Last night’s 2015 Soul Train Awards changed the “freestyle” aesthetic with host Erykah Badu serving up beats on the turntables and soul singers Chrisette Michele, K-Ci, Lalah Hathaway and Eddie Levert participating in the first R&B cypher.

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Having served in the past as a highlight of the BET Hip Hop Awards, cyphers allow participants to show off their freestyle skills and wit. Last night’s R&B cypher did just the same, with Badu playing DJ Low Down Loretta Brown and mixing Mobb Deep’s “Shook Ones” instrumental to which the singers harmonized.

The quartet brought their classics together, with K-Ci singing Jodeci‘s “Come and Talk to Me”, Chrisette singing an original track, Lalah killing her father Donny Hathaway’s hit “Little Ghetto Boy” and Eddie adding his signature tenor ad libs.


With clear enjoyment from the crowd, this Soul Cypher is sure to be a mainstay at the Soul Train Awards in years to come.