New York City Hot 97's Drama King, DJ Kay Slay, held his 3rd annual talent showcase at Club Pyramid in the East Village on Monday (January 30) and some of the radio host's famous friends, including Busta Rhymes, Papoose, Uncle Murda and Fred the Godson attended the show for support.
Each year the showcase gives aspiring rappers an opportunity to gain exposure while networking and promoting their music before a panel of judges.
"He's been so supportive of me and anything I've been doing early on in my career, [so] anytime he calls, I'm there,"" Jon Connor, one of the performers, told XXL. "It's a good networking opportunity even aside from the actual performance. Just your social skills and being able to socialize with people who are trying to get to where you are."
Fred The Godson came through and gave the crowd a few bars. When asked how the showcase helps emerging artists, he said, "I always think Kay Slay gives the people more than other people that's in the game. It's good for the people because a lot of people don't reach out. A lot of unsigned artists don't get a chance to mingle with us rappers that's on, but we can show them the ropes as well. When they see us, it gives them an extra push."
Underground artist and femcee, Nina B added, "Some people came from Michigan. Some people came from Philadelphia. Some people came from Conneticut. It's like a coalition. It's like unity that we need in hip hop."
Uncle Murda brought down the house when he performed his smash hit "Warning." Alongside him on stage was Reek The Villain. Also blazing the stage was Papoose, Torch and last year's showcase winner, Lord Vital. But the winner of this year's showcase was Harlem newcomer, 1 Shot Dealz.
"I ain't even know he was going to represent like that," Kay Slay said about the newcomer. "But he damn sure impressed the judges. The crowd loved him. The judges loved him, and that's all that matters."
1 Shot Dealz took home $1,000 in cash and he will also be interviewed by the Drama King's Street Sweepers show on Shade 45 in coming days, along with a slew of other prizes. —Chanel Clark