From Milli Vanilli to DMX, to Migos to Fetty Wap, Kevin Liles has always been successful at working with new artists. Last night (July 18) the legendary executive and Verizon held the second annual #freestyle50 launch event, where a myriad of aspiring MCs had a chance to show their skills at NYC’s Marquee nightclub.
“I just think we’re at a point where people are freestyling so much. We’re freestyling our way to success,” Liles said, accompanied by family friend and super producer London On The Track. “You got artists out here wearing what they want to wear, and saying what they want to say. Being who they are. I said ‘let’s celebrate success.’ I don’t want another day to go without celebrating freestyling our way to success.”
DJ Enuff and DJ Camilo spun music while Busta Rhymes threw middles from the stage, performing a medley of his classics such as “Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Can See,” the remix to “Ante Up” and “Look At Me Now.” Tee Grizzley, who is signed to Liles’ label 300, also set it off onstage with “First Day Out” and “No Effort.”
Contestants who want to enter the #Freestyle50challenge have to upload a verse to Twitter or Instagram @300ent @Verizon spitting over the instrumental to Grizzley’s “No Effort,” which London produced. The winner receives a prize of $10,000, a single produced by London on da Track, and a spot on 300’s new artist development tour. Tre’ Da Kid won the contest in 2016.
“This event tonight is significant,” Grizzley said after his soundcheck earlier in the afternoon. “They’re giving people a chance to do songs with some of the artists they’ve been dreaming to work with. A producer that’s killing the game right now. This is a big event for me and the contestants.”
“I want people to rock with my man Tee Grizzley,” Liles said. “I can’t do nothing in New York without my man Bussa Bus, he’s one of the ultimate MCs. We’re having a good time.”
“I want to be able to able to help the people that’s up and coming be great. I want to help them become better,” London said.
“(Liles) is giving up and coming artists a chance to show their talent,” said Smack White, the founder of Ultimate Rap League the host of the evening. “It’s a real dope program.”