Artist Statement

Soul Food Cypher joined us for our Eastside Performances on October 13, 2018.


Artist Bio

Soul Food Cypher will utilize the craft of freestyle lyricism to connect individuals to each other and the legacy of the Historic Old Fourth Ward Skate Park. Long before the Beltline broke ground, this area had been a place where aerosol artists and skaters sharpened their skills – they named it the ‘The Foundation.’ It was a place where rich and poor, black and white came together for the love of their crafts. Our performance will celebrate it as an epicentre of creativity and unification. With two one-hour performances, we will present this rich history by utilizing some of our most popular segments from our cypher events, ‘WordPlay’ and ‘1×1’s.’ During WordPlay (photos 1 & 2), our emcees (freestyle rap artists) and members of the audience will freestyle based on images and words they see on screen. We will customize our WordPlay deck to feature themes and words about the history of 04W Skate Park. We will later open it up for the crowd to submit words. For our 1×1’s segment (photo 3), we will allow members from the crowd to join our emcees for a conversation in rhyme. Each participant will take turns to complete a verse together. Audience members have the option of interacting in three ways: providing words to the wordplay deck, call and response, and performing.In conclusion, the goals of this performance are that each attendee leaves culturally and cerebrally engaged, has positive interactions, and learns how the Beltline celebrates and preserves a tradition

Alexander Acosta—is a Community Leader, Arts Advocate, and the Executive Director of Soul Food Cypher. In 2011, he had a vision of creating the cypher while mentoring at-risk teenagers at the Whitefoord Intel computer clubhouse in Atlanta, Georgia. Originally, he aimed to teach students media production at the clubhouse, but quickly found he could reach them directly through their shared passion of hip-hop. Experiencing their brilliance and spontaneous ingenuity, he became a believer in their ability to improve themselves and their communities through their words.

Wahid Khoshravani—is a Co-Founder and Operations Director of Soul Food Cypher. He also is a professional DJ and Producer under alias “Source One” with extensive knowledge and background in music, especially hip-hop. Born in Shiraz, Iran and growing up in both Germany and the U.S.,
he was influenced by middle-eastern folk music and western genres such as jazz, soul, and rap. Self-taught, he has been producing since 2002 and began deejaying in 2012.

Mark Montgomery “Markmont.”—is the Creative Director for Soul Food Cypher. Markmont.
has been a professional designer for the past 10 years in the Atlanta area. Hailing from Boston Massachusetts, Markmont. used to have freestyle rap sessions with Acosta and several other friends a few years prior to founding SFC with the rest of the team.

Eric Ludgood—is Soul Food Cypher’s curator. He was born and raised in Mobile, Alabama. He has been an active participant in Hip Hop Culture since the mid-1980’s, specializing in improvised rhyming, beatmaking and cartooning. As curator he develops programming and exercises that build a platform for freestyle emcees to build on their raw talent and utilize their skills in virtually any setting (i.e. Art galleries, showcases, schools).