The Prospect An Unsigned Emcee Competition
Posted on April 10, 2007 by Jamie Slaughter
Scion is helping unsigned emcees get their voices heard with a contest entitled "The Prospect." The competition brings the contestants into the recording studio with super producer Hi-Tek and puts them in front of the camera to create their own music video.
Beginning April 9th, unsigned emcees will have one month to submit their fiercest song to Scion Prospect, with the hopes of becoming the next Prospect. A formidable judging panel including executive editor of The Source, Ryan Ford; Def Jam's Vice President of Artist & Repertoire, Lenny S; and Hi-Tek will review all eligible entries. These experienced players will be looking for the best flows and most imaginative lyrics to select one finalist in July 2007. Produced by non-traditional marketing firm Inform Ventures, The Prospect has a lot more in store for this year's rising star. The winner will work with Hi-Tek to develop their song and shoot a video produced by Scion. The artist, music video, and song will be promoted and launched online and in the press through an innovative marketing program designed to increase the artist's exposure.
This is not the first time Scion hands the mic to an up-and-coming emcee. Through the NEXTUP contest, which the Prospect evolved from, Scion unearthed amazing underground talent. Discoveries included Brooklyn’s Junk Science and Kansas City’s Reach who were awarded a prize package that included a Scion-funded music video.
Hip-hop is a sound and a culture that is based on undeniable talent, displayed live in impromptu freestyle battles. This pure and true talent has kept hip-hop a vital brand of music, filled with an independent spirit on which Scion thrives.
"Many artists contemplate whether they should sign to a major label or go the independent route," said Jeri Yoshizu, Scion sales promotions manager. “We hope the Prospect will provide them additional opportunities to help make an informed decision about their career."
The Prospect continues in the Scion tradition of offering underground artists an alternative entry into the mainstream music business. Programs like Scion’s ongoing A/V Recording Project have released the works of both undiscovered artists as well as legends, including the recently released mix CD featuring DJ Cutler, Connie Price and the Keystones, and Big Daddy Kane.
"I absolutely feel the winner of the Scion's Emcee Competition will benefit for various reasons," stated Lenny S. when asked if The Prospect could really make a difference for promising artists.
"First, the winner gets one step closer to reaching their goal of getting a record deal. For example, they will be exposed to credible A&R reps who have either signed or worked with gold and platinum selling artists and/or major record companies. Second, the hands on experience of recording with a producer who is diverse enough to have worked with artists from Mos Def to 50 Cent is priceless and an opportunity that is not easy to come by."
Scion recognizes that as the desktop production technology booms, homegrown music is finding its own voice. Trumping traditional distribution with on-line sharing and trading, these underground artists are rewriting the rules of the recording industry.
"The Prospect competition is part of this evolution, driving it in exciting new directions," said Yoshizu. "We want to be there to help these bourgeoning voices find an outlet."