Preserving the Truth: Cypher Adikts
As you guys may know, we teamed up with Jeskilz to bring Cypher Adikts to the East Coast for the very first time. I wanted to write the meaning and impact that an event like C.A (Cypher Adikts) can bring to the community but why not ask the creator herself… Jeskilz.
Mex: Yo yo what’s good Je? Hope all is well in L.A.
Jeskilz: Watup Mex! Everything is good.
Mex: Dope, that’s what’s up. Excited for the weekend? You ready?
Jeskilz: More than excited! Can’t wait to see how FLA gets down.
Mex: haha.. Florida gets down. Many that support C.A. in L.A are Florida bboys. But check it, for those that may not know your history, please introduce yourself..
Jeskilz: Aight, I’m Bgirl Jeskilz born and raised in France (Paris) but originally from Algeria. Moved to New York in 2001 when I was 18 years old and that’s where I started breaking. I made my name from battling in the cyphers and in 2004 I got down with Rock Steady. For 7 years, I repped to the fullest but on a personal level I was struggling with immigration status and having to basically survive. So after getting my visa, I moved to LA in hopes of getting more opportunities outside of performing on the streets to pay rent.
Mex: Coming from Mexico illegally, I can relate. Are you still repping RSC?
Jeskilz: It’s been over a year now that I no longer rep the crew.
Mex: Werd, so currently it’s safe to say that you are repping Cypher Adikts to the fullest?
Jeskilz: Well, it’s not like im “reppin” Cypher Adikts because it’s not a crew. I am and have been a “Cypher Adikt” from the moment I started breaking and I know for a fact that many of us can relate so it’s my way of starting a movement and giving back to the community.
Mex: Okay, let’s get into Cypher Adikts. When was the event born? Did you have any experience in organizing & promoting events before C.A?
Jeskilz: The thought of making Cypher Adikts happened years ago, I think in 2005 but it was more of an idea I was just talking about. Living in New York where dope jams were happening nonstop, I didn’t feel the need to make it happen. I just kept it in the back of my head but never did anything concrete with it. It’s only when I moved to LA and found myself unhappy about the scene that I thought, “Instead of complaining, do something about it!!”
Mex: Dope, it’s rare that Bboys/Bgirls actually walk the walk after they talk the talk…
Jeskilz: I had zero experience in throwing jams or organizing an event so I hesitated a lil but I thought to myself, “Who cares I’m gonna do it my way and if nobody shows up at least I’ll enjoy it.” So the good thing was I had no expectations on a “promoter” level.
Mex: Nice, that’s the way to go about it. How did the event end up going and what # are you at now? By the way, welcome to the promoters club! I’m sure you are getting to see a very different side of the culture.
Jeskilz: The jam! It’s a JAM. [laughs]. The first one to me will always be the illest one. So many people showed up and came just to rep and support. It was overwhelming and also very inspiring because I felt like I was not alone feeling this way and I had to keep it going. Yeah, once you’re on the promoter’s side everything changes. As a bgirl, I could care less of what people thought of me. If you like me, dope. If you don’t, battle me! But with Cypher Adikts it’s not the same. I’m implicated on a higher level. I’m on a mission to inspire minds because I’m not just promoting a jam—I’m promoting a mentality and a certain approach. So it’s very important for me to see and feel that the bboys and bgirls coming through are having a good time and that anyone who didn’t come hears about it or sees footage and thinks, “Damn, we missed it!”
Mex: Werd, so let me ask you something. You are a brand new promoter AND you are a bgirl. Not many bgirls are putting themselves in a leadership role. Do you feel you can make a major impact and open doors for bgirls in the new generation? Anything you would like to say to younger bgirls coming into the scene?
Jeskilz: I don’t really like to separate the bgirls from the bboys because the 2 words were created at the same time. It’s not like we came afterwards. Bgirls were always a part of the scene from the beginning but the truth is we’re outnumbered. So I feel like it’s on us to rep even harder and make sure we aren’t put to the side or given easy props just because we are girls. Coming up in New York, I never felt like I was supposed to be treated different because I was a bgirl. It was like, “Yo, you break? Aight, Then rep!” and that’s all. I always had the mentality of a warrior and never cared who I had in front of me; a bboy or a bgirl can get it the same and that’s what my advice to all the bgirls is. Don’t separate yourself and don’t expect special treatment. If you want respect, go get it. Shout out and much respect to Asia1 and Hurricane for holding it down on the floor and also giving back to the community by throwing dope events.
