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VH1 And VH1.com Announce FREESTYLE 59

The Ultimate Search for The Next Great Rap Lyricist

2005 Freestyle 59 King to Be Crowned at 2nd Annual 'VH1 Hip Hop Honors,' Premiering September 26 at 9PM*

Panel Of Judges Includes Chuck D, XXL Magazine Editor-In-Chief Elliot Wilson, Capitol Records Executive Vice President of A&R Wendy Goldstein, Radio Station DJs From New York, Los Angeles and Chicago and VH1.com Viewers

NEW YORK, July 7 /PRNewswire/ -- VH1.com, in association with the second annual "VH1 Hip Hop Honors" announces the launch of FREESTYLE 59, an online contest to seek out the best undiscovered hip hop artist in the country. Five finalists will be selected by a celebrity panel of judges and flown to New York to record a video. One winner will be chosen by online and wireless voting, awarded $10,000 and announced during the second annual "VH1 Hip Hop Honors," broadcast on September 26 at 9PM*. This year's honorees include Big Daddy Kane, LL Cool J, Grandmaster Flash and The Furious Five, Notorious B.I.G., Ice T, Salt -N- Pepa, and the film: Boyz N The Hood.

FREESTYLE 59 will challenge MC's across the nation to show off their best rhymes in 59 seconds or less. Beginning on July 12th and running through August 8th, contestants will be able to post their videos on VH1.com, where viewers can then watch and vote for who they think should be crowned the 2005 Freestyle 59 King.

A panel of celebrity and music industry judges will be assembled to select five finalists to be flown to NYC for a taping of their performances. Four weeks leading up to the show, viewers will then vote for their favorite via text message and VH1.com, and each week, the MC with the least amount of votes will be cut from the competition until there is only one left. Judges on the panel include hip hop icon Chuck D, Executive Vice President of Artists and Repertoire (A&R) for Capitol Records Wendy Goldstein, Editor-In-Chief of XXL Magazine Elliot Wilson, and DJs from top radio stations across the country including Cipha Sounds (Hot 97 in New York City), DJ Felli Fel (Power 106 in Los Angeles), Poetess (KKBT in Los Angeles), DJ Vaughn Woods (WGCI in Chicago).

*all times ET/PT

The 2005 "VH1 Hip Hop Honors" will be executive produced by "VH1 Hip Hop Honors" Lee Rolontz for VH1 and Jac Benson for Blackjac Entertainment. Louis J. Horvitz will direct. Nelson George and Fab Five Freddie are Consulting Producers.

Sponsors of FREESTYLE 59 include T-Mobile and Paramount Pictures' "Hustle and Flow."

VH1.com offers music and pop culture lovers a wealth of content including world premiere videos, album releases, artist news and bios, movie trailers, new series previews and exclusive features from VH1's marquee events such as the annual "Save The Music Concert," "Hip Hop Honors" and "Big in '05."

VH1 connects viewers to the music, artists and pop culture that matter to them most with series, specials, live events, exclusive online content and public affairs initiatives. VH1 is available in over 87 million households in the U.S. VH1 also has an array of digital services including VH1 Classic, VH1 Soul, VH Uno, VH1 Mega Hits and VH1 Country. Connect with VH1 at http://www.vh1.com/.

VH1 is a registered trademark of MTV Networks, a unit of Viacom International Inc. MTV Networks also operates and offers joint ventures, licensing agreements and syndication deals whereby its programming can be seen worldwide.

Source: VH1

CONTACT: Tracy McGraw/VH1, +1-212-846-7879, or Vanessa Reyes/MTVN,
+1-310-752-8081, or Tina Wynn and Toni Brown/T&T, +1-201-886-8770

Web site: http://www.vh1.com/

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