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Emcee’s around the world are competing for the “top crown” again this year, sending in their hardest 16’s for consideration by rap legends and a live audience. 

The competition began on April 17th and stopped taking submissions on April 21st. During the contest entry period, participants were asked to upload their best rap performance video using the “Shook Ones” instrumental to Youtube, Instagram, or Facebook with one of the hashtags #ShookOnesChallenge, #Hot97Contest or #TopShelfFreestyle. In phase one, their raps were judged by battle rap phenom Loaded Lux and chosen finalists advanced to the next round. Freestyles were judged based on criteria of lyrical delivery and wordplay, originality, and quality of performance.

Tonight, the four finalists selected have been invited to compete in a live stream competition on Instagram at 9 pm. Rappers will have to present entirely new material over the “Shook Ones” instrumental beat. The public — YOU — can vote for your favorite cypher and score the same earlier criteria as Loaded Lux in phase one. Voting opens immediately after the live stream event! 

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The grand prize winner will receive a prize of $500 and will be announced by Loaded Lux on Saturday, April 25th.