Apache Cafe and underground hip-hop extraordinaire, Emcee MICxSIC hosted a full house for The Bar Exam open mic competition last night. The competition featured over a dozen artist that hungered for a chance to be heard at the A3C Hip-Hop Festival this year. The Dungeon Family's, King Malachi and Jawz of Life were on the panel of guest celebrity judges and selected four finalist for the audience to choose a winner from. The four finalist; S&S, Fly Guy, Peer Persha, and Illori Vice came from near and far and impressed the audience with their performances for that spot on the debuting A3C stage for The Bar Exam Showcase 2013. For the first time, MICxSIC's Bar Exam will set stage at the festival to spotlight unsigned talent and the winner of the Bar Exam competition, Illori Vice, will be a headliner at the A3C on October 5th, 2013.
At the event, the host and the judges of the competition stressed how important productive criticism is for the organic growth of artist - to remind the audience that The Bar Exam open mic was created to provide a honest lane for unsigned hip-hop artist to be evaluated by their peers, hence the name.
The winner, Atlanta's Illori Vice, 23, performed with such passion as he annihilated his competitors with his lyrical skill set. He started his set paying homage to the late Pop icon, Michael Jackson while wearing a sequined jacket that emulated the glove MJ wore when he performed. Now I say, anyone who trademarks themselves at an open mic competition exhibits more dedication to their craft than a little bit. The best performances leave us in awe from entertainment at its best. Performing artist need to understand that their connection with the audience is what sells their brand. That's Branding 101 - BE REMEMBERED, and that Illori was! For Illori Vice his onstage presence and conscientious flow was his signature on the passport to stardom. My only advice to him - slow down and breathe when you deliver your message because it needs to resonate in the minds of your fans.
As well as the other finalist; who may not have won the competition, but won the crowd with their creative ability to market themselves effectively. Peer Persha from Cinncinati, Ohio, will be remembered for leaving his business card on every table at the venue. S&S, a male/female duo that graced the stage with their catchy hook: "we go all in - all in." Their original song, 'Dominoes' won't ever leave my head! As far as rapper Fly Guy, who appeared to be from New York since his entourage rooted for him wearing gear that tagged New York City - I won't remember much more than that. To his defense I missed his first set. Yet, he could of pulled me in on things at the conclusion of the competition when the four finalist were allowed a second chance to go in acapella bar for bar.
Overall, MICxSIC put on an amazing event and it was good to see the youth give it all they got to following their dreams! Keep it up my people because we have to bring Hip-Hop back to life! Kudos and big-ups to the loyal supporters and organizers of real hip-hop!