Music mogul Kevin Liles and mega producer London On Da Track are partnering up with Verizon to host a national talent competition in search of the next voice of hip-hop.
The #freestyle50 challenge will be merging hip-hop and technology and will provide up-and-coming artists a platform to showcase their skills and pursue hip-hop stardom.
The competition will award one grand prize winner a single record deal with Liles’ 300 Entertainment – where their debut song will be produced by London On Da Track, $10,000 and an opening for a 300 Entertainment artist.
Last year, the #freestyle50 challenge was inspired by Verizon’s 8GB for a $50 prepaid offer which was available exclusively at Walmart and this year, Samsung has joined as an official sponsor with their J3 smartphones which will be given to the upcoming artists.
“#Freestyle50 is about you. It’s your truth and your present. It’s a search for storytellers who have something to say. It’s about creators who thrive on self-expression. We all freestyle in one way or another. Show us what you got,” said Kevin Liles, Co-Founder of 300 Entertainment.
“Although social media has helped aspiring artists find an audience, access to real opportunities are still far and few between. The goal of #freestyle50 is to discover that one artist who has the potential to be a new voice for hip-hop and supply them with the resources and support they need to realize that potential,” said London On Da Track.
#Freestyle50 launched on July 18 in New York with a star-studded evening event, and featured live performances by Busta Rhymes and Tee Grizzley and music by DJ Camilo and DJ Enuff.
Entries will be judged on talent, creativity and originality leading to 25 semi-finalists who will be invited to compete in on-air rap battles at radio stations in Chicago, Atlanta, New Orleans, Houston and Los Angeles and out of those, eight national finalists will be selected to compete live at the #freestyle50 cypher in Los Angeles on August 30.
“#Freestyle50 is a celebration of a lyrical art form that transcends cultures and empowers communities. We’re using technology to reinvigorate the freestyle game while transforming lives in the process,” said Jessica Cecile Thorpe, Verizon Corporate Communications Manager, Cultural Engagement and CSR.
Last year’s winner, Tre’ Da Kid, has since released his debut single, ‘Run It,’ produced by London On Da Track and distributed by 300 Entertainment, which received over 100,000 downloads on Spotify in its first week and currently has over 800,000 streams to date.
To enter, artists must post a video of themselves freestyling over Tee Grizzley’s “No Effort” instrumental on Instagram or Twitter, using hashtag #freestyle50challenge and tagging @Verizon and @300Ent. The deadline for entries is Friday, August 4th.
For complete rules and guidelines, visit: http://verizon.com/about/freestyle50challenge.