CIPHA SOUNDS 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 brought him to Hot 97 (New York’s #1 Hip Hop station), where he moved up the ranks—from Flex’s intern, to running his own show “Cipha Saturdays,” and finally to hosting the coveted morning spot. 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’ Star Trak record labels. Jay-Z, Rihanna, J.Lo, Mariah Carey, Lil Kim, and Yasiin Bey (fka Mos Def) are just a few artists he’s worked with as a live DJ.
Whether on the radio, as a VJ for MTV, or as a live DJ, Cipha always maintained a sharp sense of humor on the mic. He first broke into the comedy scene as the official DJ for Chappelle’s Show. He’s continued to work with Dave—joining him on tours as both a DJ and comedian—ever since the seminal series pushed Cipha to pursue live comedy.
He started by studying improv at UCB and practicing stand-up throughout NYC. He was the creator and host of the critically acclaimed UCB show “Take It Personal – The Hip Hop Improv Show,” which featured guests like Questlove, DJ premier, Wu-Tang Clan, Zoe Kravitz, Donald Glover, and 2 Chainz. He went from being a regular DJ at SNL afterparties to being Michael Che’s go-to opening act, touring with him internationally and appearing in his most recent special for Netflix. Cipha’s become known on the small screen as the host of TruTV’s Laff Mobb Laff Tracks and Fuse’s What’s Ur Thing?. He was a consulting producer on several seasons of Wild-N-Out, had a small role in Spike Lee’s film 25th Hour, and recently appeared in That Damn Michael Che for HBO Max.
When not traveling the world to do stand-up with Chappelle, Che, Michelle Wolf, Mo Amer, and others, you can catch him at New York’s iconic Comedy Cellar or headlining celebrated clubs around the country. You can 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).
This summer you can see Cipha perform on Bert Kreischer’s Fully Loaded Tour, and as a host on A&E’s upcoming Hip Hop “Treasure Hunting” series produced by LL Cool J.