By Naomi K. Bonman
Freestyle is culture. Free style is art. And art and culture is Hip-Hop. On Tuesday, August 29, at Play House Nightclub in Hollywood, eight freestyle rappers from across the Nation battled it out at Verizon’s #freestyle50 challenge where they competed for a debut produced by London On Da Track, an opening slot in the upcoming 300 Artist Development Tour, and $10,000. The challenge was hosted by Sway Calloway (former MTV VJ) and Smack White. Nine were chosen from over 9,000 entries submitted through Instagram and Twitter. However, out of the nine finalists only eight performed, due to one being from Houston and having to deal with unfortunate weather conditions which prevented him from attending the finals.
“We’re looking for energy,” London On Da Track stated when asked what skill set that the judges would be looking for. Producer Kevin Liles added to the statement, “Two words, Beast Mode.”
And that is what the finalist brought, energy! The energy was felt throughout the club in the battle between the last two standing, Damond Blue and Y.K Supe went head to head for the grand prize. It was a close call with both rappers staying on cue with a smooth style. Y.K Supe from Chicago took home the grand prize.
The judges of the night included Tuma Basa, Spotify; Carl Chery (Apple Music); and Big Boy, radio host and actor. Other special guests that were in the house and that performed was rising stars Tee Grizzley, OMB Peezy, Cyhi the Prince. Last year’s winner, Tre Da Kid also came on stage and did a quick freestyle. He recently released his debut single, “Run it” which has over one million streams on music streaming platforms. World Renowned Hip-Hop artist, Redman, made a surprise debut and hyped the crowd up before the last two finalists took the stage for the prize.
#freestyle50 was inspired by Verizon’s 8GB for $50 prepaid offer available exclusively at Walmart.
Photo highlights (Photo Credit: Kristina Dixon/11:One Visuals)