Fresh Empire’s “Battle for the Cosign” has officially ended and we’ve got our semifinalists and grand prize winner to congratulate.
There’s no denying the recent contest brought out the best of the best in upcoming talent, with winner Cameron Bryant and semifinalists Chanel Higgins and Sire Haulcy blowing us away with their songs and spoken word entries. Fresh Empire salutes all the entrants and those who represent hip-hop, stay on their grind, and of course, live tobacco-free.
In case you missed it, Fresh Empire’s Battle for the Cosign contest was comprised of three rounds, each of which boasted a famous judge: Sage the Gemini, WondaGurl, and Lenny S. The winners were given career advice from the judges and each winning video was entered into the final round — judged by Big K.R.I.T.
Cameron Bryant was chosen as the grand prize winner. Cameron, who also goes by Cam, says it was his love for Big K.R.I.T. and the possibility of winning a studio experience with the rapper that motivated him to enter Fresh Empire’s Battle for the Cosign. In the third round, his talent caught the eye of Sage the Gemini, who coached him and gave him the advice that ultimately led him to take the grand prize. “[When I won] I was like ‘Man, what? Thank you, Jesus! This is crazy! I was super hype; it was not expected at all.”
What was Sage the Gemini’s advice? “Everybody gets their time.” Cam shared he used to get discouraged easily because he felt like he was always waiting for his chance to come. “I was basing my life off of other people’s lives,” he said. “Now, I’m just patient and as soon as I stopped worrying about how and when it was going to happen, it started happening.”Sage’s advice helped him find patience and encouraged him to stay ready. But, that was only the beginning. As the grand prize winner, Global Grind flew Cam out to Los Angeles and Atlanta for in-person meet-and-greets and studio experiences with Lenny S. and K.R.I.T. Lenny S. kicked the day off with a surprise secret meeting location—DJ Khaled’s mansion–where Cam also met Khaled himself and received invaluable career advice — aka The Keys — from the two industry titans. Lenny S. also allowed Cam to listen to a concert tour meeting with rapper Fabolous and taught him some of the executive tips of the music game. After that, Cam played songs for the Roc Nation exec and received A&R direction and feedback.
If that wasn’t cool enough, last month Global Grind also flew Cam out to ATL for his next meet and greet with platinum recording artist Big K.R.I.T. After checking in to his hotel in Midtown, Cam met his favorite rapper at the legendary Patchwerk studios where he played his music for K.R.I.T. and received his advice on song structure. K.R.I.T. gave Cam priceless advice for his career, including tips on breaking through in hip-hop and persevering as an upcoming artist. Cam was even able to get his song mixed by a top-level engineer. After an amazing day, Cam received gear from Fresh Empire while he and K.R.I.T. bonded over being from small towns and having talent that is recognized on a national level. Cam must have really impressed K.R.I.T. because after the meet and greet was over, K.R.I.T.’s management discussed the possibility of Cam joining K.R.I.T.’s label MULTI if he keeps working hard.
Check out Cam’s experience and winning verse below, along with our two semifinalists’ submissions. And be sure to stay connected with @FreshEmpire on social and Freshempire.com for the next big contest, and the chance to choose which hot new name in hip hop will be the leader of The New Wave. Remember, keep it fresh, and live tobacco-free.
“I’ve been singing for as long as I can remember,” Chanel told Global Grind. “I grew up in church, so that was my foundation as far as music.” Chanel, who submitted a beautiful track she titled “I’m here,” says it was her personal trials and tribulations that inspired the song. “It’s just about me working this job that I hate. I know what my dreams and goals are and I’m not going to give up – I’m just going to work hard until I get where I’m going.”
Thirteen-year-old Sire took a different approach in getting our attention. The vibrant teen’s submission about a kid who finds out he has cancer and blames his parents was a work of fiction but no less touching. Sire says he’s actually been rapping for eight years and more recently ventured into spoken word, saying, “My goal has always been to make a difference in the music industry, to uplift, motivate, and inspire the youth in the most positive way possible.” He has since linked up with Fresh Empire regularly at their Atlanta events and has become a fan favorite.