Funk Volume and HiphopDX held their 7th annual Don’t Funk Up Our Beats contest mid-summer. Entry to the popular rap contest requires contestants to purchase at least one beat for $9.99 and create a rap video within the three weeks the contest is open. Once their submissions are uploaded and the contest opens--viewers can vote for their favorite video. The contest closed in early August and winners were announced last week.
Grand Prize: Trippz Michaud - "POLARITY"
The last thing that Trippz Michaud said in his winning video was “no contest”—while his confident prediction was correct, his video submission is the perfect example of how sometimes less is more. The video was just himself and some simple (but clever) animation. There was nothing typically “rap” about it—nothing to distract viewers from seeing and hearing him. Tripp Michaud seems to be the definition of “up and coming” its hard to piece together a cohesive story due to lack of web presence but he has almost 8,000 likes on his facebook music page—which he seems to use as his main outlet & has the biggest social media presence. You don’t have to dig for long to get the sense that we will hear more of his story very soon—this is an artist who clearly values individualism and is passionate about music. His Facebook posts are very telling and give the sense that he is in transition and onto the next chapter of his life—hopefully this means we will start seeing a lot more releases. He announced this summer that he is dropping TRIPPZMICHAUD his last mixtape/release under his current stage name before he becomes “THE WEIRD ONE.” The mixtape will be available on September 21st.
Second Place: Devon Beck - "100 $EEDS"
"100 $EEDS" is another no fuss rap video. Devon Beck’s winning track can best be described as underground alternative rap. His style is intellectual and this submission feels a lot like slam poetry. There is nothing “ghetto” or “gangster” about his sound or message—he is college educated and comes from a standard American family. The Maryland rapper may not have made an official major release but he has definitely moved his music goals forward by opening for fairly well-known acts like Wale, Meek Millz, and Big Sean. According to his bio on facebook: he is apparently aiming to get 30 tracks laid out in the studio to pitch to major record labels. We may soon have something fresh to add to our music collections as it has been he is working on releasing an EP called The Resistance.
Third Place: DR3W - “LET’S WORK”
Philadelphia rapper DR3W placed third, with his track “Let’s Work.” Out of the three winners DR3W has the most classical “underground” independent sound like an early Eminem/Apathy hybrid of influence. DFUOB7 is just one of a few online rap contests he has won. He is fairly well known in Philly for starting his growing movement Stay [N3Wtral] which is also the name of his debut mixtape. DR3W is also an artist invested in his work—all of his music, production, direction is done by himself.