May 30, 2019

Melissa Dease, Dallas Public Library

Dallas Public Library Hosts Teen Rap Battle Showdown

DALLAS, TX – Eight amateur rappers from across Dallas will compete in the Teen Rap Battle on Saturday, June 1, at 2 p.m. at the J. Erik Jonsson Central Library downtown.

Dallas Public Library and the All Stars Project of Dallas are collaborating on this effort to celebrate and support local teen talent. The public is invited to come out and cheer them on as they vie for the top prize, including $250, free studio time from Legacy Music Group and a gig performing at a Dallas Red Birds basketball halftime show.

“The library looks to provide the young people of Dallas with opportunities they can’t get anywhere else, beyond books and reading and homework help,” said Melissa Dease, youth services administrator. “The library may never be ‘cool,’ but we may be the place where kids are given the support they need to discover their talents and achieve their dreams.”

Performances Saturday include students from Bryan Adams, Spruce, Kimball, Lincoln, and IDEA High Schools. Two students from Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts will provide the hype. Sounds will be provided by DJ Cordney Smith of Smith Media Company.

The eight finalists in the Teen Rap Battle were selected at auditions held by Dallas Public Library and All Stars Project of Dallas at neighborhood branch libraries across the city. Contestants will compete tournament- style over three rounds. They will be rated by a three-judge panel based on audience response, lyrical content, clarity, flow and “wow factor” to advance to the next round.

“The Teen Rap event is giving young people the chance to perform on a new stage in front of a new audience, which will help them develop, grow and see new possibilities,” explained Antoine Joyce, City Leader of the All Stars Project of Dallas. “And, just as important, is the opportunity it gives Dallasites from every corner of our city to support young people and be part of a new community-building experience.”

The Teen Rap Battle is also part of the All Stars Project’s All Stars Talent Show Network (ASTSN) program, which gives inner-city youth ages 5 to 25 to produce and perform hip hop talent shows in their neighborhoods. Since 2013, the All Stars has held 21 talent shows in Dallas, with more than 2,600 young people and community members.