The BET Hot 16 Challenge: Professionalism? Please!


Before I go on this rant, I want to congratulate all the creative people for entering the contest. When you put yourself out there, it’s tough. To all the real lyrics people, stay grinding. To all that love my material, read this… there is something else you should know about my Hot 16. You’ll see it… eventually. And to all those that do it for the fun of it, coolgi. Do y’all. Lastly, to the top 5 and finally the one who gets that MySpace mention and award, Godspeed. Now, on with the program…

It’s Black Entertainment Television… being mentioned… by me.

The shock of the year? Perhaps. The bigger shock? I entered the contest. But any one who knows me know that I’m in it for a good reason. It’s shameless self promotion and you get the message across a lot quicker using a brand name everyone knows… no matter how sick you are of it. Admit it, you would do me too if you were me. :)

However, the biggest and probably the most confusing part that all the rappers and singers is the lack of professionalism… by BET Interactive themselves.

First, let’s start off with the rules. According to the official rules, people can only submit ONE video per person. Needless to say, if you looked within the videos, there are some people who did not follow the rule. However, BET avoided this all together.

Second point, “Rap must include only you (the “Entrant”) and not anyone else”. There are some videos that was being voted on that have… you guess it, people not following that rule. Again, BET avoided this.

Third point: the voting period. BET official rules states that the voting period is between “September 2, 2008 at 6:00 PM EST and September 15, 2008 at 6:00 PM”. However, on Sept. 2, they were still doing Lord knows what. The voting period actually started Sept. 4 at about 3 PM and closed yesterday, Sept 16 at around 3 PM.

Forth point… and probably the most confusing and controversial point: the actual voting method.

The voting method is set up as a head-to-head bout. You watch the two videos, and choose who you think got the hotter flow out of the two. At first I thought this was good simply because if people just vote for one person, then it would have been “the person with the highest amount of people in their fan base” and not the person with the most creativity (or at least the most energy to counter the lack of the creative part.). This is where most people are having a problem with.

Now, personally, I would want to vote for myself at least once (hey, politicians do it). Now, I tried everyday to at least go through at least each battle. Some I voted for, others I skipped. I just want to do the “let me vote just once” thing. However, I never, ever, managed to vote for myself. I spend close to 6 hours (in total), looking for my pretty little face so I can vote. Not happening.

So, I decided the next best thing. “Get out the vote”. I looked at my stats and I’m actually on par with the best entries… so I figured "hey, let’s really turned this out". I tried getting my offline friends to vote for me. But with the confusing battle system, no one saw me once. They tried really hard, but could not vote for me. So, the next step was to get my online friends to vote for me. Of the 30 or so friends that spend time actually looking, I finally managed to get three votes. One from a friend in Florida, and two from a friend in Brooklyn. The others… refresh as they may, never saw my picture. One even when as far as wasting an afternoon and with no results, she finally gave up.

Eventually, I started giving up as well. I no longer cared about the votes. I made enough connections with the contest as well as networking to grow my support base of people who are actually interested in me as an artist. That mission was accomplished.

However… something still bugs me… and that’s the professionalism of BET.

From the time the contest started to closing time, there was not a drop of professionalism by this company. No e-mails telling us when the contest started. No whipping out of duplicated entries (even a intern could have picked out all the dups in less than 3 hours). The only rule they care about was to "keep it clean" and "no bashing of the sponsors".

Some people in the forums of the BET Hot 16 shout "conspiracy" due to the questionable voting method and the unusual high amount of votes from two-three contestants that don’t have a huge fan base.

To those that scream "conspiracy", I affectionately say to you…

… spare me the cries.

We all been had. BET was not professional about this from the get go. If you managed to be smart about it and use the contest as a networking tool, then guess what? You won. If you only enter this just to go to a Hip-Hop award show, you lost a period of your life you will never get back. And if you did not take anything out of this experience, then I feel sorry for you. I took a lot out of this experience… and no matter what… I had the last laugh.

Why? You may ask?

Some people find it a paradox that I would enter such a contest. So, I’m going to share with you something. Here it goes…

I broke one of the BET rules.

Yes, I did broke a rule. If I won the contest, it would have been a bonus. Oh well. You will have to be pretty smart to figure out which one I broke and how. So, with that, I’ll leave you with the rule breaking video.

Thank you BET for showing me how to be creative with my marketing and lyrics. At least I’ll give you that much. – Be my friend if ya dare. HA!

And no… I will not saying which rule I broke. Consider this one of those questions that I’ll answer in a book… years later. *evil laughter*

BTW, I will be working on other projects. Just hang tight, alright?

So, what do you guys think? Am I right or did I waste your time? :)

<personal note> (Feel free to skip this point)

Now, before you think of it, no, this is not me bashing BET on the account of losing. The act of winning would be a bonus to me. The experience of putting together a video, going to a studio to record and coming out with a product that I can use to compete against some artists who are only armed with a dollar and a webcam, and others with more expenses and time than me. I’ve done my 16 bars in three hours, something that is unheard of if you compare my studio experiences of last year, when I was shocked and ashamed of my own voice and literally took more than 5 hours to record 16 bars. So, the experience of me networking with people only armed with a one verse song and a video was good. The fact that I stood toe-to-toe with the majority of the artists was also a surprising twist. I was not the fanciest rapper and my flow could have been better. My lyrics was on point, tho and that stood out to most people. So, please… if you are going to bash me, bash my points, not me personally.

</personal note>

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  • Me

    Are you atleast 21?

  • Nukirk

    Er… I’m waaay past 21. Try again. :)