Music Nation Launches Hip-Hop Talent Competition— Recording Contract At Stake

June 6, 2007 at 11:34 am | Posted in Hip Hop News/Press Releases | Leave a comment

Music Nation (, the artist development company, has announced today the upcoming launch of its second series of online multi-genre video music competitions. Coming off the success of its first competition, which saw more than 2,500 artists compete for a recording contract with Epic Records, the new Music Nation contests will officially launch on June 18th and will be a chance for unsigned rock and hiphop acts to be discovered online. Grand prize winners in both 12-week competitions will be awarded recording contracts – signed jointly by Original Signal Recordings, the label arm of Music Nation, and Epic Records – as well as a host of additional prizing, including a performance on FUEL TV’s show “The Daily Habit” for the rock winner and a Green Lantern mixtape for the hiphop winner.

The judges in the rock competition are Dave Allen, bassist for seminal post-punk band Gang of Four, and Andy Gershon, executive vice president of Epic Records. Allen, a self-described “culture hound,” currently serves as GM of Portland, OR-based marketing and interactive agency Nemo Design ( and records his daily reflections on the crisscrossing of the Internet, music, marketing, and social networking on his blog Pamplemousse (  He will bring his extensive musical knowledge and experience to Music Nation – offering invaluable and varied advice to up-and-coming artists. Gershon, best known for discovering and breaking new artists such as The Smashing Pumpkins, founding Outpost Recordings (home of The Crystal Method, Veruca Salt, and Whiskeytown), as well as serving as president of V2 Records (home of acclaimed artists The White Stripes, The Raconteurs and The Blood Brothers) has a proven and keen eye for identifying talent that will be of tremendous value throughout the Music Nation competition. Carrie Schupper, music program manager for Gen Art, rounds out the rock judges.  With Gen Art, the leading arts and entertainment organization dedicated to showcasing and supporting emerging fashion designers, filmmakers, musicians, and visual artists, Schupper is responsible for scouting and booking up-and-coming musicians. Through a platform of events and supported by its corporate partners, Gen Art provides the opportunity to showcase and expose rising talent to its targeted national audience of influential members, industry, and press.

 “In an era when good old-fashioned A&R skills seem to be overlooked, it is heartening to find that companies like Music Nation and record labels Original Signal Recordings and Epic Records are willing to go the extra mile to discover what is certainly a huge untapped talent pool,” said Dave Allen.  “I’m proud to be able participate and look forward to finding the best new rock band out there.”

 “Music Nation proved itself to be a viable A&R platform for the Epic Records family with its first competition,” said Andy Gershon, EVP of Epic Records. “I’m excited to be able to participate in a completely hands-on way and look forward to interacting with the wealth of talent I’m expecting to come across on the site.”

“With the increase of the internet’s ability to allow young musicians to reach an audience, it is wonderful to find someone else with similar goals to Gen Art – that is dedicated to supporting and showcasing this emerging talent through targeted results,” said Carrie Schupper, music program manager for Gen Art. “Helping to find their way to the forefront by exposing them not only to a national consumer fanbase of voters and panel of influential judges, Music Nation provides a wonderful and unique opportunity for these talented musicians to have their voices heard and hopefully a step forward in reaching their dreams.”

In addition to the recording contract with Original Signal Recordings/Epic Records, the lucky rock winner will perform on FUEL TV’s “The Daily Habit,” a half-hour show that mixes top pop culture stories with leading action-sports personalities, music, and comedy.  A unit of Fox Cable Networks, FUEL TV is a 24/7 action sports lifestyle network for skateboarding, surfing, snowboarding, BMX, freestyle-motorcross and wakeboarding.

Additional prizes for the Music Nation grand prize rock winner include: a custom-branded guitar by Izze Fruit Sodas and a completely stocked Izze fridge; a Pacific Drums & Percussion Black 805 kit with Red Hardware, 24″ kick, and 8.155 Hardware pack and throne; a run of 1,000 commercial quality CDs supplied by DiskFaktory; and a LR Baggs M1 Active guitar pick-up.  Prizing for rock finalists and quarterfinalists qualifiers also includes: custom-branded Gelaskins; guitar and bass Coffin Cases; and guitar knob prize packs from Custom Shop Guitar Parts.

