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16 Bars: the Next Evolution of Hip-Hop Begins

April 19, 2005

Groundbreaking competition brings hip-hop back to its roots by putting power in the hands of fans

16 Bars is a series of 3 competitions featuring hip-hop artists from all over America and beyond. The three 16 Bars shows -- Combine, Phenom, and Icon -- will provide the live and pay-per-view audiences the opportunity to enjoy the hottest talent in hip-hop and to vote on the artist they think is worthy of the title.

Combine features the hottest underground talent in hip-hop. 16 Bars Combine will take place June 20th at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City.
Phenom features up-and-coming hip-hop stars that have been signed by major labels and who are getting ready to break out. 16 Bars Phenom will take place September 18th in Atlanta.
Icon will bring together some of the biggest names in hip-hop artists who have gone platinum. 16 Bars Icon will take place December 29th in Los Angeles.

But 16 Bars is not just a series of competitions, it is a movement to give underground and up-and-coming artists a chance through increased exposure and to provide veteran artists a way to put some intensity and urgency back into their work through the rigor of competition.

To reward hard work and talent and to increase competition, the winner of Combine gets to compete at Phenom. The winner of Phenom then gets a crack at the big stage with a place in Icon. So an unsigned artist has a shot to take their talent from the street to the stage to a global audience over the course of the three shows.

Perhaps most important, 16 Bars is a movement to put hip-hop back into the hands of its fans. All three 16 Bars shows will be judged by the live and pay-per-view audiences using an innovative scoring system that gives them total control of the outcome. The winners of each show will be determined by a groundbreaking scoring system that combines the votes of the live audience (gauged by crowd decibel level inside the venue) with votes cast via text message; votes cast via e-mail (voters must register at; and votes cast by a panel comprised of local DJs, hip-hop personalities, and a fan selected through an online contest.

16 Bars is also about connecting hip-hop to the communities where artists got their inspiration. So not only will the winner of each show receive a cash prize, but 16 Bars will also make a matching contribution to a charity in the winners home community.

16 Bars is truly groundbreaking. I am confident that it will have a great impact on hip-hop and help shape the future of our culture, said Kevin Liles, President and CEO, Def Jam Enterprises.

The first show, Combine, will include only unsigned artists. Slated to take place in New Yorks famous Hammerstein Ballroom, Combine will be comprised of three rounds. In Round 1, artists will perform an introductory song focused on who they are and where they represent. In Round 2, each artist will have to freestyle over the same pre-determined beat. In Round 3, artists will get to perform their best work. The winner gets a cash prize, a matching contribution to a hometown charity of their choice, and a slot in the second show, Phenom.

Combine artists and where they represent include:

Frankie Krutches: Brooklyn
Lil Weavah: Atlanta
Rob Kelly: Ireland
Big Sid: Louisiana
Alazae: South Carolina
Cleazy: Kentucky
Miss Toi: Los Angeles
Vic Damone: Queens
Napoleon: Newark
Stylo: Omaha

People need to check out 16 Bars Combine, said legendary mixtape DJ OG Ron C. These artists are the folks youre going to be hearing for years to come. Theyre young and hungry, and they want a shot to get heard, so theyll be bringing it.

All three 16 Bars competitions will be broadcast on In-Demand pay-per-view. For more information, go to, and stay tuned for upcoming announcements from 16 Bars.


16 Bars is a Red Queen Media Production

Tony Wyche (for 16 Bars)
4657-a maryland
saint louis, missouri 63108
t 314.361.4774
f 314.361.4994

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