In 2019, MTN Uganda through the MTN Pulse brand embarked on discovering new hip- hop talents through the MTN Pulse Rap Battles competition. Through a call for auditions over 1000 rappers from across the showed up on the day of auditions to be a part of the competition.
25 rappers were selected by a panel of celebrated hip-hop judges (Navio, Lady Slyke, Babaluku & Shadrack). The 25 rappers went ahead to battle it out on the MTN Pulse Rapp Battles TV show which aired on NBS. Through the TV show, some rappers were eliminated at various stages.
In March 2020, the winner of the battles was unveiled to the public after a public vote was held on the MTN Pulse Microsite. The winner walked away with UGX. 15M, a record deal for an album, a music video and a 6 months mentorship program from the legendary rapper Navio for both the winner and 1st runner up.
Despite the challenges brought about by COVID and the lockdown, the mentorship program kicked off in December 2020 and also the album recording for the winner. As the mentorship comes to a close in 2021, it presents an opportunity for the “MTN PULSE RAP BATTLES SHOWCASE”, an event aimed at showcasing what the 6 months of mentorship have been about and what the artists have managed to create during the program with the guide of the legendary rapper Navio.
For the past 6 months, hip-hop legend Navio (CEO of Icon Studios) provided hands-on mentorship of over 144 hours of contact for the artists in partnership with THE TRIBE UG, the biggest hip-hop platform in Uganda.
This gave the artists easy access to the hip-hop eco-system and also exposure to their potential consumers. Through this mentorship their journey was propelled ahead.
In these six months, the winner has recorded and album, the 1st runner up has recorded a single. This is in addition to the hands on mentorship from Navio, lawyers, industry experts such as UPRS representative, Tidal local Editor, media practitioners etc….
As a result, the MTN Pulse Rap Battles showcase is a virtual event that will exhibit what has been happening the past 6 months. The video documentary will be aired coupled with performances from the rappers of the competition.
Furthermore the event will be a celebration of how far Ugandan hip-hop has come with our partners such as NEXT MEDIA, MTN etc, so other rappers will also perform with that theme in mind.
This event will be a send off “Graduation” of the pulse winners into the industry and with every graduation people are awarded.