Official Contest Rules

(Updated April 6 , 2017)

These rules and guidelines apply to the initial contest for adults ages 18 and older. Additional rules and guidelines for the high school competition will be posted at a later date.


ELIGIBILITY. Sounds of the Queen City (“Contest”) is offered and open only to residents of the Charlotte, N.C., area (“Queen City”) and are 18 years of age or older at the time of entry. Entrants must be available to perform on the evening of April 25, 2017, if selected as a finalist. Void in all other areas and where prohibited. Contest judges and individuals affiliated with the Contest organizing committee and sponsors (“Contest Entities”) and their immediate family members are not eligible to enter. Professional recording or performance artists who are under contract with an agent or are current members of the Screen Actor’s Guild – American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA), the American Guild of Variety Artists (AGVA), the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP), the Society of European Stage Authors and Composers (SEASAC), Global Music Rights (GMR), or the Actor’s Equity Association where any use of image or product is the property or contractually owned by a professional organization or union are not eligible to enter. By submitting an entry, each contestant agrees to the rules of the contest and states that he or she meets all eligibility rules.

SPONSORS: Sounds of the Queen City organizing committee, a volunteer group.

CONTEST PERIOD. Entries may be submitted through the website ( beginning on March 1, 2017. Valid submissions must be received by 11:59 p.m. EST on Friday, April 14, 2017. Winners will be announced at a live event on April 25, 2017.

HOW TO ENTER. Compose an original rap about the positive attributes of Charlotte, N.C. Video yourself performing the rap. Your video should begin with a 10-second title screen that includes the following information: (1) name(s) of the performing artist(s); (2) title of submission; and (3) any necessary credits for the rap and/or video. Upload your video to YouTube. Visit to complete and submit your entry form, which includes space for a link to your video. All entries must be submitted in digital format. Entrants may be a group or an individual. If submitting as a group, the application form should indicate one individual to serve as the main point of contact. However, recognition will be given to all individuals listed on the application. The length of the submission should not exceed five (5) minutes. The contest does not include an entry fee.

YOUTUBE: YouTube is simply being used as a common and convenient way to upload and publicly display videos. YouTube is not in any way affiliated with Sounds of the Queen City and is not a sponsor of the contest. Entries that do not comply with YouTube’s Community Guidelines will be disqualified. All contest entrants agree to release YouTube from any and all liability related to the contest.

JUDGING CRITERIA. Lyrical and musical creativity, performance quality, quality of the video submission, and the degree to which the submission inclusively and comprehensively reflects Charlotte, in other words shows love for various aspects of Charlotte, North Carolina, such as sports teams, parks, schools, restaurants, history or “herstory,” and Queen Charlotte. Entries that focus on a single aspect, e.g., sports, will not be considered. Entries must not have been previously recorded. Entries must not contain previously copyrighted materials. Content must comply with all local and national laws of the country of origin and the United States. Content must not 1) promote illegal behavior; 2) support racial, religious, sexual or other invidious prejudice; 3) advocate sexual or violent exploitation; 4) violate rights established by law or agreement; 5) invade the privacy of any person; 6) use inappropriate language; or 7) be otherwise inappropriate as determined by Sounds of the Queen City in its sole and conclusive determination. Entrants should not demean or ridicule other entrants on social media or by any other means. (No trash-talking!) The judges’ decision is final.

JUDGES: Judges will be announced and presented at a Media Announcement Event on February 27, 2017. All judges are professional artists and of the hip hop community. These official rules will be updated with the judges’ credentials following the media announcement.

SELECTION OF FINALISTS & LIVE PERFORMANCES: The judges will vote and select at least five finalists based on the criteria above. One finalist will be selected by popular vote. All finalists will receive notification on Friday, April 21, 2017, and will be invited to perform at a live event on April 25, 2017, at The Underground at N.C. Music Factory. They may be accompanied by immediate family members. If you are chosen as a finalist, your final performance must be substantially the same as the video submission and application. There may be no alteration of lyrics, music, beats, or participants after submission. The winner will be determined by vote from the judges, and prizes will be awarded at the conclusion of the live event.

PRIZES: The Grand Prize includes an invitation to perform live at the National League of Cities meeting in November 2017 in Charlotte, N.C.; mentorship with Hip-Hop University and Hip-Hop Orchestrated; a photo shoot with Spread magazine with a maximum of three looks, an interview and coverage on the site, and ads on the site; red carpet access at the Queen City Awards in December with VIP seating and a three-minute performance during the show, which will be televised this year; a write up in The Konnected Magazine; two hours of stage training by JR Adduci; four hours of studio time, mixing & mastering at SouleJukebox; monetization of the winning song video on YouTube; a one-on-one mentorship meeting with the CEO of BuGoudi House; the winning song placed on and promoted for 30 days; a featured post about the winner on as well as an ad spot to promote the winner’s upcoming appearances or album release; and a spot in Nü Sound’s music showcase. These prizes are valued at more than $3,500. BuGoudi House will also provide a $250 cash prize. If any additional prizes become available, these rules will be updated to reflect them.


COPYRIGHT. All entrants maintain copyright ownership of their submissions. The winner grants the Sounds of the Queen City organizing committee unlimited rights to share, use, distribute, duplicate, reproduce, modify, remix, broadcast, and perform the winning rap at its sole discretion.

PRIVACY: Personal contact information submitted via our entry form will be used only in connection with the Sounds of the Queen City contest, notifying contestants of results, and communicating with finalists about the live performance. It will not be sold or provided to any third party.

CONDITIONS. All entrants grant Sounds of the Queen City the right to use their names, photographs, statements, quotes, testimonials, and submissions for advertising, publicity, and promotional purposes without notification or further compensation. By accepting the prizes, winners agree to hold Contest Entities harmless against any and all claims and liability arising out of use of such prizes. All entrants assume all liability for any injury or damage caused from participation in the contest or use/redemption of any prize. Entrants agree to be bound by the official contest rules and decisions of the judges. Entrants verify that the information they provide on their applications is truthful and that they are submitting original materials. Sounds of the Queen City reserves the right to cancel the contest or modify these rules at its discretion. In the event of a dispute regarding the winners, Sounds of the Queen City reserves the right to award or not award the prizes in its sole discretion. Sounds of the Queen City  reserves the right to disqualify any entrant whose entry or conduct appears in any way to: inhibit the enjoyment of others; tamper with the competition; violate these rules or other applicable law or regulation; infringe on the rights of third parties; or act in an unsportsmanlike or disruptive manner.

CONTACT: To learn the results of the contest or to ask questions, contact Sounds of the Queen City volunteer committee by email at or by mail care of Hip-Hop University at 809 W. Hill St., Suite D, Charlotte, NC 28208.