Jeskilz: The necessity of cyphers in the age of competitions

True schooler and soon to be mother of 3, Jeskilz shares her vision behind the culturally necessary Cypher Adikts. She is a Hip Hopper and BGirl living it to the fullest and is committed to making her words into actions.

Was there a specific moment when you decided, Cypher Adikts is something the scene really needs? What was the inspiration behind the jam?
The thought of Cypher Adikts came to me years before it actually happened while I was still living in NYC (back in 2006). The name itself was inspired by a lifestyle and mentality I shared with friends and floor “enemies” but it wasn’t until I moved to Los Angeles that I felt the need to finally act on it. People kept saying “the scene in LA is wack, no one knows how to cypher its all about competitions etc…” but once I really looked into reasons why it seemed that way it led me to notice it had little to do with the bboys/bgirls’s mentality but a lot to do with the promoters approach. Most jams were set up in a way that cyphering wasn’t even optional between constant music interruptions and bright lights in “vibeless” venues focusing mainly on the competition aspect so I decided to stop pointing fingers or complaining about what others were doing or not doing and create my own “ideal” of what I felt the scene was missing so that some sort of balance could be restored and we could have it all: the competitions and the party jams.

What are your most memorable moments of the last 6 years? Any special call out battles?
We’ve definitely had some epic battles go down at Cypher Adikts such as Xmob vs SkillMethodz in LA which led to Kmel vs Teknyc months later. Casper vs ATN and Smerk vs Wild Cat in Vegas or Luigi battling the MFKids squad all by himself in Florida. The most memorable CA for me will always be the first one at The Basement. I was not expecting to get so much support from everyone just wanting to show up and get down for no other reason than have a good time. Thanks to everyone involved it truly planted an inspirational seed in me because that night I found the purpose and motivation to not only keep at it but also to trust my intuitions and passion for what I believe in.

You have travelled with this event into many countries across the globe, did you feel any difference in each of them?
What I love most about Cypher Adikts is that every city, state or country we’ve been to had a different feel and turn out, like I couldn’t even compare Asia to Europe or Europe to The US because Japan for example was one of the illest edition while Taiwan and Korea had us believe the scene was not ready yet just like LA has a totally different approach from FLA, NYC or Texas. Our formula may be similar each time but the outcome never is so that also helps keep things exciting and inspiring.

Do you have any plans for the future with Cypher Adikts?
As far as the jam itself I never intended to make it “grow” more than what it already is. It’s never been about quantity but quality. I could have used many promotional ways to attract more people such as “cypher king/queen award” but to me cyphers are sacred. I love the fact that every single person stepping into CA is there for no other reason than music, dance and culture. There’s no money or trophy to win and it’s not free to get in so it lets you know right away who’s really down with it. However I personally always strive to build with our community and find my own ways to bring something new to the table that could benefit the scene or at least expose the youth to what I feel is missing sometimes. Through CA we’ve been able to create a worldwide platform that also allowed me to introduce new concepts and visions such as “Leaders Of The Ground” featuring some of the illest bgirls calling out elite bboys in a 1on1 cypher battle or “Cypher Adikts Unplugged” spreading knowledge through free workshops of all elements and panel discussions so that’s what I’ve been mainly focused on and I definitely look forward to seeing growth and positive changes come out of it all in the future. As far as goals, one of them is to find some sort of financial sponsorship for future Cypher Adikts Anniversaries, the past 6 years have been an amazing journey but there’s only so much you can achieve while relying on your own bank account lol.

Who helped you to achieve what you have achieved with this event?
When it comes to Cypher Adikts, it’s always been a family affair. Ervin, Koolski, Crissy B, Deby (Prada-g’s mom) my husband Khalid and Analysia (owner of The Basement) were the ones who helped make my vision come to life. CA is not just a jam or an event, it’s become a worldwide movement supported by bboys/bgirls and dancers all around the world. Every city outside of LA or country we’ve been to was accomplished through collaborations with local individuals believing in what we’re doing and wanting to share it with their own communities. Big shout out to Mex One and Shaolin Productions, Moy and The Break Free team, Wicked and Phaze II Crosstown Crew, The Legits MG & MK, Vicious and Fleau from Sweet Technique, Queens Of Hip Hop, and so many more that have gone above and beyond to bring us out multiple times through out the years. Also anyone who besides being there to support used their platform, status or connections to help us spread the movement such as Paulskee, Cros One and DJ Renegade. As I said it’s all become a worldwide fam connection and I’m forever grateful for it all, Cypher Adikts is the perfect example of what CommUNITY can achieve.

On that CA state of mind! ? ⏱ • CA6YR ANNIVERSARY – JAN 21St & 22ND, 2017 – LOS ANGELES, CA •

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Cover photo by Emajyn