has on a couple of songs including “Sacrifice” with Arosino, “OGB4IG” “Miss That” with Cobany and a most recently, a remix to his song “Whoopty”. Also in the works is the artist’s debut project which will be released soon with at least five new tracks.


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Featured Image Credits/Instagram

ICYMI: Meet The Artists on This Year’s Hennessy Artistry Cypher