Friday July 21st, 2023 - 9:30PM
Cipha got his start carrying crates and opening for Funkmaster Flex at legendary New York nightspots, the Tunnel and the Palladium. Eventually his talent for song selection and infectious personality earned him a spot at Hot 97, where he moved up the ranks—from Flex’s intern, to running his own show “Cipha Saturdays,” and finally to hosting the coveted morning show. During his 17 years at Hot 97, and as a host for Eminem’s Shade 45 on SiriusXM, he helped launch the careers of Rihanna, Rick Ross, 50 Cent, and Sean Paul. His keen ear also led him to work as an A&R executive for Jay Z’s Roc-A- Fella and Pharrell Williams’ Startrak imprint record labels. As a live DJ, Cipha has worked with Jay-Z, Lil Kim, Mos Def, Rihanna, J.Lo, Mariah Carey, and more.
On the radio, as a VJ for MTV, and as a live DJ, Cipha has always maintained a sharp sense of humor on the mic. He originally inscribed himself in the comedy community as the official DJ of CHAPPELLE’S SHOW. He’s continued to work with Dave ever since, joining him on tour as a DJ and comedian. However, Cipha’s traditional pursuit of comedy didn’t begin until long after the show ended, when he decided to study improv at UCB and perform stand-up throughout New York City. He proceeded to create and host the monthly UCB show “Take it Personal – The Hip Hop Improv Show” which received critical acclaim and featured guests like Questlove, DJ Premier, The Wu-Tang Clan, Zoe Kravitz, Donald Glover, and 2Chainz. He’s a regular DJ at Saturday Night Live afterparties and is now Michael Che’s go-to opening act, touring with him internationally and appearing in his most recent special for Netflix. You might have seen Cipha as the host of TruTV’s LAFF MOBB’S LAFF TRACKS or Fuse’s WHAT’S UR THING? He also had a small role in Spike Lee’s classic 25th HOUR, and recently appeared in THAT DAMN MICHAEL CHE for HBO Max. He’s also served as a Consulting Producer for various projects, including several seasons of WILD-N-OUT (MTV) and JOKING OFF (TruTV).
Throughout his many career turns, Cipha’s two biggest passions—hip hop and comedy—have always been front and center. When not traveling the world with Chappelle, Che, Michelle Wolf, Mo Amer, and others, you can find him performing at New York’s iconic Comedy Cellar or headlining celebrated clubs around the country. You can also listen to him Monday through Friday on New York’s 94.7 The Block and on podcasts Talk Clearlier (with fellow comedian Wil Sylvince) and Juan Ep Is Life (with Hot 97 and ESPN’s Peter Rosenberg).
Cipha will next be seen on the small screen as a host of LL Cool J’s upcoming Hip Hop “treasure hunting” series for A&E.