Thoughtful Discourse and Freestyle Music at CWOL’s Cypher

I was going to take photos to accompany a write-up of Thursday night’s Cypher at Allentown’s Coffee House Without Limits but, truth be told, I was having too much fun participating.

Cypher is a freestyle meeting of the minds, led by BakPakRap artist Blind Richi and featuring local musicians. Everyone in attendance — really, everyone — is encouraged to rap, sing, and bring instruments to play along.

Between each moment of music is a discussion on the topics that shape society — whether they are based in politics, the arts, or the essence of life itself. Each topic inspires the verses that emerge from the performers in the room, who add their pieces to the mix as the moment moves them.

On a personal note, I walked into Coffee House Without Limits with no idea of what to expect, but I came out feeling energized by the intelligent, respectful discourse and the inspired creativity that followed. The room was filled with thoughtful individuals who, on this night, came together to break away from the polarization of society to discuss philosophy, and how we might use our ideas to make a difference in the world. It also didn’t hurt that there was obvious talent in the room, which led to some great spur-of-the-moment art.

I’ll definitely be heading back to Coffee House Without Limits for Cypher, which currently takes place on the first and third Thursday of every month. Until then, since I didn’t take any photos or video, I’ll instead share Blind Richi’s SoundCloud page so you, like me, come out of this experience with something more than words.

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