The judges in the hiphop competition are DJs/Producers Green Lantern and 9th Wonder, as well as rapper Saigon. Having worked with artists like Eminem, Ghostface Killah, Jadakiss and Busta Rhymes, Green Lantern’s legendary mixtapes have become a staple in the hiphop community, with artists vying for the chance to be featured. Formerly one-third of Little Brother, Grammy Award winning producer 9th Wonder has worked alongside the likes of Jay-Z, Destiny’s Child, Mary J. Blige and Lloyd Banks, among others. Saigon, the Fort Knocks/Hip Hop Since 1978/Atlantic Records artist, is best known for his successful string of mixtapes and his recurring role on Season Two of HBO’s series “Entourage.”  He is the first artist signed to super-producer Just Blaze’s Fort Knocks label.

In addition to being awarded a recording contract with Original Signal Recordings/Epic Records, the grand prize hip hop winner will also have an opportunity usually reserved for hiphop’s biggest names: the chance to have Green Lantern create a custom mixtape for the artist, which will include an exclusive song produced by the renowned DJ/producer.

“Something like this sparked my interest as I move into the next phase of my career – helping artists get from point A to point B….and eventually point Z,” said Green Lantern.  “I’m looking to bring the best out of some artists that are lesser known and I’m excited to see what the prospects are out there.”

“It definitely took time for me to get my big break and get discovered so I can appreciate what Music Nation is doing for independent artists,” said 9th Wonder.  “I’m ready to dig in to the site, find some new talent and get them moving forward in their careers.”

 “As an MC who knows what it’s like to struggle and hustle to get known in this business, I can appreciate any artist who’s willing to work hard for recognition,” said Saigon.  “I’m gonna do my best to help out these unsigned artists in whatever way I can.”

Additional prizes for the winner in the hiphop genre include the chance to perform at the 2008 Brooklyn Hip Hop Festival, presented by The Room Service Group and Brooklyn Bodega (, as well as: styling by L-R-G for the artist’s first music video for Original Signal/Epic (weekly winners will also receive t-shirts from L-R-G); a Pacific Drums & Percussion X7 Gold to Black Sparkle Fade Kit w/8.155 Hardware pack and throne; and a run of 1,000 commercial quality CDs furnished by DiskFaktory.

“After the tremendous response we’ve received from the artist community during our first competition, we are extremely excited to once again provide unsigned acts with the opportunity to be discovered and ultimately signed via the Music Nation platform,” said Daniel Klaus, Music Nation CEO. “Having such esteemed and artist-credible judges like Andy Gershon, Dave Allen, DJ Green Lantern, Saigon, 9th Wonder, and Carrie Schupper will only add to the industry feedback we’re able to provide artists, the clout of the competition, and ultimately the buzz behind our winners.”

About Music Nation

Music Nation is an artist development company at the helm of an online music community, empowering independent artists with tools to market, promote and find an audience.  Through this dynamic community, the company supports multi-genre, video-based music competitions both domestically and abroad.  Utilizing the best of Web 2.0 technology, Music Nation looks to serve as the ultimate portal where artists, records labels and fans alike can connect in today’s digitally driven climate. Founded in 2006, the company is the brainchild of Daniel Klaus (CEO), Lucas Mann (CMO), Kevin P. Ryan (Chairman), and Peter Read (Managing Director, UK and Europe); visionary figures whose expertise crosses the Internet media, e-commerce, artist management/development and the recording industry divides.

About Original Signal Recordings

Original Signal Recordings, the label arm of Music Nation, combines an independent label philosophy with major label backing, offering a unique value to new and established artists through a focus on long-term development and equitable deals. In addition to operating as a traditional label, Original Signal employs new media and other channels to generate sustainability for its roster; it operates as a joint venture with Epic Records.


FUEL TV is a 24/7 action sports lifestyle network for skateboarding, snowboarding, surfing, BMX, freestyle-motocross, and wakeboarding. A unit of Fox Cable Networks, FUEL TV was launched July 1, 2003 and is seen in 24-million U.S. homes. To subscribe to FUEL TV, call 877-4-FUEL-TV. For program times and other information, visit <>.


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