TV Series

Rhythm + Flow: Season 1, Episode 5 “Cyphers” – Recap, Review (with Spoilers)

Community Rating (How This Number is Tabulated): 60.3% (1)

While it isn’t clear why a cypher was needed, since many popular rappers wouldn’t be able to do so, this is a competition and contestants have to be put through the ringer.

Director(s)Iren Brown
Air Date10/16/2019
Introduced This Episode
HerselfAJ, The One
HimselfKing Vvibe
HimselfKing Los

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Who Are These People?: C.Rose, Maddiemook, AJ The One, King Vvibe

While King Vvibe, apparently, is someone I missed in the auditions, he exists and tells a bit of his story. Such as his father raising at-risk foster young. Which made his journey hard since it created a lot of distractions and threats to his journey.

As for the rest? Well, let’s just say these people probably weren’t featured before for a reason. Not just because they get eliminated but outside of questioning if Maddiemook just happens to be a light skin sister or not, since she says the N-word in her cypher, there isn’t much to attach to here.

Let The Cyphers Begin

Being that cyphers aren’t necessarily a common thing, unless you seek them out, it is explained that they are basically a showcase. One that is made to both have a flow between you and those you are working with, yet also present the opportunity to stand out. The best example might be the most recent XXL Freshmen cyphers. The Blueface, YBN Cordae, and Rico Nasty cypher allowed each one to show off, yet was also supportive. Almost like they were part of a group.

That isn’t seen in any of the cyphers on here. They are just paired up, but it is a competition so everyone is for themselves, and most of the people who clearly were the top contestants, they maintained that position. The only ones who moved up were Ariyon and those who were told to do better in the auditions, they failed that assignment.

There Can Only Be 16

Like the Democratic debates, there are still far too many people here to pick one, but it is clear some just aren’t ready for the game. Hence things getting shaven down to: Flawless Real Talk, Jakob Campbell, and Troyman, from the first cypher group. From group 2, D Smoke, Ali Tomineek, and King Vvibe continue on, but King Vvibe barely made the cut. Then, from group 3, Beanz, Big Mouf’Bo, and Inglewood IV, who stumbled, but it seems the judges got a soft spot for him and want to keep him around.

But while many were given yet another chance, that doesn’t mean there weren’t major cuts. The fifth cypher group got hit the hardest with Cakes Da Killa, Sasha Go Hard, Nikee Turbo, and Amavi cut. In fact, they were named one of the weakest groups. Thus, only Old Man Saxon got to move ahead from that one. Leaving cypher group four only having Caleb Colossus and Londynn B moving on, with the others we barely knew about getting the boot, and cypher 6 only having Rae and Felisha move forward.

Leaving one last group: Cypher 7. Of them, Ariyon, who came with that hot ass fire, moves on and gets great praise from TI. Also, despite thinking he lacks an identity, beyond wanting to be more than a white rapper, Sam Be Yourself continues his journey.

Question(s) Left Unanswered
  1. Are they really not going to advise some of these acts not to possibly change their rap names?




Flawless Real Talk

With an almost Eminem delivery, and being in a rather weak group, Flawless got to shine in ways that has continued to make him the one to beat. Which others are verbally saying since he gets praise from his peers, the judges, and even when the coach King Los comes about, he uses Flawless as an example of knowing the basics, intermediates, and advance skillsets of a rapper.

Getting To Know Beanz

Beanz listening to the judges explain what is coming up.

There is something about Beanz I can’t put my finger on. Maybe it is this idea she is the half and half, in terms of being this hood booger who will dress you down in a second, yet also has this soft side to her. A duality which we don’t get to see much of, since she is reserved, but does draw you in a bit. Mostly due to making the idea of seeing her vulnerable, and not on the offense, seem like a privilege instead of a right.

Londynn B

What Londynn did is go beyond present a quality cypher but something you could imagine as a song. Something that even Flawless didn’t do, and that might be her ticket right there. With her, you get songs, and with him you get the technical stuff and that marketable look. However, Londynn got that, and she seems ready to hit the Billboard Hot 100.

Nikee Turbo

While he is eliminated, I gotta say no one matches his energy or stage presence. For while some say they wanna bring fun back to hip-hop and while many are noted for stage presence, he is the only one I can say seems like he’d be fun to see in concert. Granted, I can’t remember a word he said in his cypher, but between his dance and his energy, of those who were eliminated, he is the only one I’m sad to see go.


