REVIVE CYPHER • Episode 1 (Ft. Matt Muse, Free Jay, Leo Mantra, The Law of Huey, Stark of Huey)

Follow the Cornerstore

Directed by REVIVE

Today we’ve got a great new, and unconventional, premiere from the good people at The Cornerstore podcast and Revive visuals. A blazing hot new cypher! The first of many. Featuring flows from Stark and The Law from Huey Gang, Free Jay and Leo Mantra from Freesole Collective, and Matt Muse, this is a visual that captures that boundless musical energy you get when blessed to watch a group of artists get in a room and make magic together. This cypher was shot as promo for Kevin Coval’s book A People’s History of Chicago, as well as for The Cornerstore podcast, which is made up of Kevin and Tara Mahadevan. We’re quite sure that after viewing this you’ll leave more than convinced to check out both properties. The cypher was directed by Alex Myung of Revive.

Continue reading below to learn more about this new series! 

What is the "Revive Cypher" - how did this cypher come to be? 

Kevin and I curated an all-illustrator show at Gallery Cafe in Wicker Park in October, and the idea was that while the artwork was still up, we would film some videos in the space. We both work closely with young, emerging rappers and wanted to showcase their talents, so a cypher was perfect. I do have to admit that the video was thrown together last minute, but I think the bones of it are what's important, as well as our—and filmmaker Alex Myung's—commitment to continually showcasing Chicago talent.

Big shout out to all the illustrators whose work is featured in the video: Runsy, Churro, Langston Allston, Vivian Le, and Liz Ortiz.

Can you tell us a little about The Cornerstore podcast?

The Cornerstore is a place for us to chop it up with artists who are creating beautiful work, who inspire us, and whom we admire. It addresses the why and how, not the what. Our show wouldn't exist without the OG of podcasting, Combat Jack, whose long-form podcast The Combat Jack Show was such an amazing, laudable deep dive into people—which is The Cornerstore's ambition too. It's a way for us to document what's happening in Chicago and around the world, and further strengthen the moment the city is having. It's a way for us to tell stories about the people who aren't in the foreground or who aren't poppin just yet. A major goal of ours is to travel and interview people in different cities, and to create a stronger bridge between Chicago, St. Louis, Detroit, New York, Los Angeles, London, Paris, and more.

R.I.P. Reggie Ossé

This was Episode 1 - what are your future plans for it?

Everything Kevin and I do is so collaborative in nature, so whenever we work with someone else, we want their opinion, their input. And that's why Alex is so great: he has ideas. He shot the first video that Kevin and I did together, "Ode to Footwork," which is just a beautiful visual. He really helped us produce the cypher video, and helped us envision what a series could look like. The point of the series is to give the musicians a little shine, and to replicate the same intimate, easygoing atmosphere in the first episode, but in different spaces. I also want more womyn/femmes/nonbinary artists in our next video—that was something we were truly missing.

What's your favorite aspect of a cypher? 

I'd say the camaraderie—and the raw talent. That's something you can immediately see in this video. Especially Leo Mantra. He's like a lil Twista.