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Vibe looks to MySpace for viral rap contest

VIBE Media Group has partnered with KickApps and MySpace for Vibe Verses 3, an online rap contest.

Hosted on Vibe.com, the contest encourages aspiring rappers to upload videos of themselves performing original lyrics to pre-recorded music. Other site users vote on the videos to choose a group of finalists, and recording artist Wyclef Jean will choose the grand prize winner at the end of November.

Vibe Magazine will showcase the winner in a full-page ad, and the chosen rapper will open a Wyclef Jean concert in Los Angeles on December 4.

“We have an opportunity with digital media to deepen our engagement with the Vibe audience,” said John Demarchi, general manager of Vibe Digital Media. “The two biggest groups on MySpace are hip hop and rap groups, so [Myspace has] been looking for a partner [it] could work with on a user-
generated content contest.”

MySpace is providing promotional support for the contest this time around. Contestants in the first 2 Vibe Verses competitions, which took place earlier this year, depended on sites like MySpace for social networking, but there was no official partnership. KickApps Widgets have been used in previous contests to embed rappers’ videos into other social sites.

Together, Vibe Verses 1 and 2 brought more than 1 million unique visitors to Vibe.com, prompting 2.5 million page views.

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