Ariyon during the cypher.

A lot of the young folk burnt out this episode and showed, while they may have potential, they aren’t ready. Especially with Cardi and the rest taking a hands-off approach and letting the contestants pass or fail completely on their own. However, Ariyon, despite some anxiety, showed up, showed out, and like TI, I think he is one of the few who could be a huge star. Him, Flawless, and Londynn.

Everyone else? They could have success, maybe respect as well, but their legends will be built on longevity more than hits. Which, repeatedly, seems to be the goal of this series. Not the best rapper, but who can be the most commercial based off how each judge got their fame and fortune.

On The Fence

There Are Still Many Who Seem Like They Won’t Be Big

Though it does seem like a lot to eliminate 14 in the first round, let’s be real, many shouldn’t have made it to LA. Some, like $avannah and Cakes, seemingly got in more by playing on Cardi’s emotions than because this was the show to take them to that next level. Then, when it comes to those we’ve just met, like Maddiemook, it makes you wonder who came up with the number 30 and why? Was it a budget thing, a good round number, what?

Either way, we still got a lot to cut since it was made clear that for many, like King Vvibe, they keep making the cut because of a numbers game and not because they are anyone’s top 5.

While I Get Why It Was Done For A Competition, Are We Supposed To Believe All-Big Time Rappers Could Do Look Good In A Cypher?

No shade, but slight shade, I cannot imagine Cardi B doing a cypher with any female rapper at or around her level and her coming off the best. With Chance’s gospel rapper persona, I can’t imagine him coming out on top if we threw him in with any other popular rapper out right now. Only TI can I imagine roasting people, or at least looking good in a cypher. Plus, considering how few rappers seems to come up through cyphers and battle rap, which we’ll see in the next episode, are these methods still relevant for those who aren’t purist?


Rhythm + Flow Directory


John Legend, Jeff Gaspin, Jesse Collins

Character Guide


Collected Quotes


Current Status


Where To Buy, Rent, or Stream?