Mex: Nice, great words for all the Bgirls out there. We are all equal. With Cypher Adikts, it truly seems to be the only event of it’s kind in the world. It’s a Bboy/Bgirl JAM but not a bboy/bgirl event. No contest battles, no prelims, no stoppage, and no 10 hour long event. In your words, what can bboys & bgirls expect when they attend Cypher Adikts?
Jeskilz: Yea basically you come to Cypher Adikts to win NOTHING! [laughs] Not even a cypher king or queen title because I feel like once something is on the line people just over do it and it loses it’s essence.
Mex: Haha, well I think I started the cypher king thing back in like 04/05. Haha!
Jeskilz: Yea, how kind of you. [laughs]
Mex: Let’s just say that’s not much of a problem at Outbreak. It has a nice history of its own.
Jeskilz: Werd! I mean the name “Cypher Adikts” speaks for itself. For someone to even show up at the jam represents a statement on it’s own. Funny thing is, about 7 Cypher Adikts went down in LA already but some of the biggest names haven’t showed up yet. Truth is when you’re in there, it’s not like you can step to the side and just watch. So by stepping in you’re automatically putting your rep on the line and not everyone is willing to do that.
Mex: This is true, it seems to be a major problem that our community has today.
Jeskilz: Yea nobody jams anymore. It’s all about training for the next competition even when promoters are talking about, “There will be cypher time.”—It’s a joke. The music is being cut off and there’s so much watching and sitting around during the event that who would want to cypher?
Mex: Werd, this is very true at many jams. Sadly, some “promoters” that do not know what they are doing throw events when they should be attending them. Our community has problems on every level.
Jeskilz: From what I hear Outbreak is one of the few events that keeps the balance between cyphers and competitions. Can’t wait to see for myself in Europe for the finals.
Mex: Dope… Yea, we work hard and yes, you will be able to see for yourself. Let’s wait and see if it’s Jeskilz “Approved”. Ok so, what can bboys & bgirls expect at Cypher Adikts?
Jeskilz: Expect 3 hours of dope music with Ervin Arana holding it down and putting lots of effort to set the vibe right every time, Koolski always hypin it up on the mic, and most of all raw cyphers going on nonstop. But also expect what you are bringing to the table. The music and the floor is provided but it’s on everyone to just simply get down and rep. If it’s not in you then don’t even waste your time stopping by.
Mex: I like that. Come if you are down, don’t if you’re not. If Cypher Adikts had a mission statement (don’t know if it does), what would it be? What do you hope to achieve?
Jeskilz: You’re either one of us or you’re not. You can’t practice to be down and claim the name. If you got it then you know what it’s all about. Being a cypher adikt doesn’t mean you’re against competitions, it means that representing on the floor whenever and wherever is what you do best—not for the trophy or the check but because that’s simply what being a bboy or bgirl is truly about. I also feel like the kids that are now getting into breaking mostly use YouTube for inspiration and what comes out of it is mainly contests so many don’t even know what cyphering is. That’s where the mission comes in; I want someone that battles in the cypher to get as much props and shine as someone who enters a competition. In my opinion, it takes more heart to bring it to someone in the cypher than to be set up to compete on a stage. I feel like in the end, that’s kind of what the reward of C.A. is—earning respect for reppin’ hard.
Mex: That’s whats up, we all know it’s all about the respect. After Cypher Adikts Florida, what’s next for the movement? What can the community look forward to?
Jeskilz: At first, the mission was to focus on LA but why limit yourself? FLA this weekend then Chicago July 20th. Hopefully, we can keep making it happen in different places. LA will always be the home base and I truly feel like it’s being appreciated so I would never wanna lose that or take it for granted. But it is nice to see people from different cities and even countries showing interest.
Mex: Dope. I’ve been doing events for 9 years now, and I know a thing or two about our community. I can honestly tell you for Cypher Adkits—it’s only the beginning. Excited about bringing it to Florida and I hope it’s the first of many.
Jeskilz: Thanks a lot for showing so much love and support towards what Cypher Adikts represents.
Mex: No problem, The Spot is always down to support quality. Cypher Adikts is great for the community. Any last words? shout outs?
Jeskilz: Big shout out to all the cypher adikts out there you know who you are!
Mex: For anyone interested, where can they follow Cypher Adikts? For promoters interested in hosting Cypher Adikts in their city, state or country, where can they contact you at?
For any promoters interested in hosting Cypher Adikts, contact me via email at Jeskilz@Gmail.com.
There it is guys, We couldn’t have said it best ourselves. Hope the community really supports the event but above that, the mentality of a Cypher Adikt.