Traditionally, rap's not been a genre associated with Ireland, but gradually, over the past few years, Irish hip hop artists have been slowly but surely raising their profile. That's not a fact that's gone unnoticed by the folks over at Spin 1038 either. That's why they've teamed up with American #1 selling rapper Lupe Fiasco to find Ireland's first Rap Superstar.
The winner will be chosen by public vote, before being given the honour of a verse by Lupe Fiasco on their winning song. According to the man himself, "Lupe Fiasco is going to dedicate a verse to one serious rapper, with a serious song that we can all agree on…If you bring a nice record ... we'll pick the best one and I'll do a verse on it and we’ll play it on the radio"
The search began on March 7th and since then short list has been narrowed down to three finalists by Lupe and David Miller, Vice President of Atlantic Records, who has had the pleasure of working with such giants as Jay-Z, P Diddy and Notorious BIG. The final three tracks are:
Pop Dogg featuring Raw Soul – Get Loose
Nu-Centz featuring Class B and Gabriella Marsella - Had Enough
Phrase – Wordplay
Voting opens tomorrow, Thursday April 14th over at www.spin1038.com/lupe, where you'll also be able to listen to each of the three tracks, and the winner will be announced the following week on Thursday April 21st on Fully Charged (weekdays from 6.45am to 09.45am with Ryan Philips and Tracy Clifford).
And just in case you need to know more about the shortlisted acts, here's their bios:
Pop Dogg - Pop Dogg is Irish based rap artist, who has been representing hip-hop in Ireland for over 5 years. On stage, Pop Dogg is very energetic and passionate and has performed in various venues around Ireland and in Elsburg in South Africa and Lusaka in Zambia. He has raised the curtains for American Rapper-The Game, and is well known for his double, triple and quadruple rhyming skills while maintaining a grip on the same storyline..
Nu-Centz – Born in 1987, Nu-Centz (AKA Rob Byrne) was raised in the working class area of Tallaght, Dublin. At age 12 he began penning his own rap tunes under the name Nu-Centz, a name given to him by his mother due to his constantly unpredictable and annoying behaviour. Never one to care what anybody else thinks (his words, not ours), Nu-Centz makes commercial and radio friendly music which appeals to him. He has released a number of mix tapes, performed his material all over the country, and collaborated with some of Ireland's most respected rappers.
Phrase - Phrase aka Gavin Redmond has been passionate about hip-hop since he was 12 years old, after he first saw a crew of break-dancers perform on his street one summer.
Phrase was in a band called "FourFront" a few years back who released a single called "Get Together", and they played on the "Beat on the Street" circuit on Aston's Quay in Dublin. Phrase once supported U.S. artist J-Live but then decided to stop performing because he felt that maybe the dream was over. “I guess I entered this as my last real shot and to prove it to myself that it wasn’t a waste.”