Season Reviews

Season 1
Check Out The TV Series & Specials Page
Season/ EpisodeSynopsisEpisode InformationTopics & Focused Characters
Season 1, Episode 10 “Finale” [Season Finale]On the season finale, family members are gathered, budgets explode, and the winner of season 1 of Rhythm + Flow is given $250,000 – with no strings attached.
Director(s)Sam Wrench
Air Date10/23/2019
  • The First Eliminated: Troyman
  • The Second Eliminated: Londynn B
  • There Can Only Be One: Flawless Real Talk, D Smoke
Season 1, Episode 9 “Collaborations”Some of R&B’s biggest names join our up and coming stars, and one person stumbles during their performance. Can you guess who?
Director(s)Sam Wrench
Air Date10/23/2019
Introduced This Episode
HerselfJhené Aiko
HerselfTeyana Taylor
HimselfTy Dolla $ign
HimselfTory Lanez
  • You Gotta Have Fun With It: Miguel, D Smoke, Ty Dolla $ign, Troyman, Caleb Colossus, Tory Lanez
  • Get Sexy With It: Jhené Aiko, Flawless Real Talk
  • Will One F*** Up Ruin An Opportunity?: Teyana Taylor, Londynn B, Caleb Colossus
Season 1, Episode 8 “Samples”Alongside learning who got cut, we get a taste of what these rappers can cook up real quick when the pressure is on.
Director(s)Sam Wrench
Air Date10/23/2019
  • Can’t Impress Everyone: Caleb, Sam Be Yourself
  • The Respect Of Your Peers Is Worth It All: Flawless Real Talk, Troyman, Londynn B, D Smoke
  • Elimination Time
Season 1, Episode 5 “Cyphers”While it isn’t clear why a cypher was needed, since many popular rappers wouldn’t be able to do so, this is a competition and contestants have to be put through the ringer.
Director(s)Iren Brown
Air Date10/16/2019
Introduced This Episode
HerselfAJ, The One
HimselfKing Vvibe
HimselfKing Los
  • Who Are These People?: C.Rose, Maddiemook, AJ The One, King Vvibe
  • Let The Cyphers Begin
  • There Can Only Be 16
Season 1, Episode 6 “Rap Battles”This episode, they got the contestants battle rapping, and while we lose some good ones, others get reminded many need that $250,000.
Director(s)Iren Brown
Air Date10/16/2019
  • You Really Aren’t About This Rap Battle Life Are You?: Felisha George, Caleb Colossus, Big Mouf’Bo, Rae Khalil, Ali, Ariyon
  • You Said Who Won?: Old Man Saxon, D Smoke, Jakob, Troyman
  • I CAME TO BATTLE: Londynn B, Inglewood IV, King Vvibe, Sam Be Yourself, Beanz, Flawless Real Talk
Season 1, Episode 7 “Music Videos”Rhythm + Flow goes beyond what most of its competition does and shows us what these artists are selling. Question is, you buying?
Director(s)Sam Wrench
Air Date10/16/2019
  • The Judges Are Iffy: Troyman, Caleb, Big Mouf’Bo
  • Take My Money: D Smoke, Flawless Real Talk, Londynn B
  • Because What Show Doesn’t Have Cliffhangers?: Ali, Sam Be Yourself
Season 1, Episode 4 “Chicago Auditions”Chance is faced with the most 25 and under seen thus far, but them Chicago/Mid-west kids got stories to tell and damn if they won’t make you bop your head.
Director(s)Sam Wrench
Air Date10/9/2019
Introduced This Episode
HerselfKaylee Crossfire
HimselfSam Be Yourself
HerselfSasha Go Hard
HimselfNikee Turbo
HerselfBig Mouf’Bo
HimselfJae Ham
HimselfJakob Campbell
HimselfYung Water
  • You Stumbled, But You Going To LA: Kaylee Crossfire, Sam Be Yourself, Sasha Go Hard, Nikee Turbo
  • The Kids Are Alright: Ariyon, Big Mouf’Bo, Jae Ham
  • Always Saving The Best For Last: Jakob Campbell
Season 1, Episode 3 “Atlanta Auditions”We head down to the ATL, and unlike NYC, no one dares bring their sob stories. Instead, many just rap like they trying to compete with Twista or Busta Rhymes.
Director(s)Sam Wrench
Air Date10/9/2019
Introduced This Episode
HimselfCaleb Colossus
Himself2’Live Bre
HerselfLondynn B
  • Some Got Potential But Had To Be Put On Notice: Amavi, Caleb Colossus, Baddnews
  • Skinny Dudes Stay Winning: 2’Live Bre, Troyman
  • There Can Only Be One: Londynn B
Season 1, Episode 2 “New York Auditions”Cardi B hits up S.O.B.’s in New York to find some talent, and… she may have found one that won’t just fill a slot but could also win.
Director(s)Sam Wrench
Air Date10/9/2019
Introduced This Episode
Herself$avannah Hannah
HerselfKay Makavel
HimselfCakes Da Killa
HerselfFelisha George
HimselfOnetake Carter
HimselfFlawless Real Talk
HimselfFat Joe
  • These Sob Stories Gotta Stop: $avannah Hannah, Kay Makavel
  • All My Life I Had To Fight: Beanz, Cakes Da Killa, Felisha George, Onetake Carter
  • The Only One Whose Name Rings True: Flawless Real Talk
Season 1, Episode 1 “Los Angeles Auditions” [Series Premiere]Rhythm & Flow begins with the need to question, to be rap’s next big superstar, what’s more important: Lyricism, being a performer, or accessible to a white audience?
Director(s)Sam Wrench
Air Date10/9/2019
Genre(s)Musical, Competition
Good If You LikeHip-Hop/ Rap Music
Introduced This Episode
HimselfTip “T.I.” Harris
HerselfCardi B
HimselfChance The Rapper
HimselfSnoop Dogg
HimselfNipsey Hussle
HimselfAnderson .Paak
HerselfRae Khalil
HimselfAli Tomineek
HimselfD Smoke
HimselfOld Man Saxon
HimselfInglewood IV
While I Get Why It Was Done For A Competition, Are We Supposed To Believe All-Big Time Rappers Could Do Look Good In A Cypher? - 70%
There Are Still Many Who Seem Like They Won’t Be Big - 75%
Flawless Real Talk - 89%
Getting To Know Beanz - 80%
Londynn B - 90%
Nikee Turbo - 84%
Ariyon - 88%


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Amari Allah

I started Wherever I Look back in 2011 and have aimed to be that friend who loves watching various forms of media and talking about it. So, from bias, strong opinions, and a perspective you may not have thought about, you'll find that in our reviews.

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