III had his dream come true Tuesday night (Sept 27), after the judges decided he would be taking home the grand prize of $100,000, and a record deal during the season finale, which took place in New York City.
Three beat out Doja and the lyrical beast Justin Freeman, to be crowned the next hip-hop star, and the champion of BET’s One Shot. “We’re providing a platform for an upcoming artist because not everyone has a famous Uncle,” said King Crookxd, who’s one of the judges and executive producers of the show. “Sometimes you gotta bring the industry to the people, not everyone has access to Hollywood.”
Each of the judges took a different angle in evaluating the contestants. King Tech is looking for that lyrical monster, “something he’s never heard before.” Crook is more in the middle, with a deeper understanding of what it takes to make it in this culture. Then you have Mike Smith, who’s the one supplying his money and the record deal, “looking for the whole package, somebody that I’m not gonna lose my a** on financially, the pure artist.”
Crookxd reflected on what it takes to impress him. “I’m looking for someone who can walk that line, I’m looking for an artist with layers. Sometimes you have to let those layers play out. If you think about someone like a Jay Z, he was lyrically untouched on Reasonable Doubt, but at the same time he could go make a “A’int No N*gga” with Foxy Brown and cross over into the clubs. I’m looking for that artist that understands there’s many layers to this thing. I think we could agree all the greats, the top 10 rappers were good at multiple things.”
One Shot is the first ever hip-hop talent show that we’ve seen on television. “It’s giving hope to a lot of kids out there, there’s been nothing out there for hip-hop, It should’ve happened 10 years ago to be honest with you.” King Tech said. “Everyone’s rapping these days. Your grandma, your aunty, everyone. The traditional record companies are pretty much disappearing and that leaves room for a lot of error, and we’re hoping we are the way to filter this. It’s a lot of work, but somebody has to do it. If we find that diamond in the rough, we can make it explode. We can give an artist a career literally overnight, if they’re that incredible.”
All three agreed that Chicago came through with the dopest talent, with the best final six as an aggregate compared to the other cities. Crookxd reflected on the fact he would never forget the Chi-town auditions. “Five thousand people showed up and we all know the reputation Chicago has and nobody got violent, everyone was there chasing their dreams and that’s what I liked about Chicago,” he said. “It showed what hip-hop is all about and what the show is all about.”
The genesis of the show came together back in June 2014 as Mike Smith met up with King Crookxd who pitched the idea to him. Sway and Tech joined in a month later and the rest is history. Season two has gotten the green light as well, which is dope to hear after the first season has been such a success. The second season will hopefully include more audience participation and added creative freedoms for the artists.
— Sway Calloway (@RealSway) September 28, 2016
The crew hopes you enjoyed season one as much as they did and are looking forward to an even bigger and better show on the next season of One Shot. Re-live the finale here if you missed out.
Congrats to Three, now you can pull up in that ‘rari son!