Celebrities host freestyle battle of aspiring Dallas MCs

Chelsea Jones | 7/15/2013, 8:19 a.m.
Ice Cube, Bun B, and DJ Drama were the judges of a freestyle battle between aspiring Dallas-area MCs, Beach Boy ...
Ice Cube and DJ Drama crown local artist, D. Brown, center, the Coldest MC in Dallas, at the first search for the Coldest 2013 artist showcase, held at the AT&T Plaza at the American Airlines Center. D. Brown was one of two MCs selected by fans to compete in Dallas, and will now have the chance to compete against aspiring MCs from across the country during the semifinals in Atlanta. Photo by Family Features

Ice Cube, Bun B, and DJ Drama were the judges of a freestyle battle between aspiring Dallas-area MCs, Beach Boy and D. Green on June 13 at the AT&T Plaza of the American Airlines Center.

The battle was part of the Coors Light Search for the Coldest MC contest. Along with celebrity hosts and judges, each event also includes one guest rapper, such as Juicy J, Pusha T, French Montana or Big Sean. The event marks its third year. From June 13 to Aug.1, the contest tours eight cities, with Dallas as its first stop. Other cities include Charlotte, New Orleans, Baltimore, Philadelphia, Chicago, Atlanta and New York.

The contest winner will receive the Coldest Artist Package, which includes studio time to record a track produced by DJ Drama, one verse from Bun B to be used on the track, a feature on the contest’s mixtape, and media coverage in Complex and Vibe magazines. In addition, the winner will obtain a $20,000 check, a Dr. Dre Beats Pill speaker, and a speaker bag and t-shirt.

The purpose of the competition is to discover a star.

“You can’t think you’re fresh, you gotta know you’re fresh. You gotta be a person that’s a star in the rough. You gotta know [that] you got the talent, [but] you just haven’t been discovered,” Ice Cube said in a video interview uploaded on the contest’s website.

Ice Cube believes that participants, who aspire to be MCs because of a passion for the art form and not for the fame or wealth, will be the most successful in the competition. He related this to how previous rappers in the music industry, who primarily sought those things, usually had short-term careers.

“I think every MC gotta figure out what he in the game for. Is he in the game for respect? Is he in the game for money? Is he in the game for women, cars, or jewelry? If you’re in it for the wrong reason, you’ll probably fizz out because the selling record game is funky right now,” Ice Cube said.

Nevertheless, at the Dallas event press conference, Bun B encouraged participants to keep striving for their goals even if they lose.

“If you’re told ‘No.’ or ‘You’re not what we want right now.’ that can be a bit heartbreaking,” Bun B said. “[But] you gotta have determination if this is your dream, to keep going pass the ‘No’s’ and ‘Not-this-times’ and ‘Maybe-next-years.’ You can’t let anybody tell you that you can’t be what you want to be – not me, not Drama, not anybody.”

Perhaps the biggest challenge for participants will be performing in front of a crowd.

“It’s one thing to submit a record, and that’s a great start,” DJ Drama said. “It’s a way for us to judge the quality, creativity, originality, and just the bump of it. [But] it’s another thing to step on that stage in front of however many people are going to be in the audience, and in front of veterans like Cube, Bun and myself.”