Dallas-Fort Worth has had its share of hip-hop success stories, but many in the local scene argue that there's never been a bigger of pool of talent gracing the region's stages.
One of those advocates is Callie Dee, a local concert producer/promoter and founder of DDFW Master of the Mic competition. On Saturday, Dec. 12, six rappers from Denton, Dallas and Fort Worth will bust out their best rhymes in a head-to-head competition in hopes of being crowned the area's best emcee. The inaugural event takes place at Trees in Deep Ellum.
Who decides the contenders' fate? An esteemed panel of success stories; none other than Erykah Badu, Dorrough and The D.O.C.
"We have so much talent it's ridiculous, from producers to songwriters to DJs, even our break dancers and graffiti artists," Dee says. "People feel like Dallas isn't Atlanta, L.A. or New York, but it's on the brink."
About 60 artists participated in Master of the Mic's preliminary rounds, which began in May in Denton, Dallas and Forth Worth. But only two from each -- a judge's pick and crowd favorite -- emerged to compete in the finals. Of the top six, two are women. Saturday's finalists include:
Pudge Brewer of Fab Deuce (Denton)
Ritchy Flo (Denton)
Alsace Carcione (Dallas)
T. Lindsey (Dallas)
Madame Mims (Fort Worth)
Mark Spits (Fort Worth)
Aside from bragging rights, the winner also receives a guaranteed slot at next year's 35 Denton and Oaktopia music festivals, a deal with Urbanlife Distribution, and the equivalent of a professional starter kit featuring branded shirts, stickers, flyers, business cards, management consultation, studio time and interviews with a radio station and magazine.
It's a pretty sweet haul for the winner, but Dee contends it's well deserved. She also wants to make Master of Mic an annual thing.
"We're at a tipping point, and if we all just play nice and support each other, we could all see some benefits," she says. "We could be the next Atlanta."
Tickets to DDFW Master of the Mic finale range $25 for general admission to $75 for a meet and greet with the judges. The competition starts at 8 p.m.