In March, Charron won the Freestyle Friday tournament on BET’s 106 & Park. His prize was a $5,000 cheque and a much-coveted appearance on the annual BET cyphers. For the uninitiated, the network airs several taped cyphers – basically, a group of MCs taking turns rapping on a beat – throughout its annual hip-hop awards show. These segments feature some of the best MCs in the recording industry, and for many viewers, the cyphers are easily the best part of the telecast. (Here’s an example from 2011, featuring Eminem.) For Charron, the opportunity to rap alongside critically-acclaimed artists on national TV was clearly the opportunity of a lifetime.
On Monday, BET released the list of rappers appearing in this year’s cyphers, which have already been filmed and will air on Oct. 15. Kendrick Lamar drops a verse. Action Bronson does too. As does A$AP Rocky, Lil Kim, Joe Budden and others. But alas, the one name we expected to see wasn’t there: Charron.
A user on RMBVA noticed the omission and posted a thread to ask what happened. Within an hour, Charron replied. Here’s what he said:
I called and emailed them for several months without getting a response. Last week an executive informed me they “changed the cypher format.” I got the Justin Bieber treatment! Very unfair since it was part of the prize and I bussed over 200 hours in total to earn it. I did receive the 5k and also 300 dollars worth of taco bell gift cards. I took my family out to celebrate the win and they didn’t even work in Canada lmao! So embarrassing… They did Corey Charoon dirty. My image stays bodying me. Just bought a good life pass, apparently that’s the only prerequisite in earning a title shot.
In subsequent posts, Charron said that BET only contacted him after filming was done. He also says the cypher was “contractually included.”
We’ve reached out to BET for comment, but have yet to hear back. We’ll update this post if and when they offer their side of the story.
Several battle rappers have weighed in online. Their collective opinion is unanimous: Charron got screwed by BET. A number of battlers – including The Saurus, 100 Bulletz, Isaac Knox, Tricky P and Real Talk – have posted their reactions on RMBVA. And here’s what people in the battle community are saying on Twitter:
@bet you promised Charron a spot? Why did you lie?
— LexxLuthor #ROSxMAG (@TheLexxorcist) September 30, 2013
Wow BET screwed charron out of the cypher even though they said that was the prize, what an absolute bunch of faggots
— Trolled Dahl (@DeffinitionMC) September 30, 2013
— IG : bishopbrigante (@BishopBrigante) September 30, 2013
— Scott Jackson (@ScottJacksonBB) September 30, 2013
Thanks to everyone that is voicing concerns about the BET Cypher situation. Not fair to win something and have it taken away from you.
— Corey Charron (@charronkotd) September 30, 2013
Apparently, BET has a track record of breaking promises. Charron mentioned that Organik won the network’s “Canadian Spring Bling” competition, but was denied a Freestyle Friday appearance that was promised to him.
We asked Organik about his own ordeal. It turns out he won the competition twice, and he says that both times the network reneged on its promise to have him on the show. Organik also sent us a photo with a gift certificate that listed the following: a round-trip ticket to New York City, “VIP access” to BET’s Freestyle Friday and a pair of tickets to a Rick Ross concert. The slip is dated June 6, 2008, with the prize valued at $5,000.
Organik added: “Never got any of it. A good reason I stopped relying on other people and put myself in the position I’m in. I was told I was too much of a liability due to previous content.”
So there you have it. Charron seems to have been screwed by BET, as was the founder/president of his home league, King of the Dot. One thing is for certain: this year’s cyphers have a less impressive lineup than past years. Charron would have been a welcome addition.
If you agree that Charron should be included, RT this, which tags Stephen Hill, the president of music programming and specials at BET Networks.
— Blogtimus Prime (@TOBattleBlog) October 1, 2013
Have a look at the rest of the site, including front-row event recaps of KOTD’s World Domination 4, interviews with Pat Stay, Arcane and Bender, and our breakdown of the best battles from August. And follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for more updates.
And check out ANGRYFAN007‘s rant on the Charron/BET dustup too: