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Unapologetic Label Launches Youth Scholarship Program

You may have seen the artists of Unapologetic perform at venues and festivals all over town. You may know them for their many collaborations within the creative community, their avant-garde visuals, their line of garments, or their app. You may have even signed a recent petition by them. Whatever you know about the team at Unapologetic, know that there’s always something deeper going on under the surface. They’re always cooking up new ways to push boundaries and empower others to unapologetically value their voice and individuality. To that end, Unapologetic has announced a youth scholarship initiative for young rappers.

The Unapologetic Youth Scholarship will help young artists bring their ideas, art, and vision to fruition through the mentorship of the multifaceted creative company. The scholarship will award one young rapper in Memphis with the resources to produce a song and accompanying music video, an event, and a custom t-shirt, and they’ll be the subject of a mini-documentary.

Unapologetic was founded by Memphis based artist & producer IMAKEMADBEATS who says he wants to foster the talent that exists in Memphis before young artists walk away to build their careers elsewhere. And while Memphis has a number of programs to cultivate young artists in other music genres, he says that rap has less support.

Photo: Catherine Elizabeth

“Rap is the most consumed music on the planet… It’s more popular than Pop. Instead of pushing our kids into more traditional forms of music, how about we support them where they are and where they want to go?” says IMAKEMADBEATS. “I spent a lot of 2018 talking to people about why I left here shortly after high school. I left because I didn’t think this place, the brand it openly adopted and the things it supported, were set up for my ideas to thrive here. When you’re that young, you’re just looking for your tribe, you know? You just want to see that people in your community value your approach to art, even if it’s daring or different. So I eventually landed in NYC, but many others who felt the same landed in LA, Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, etc. When I came back, I knew I had to be a part of the solution. There’s no way someone should have to leave the most mentioned city in music recording history to thrive being a musician. I had to find a way to help a 17-18 year old me.”

Scholarship Details

The scholarship is available for young rappers between the ages of 14 and 17 years old who reside in the Memphis metropolitan area and have a 2.8 or higher GPA. The winner will receive:

  • 1 song produced, recorded, mixed & mastered by The Unapologetic Sound production team. The song will be released and distributed for the young rapper to receive 100% of the royalties from streams and sales.
  • 1 professional one-minute music video
  • 1 event at The CLTV CMPLX
  • 1 custom t-shirt designed by the artist
  • 1 mini-documentary on the life of a teenage rapper in Memphis

The CLTV and Indie Memphis will provide support on the event and film portions of the program.

To apply, go to the Unapologetic Youth Scholarship website. The application deadline is March 22nd. 

Follow the scholarship program on Instagram @unapologeticyouthmemphis.

While the scholarship program is primarily funded by Unapologetic, there is one component the creative company would like for people in the community to invest in. They are producing youth scholarship program t-shirts as a way to further awareness and support. Visit their GoFundMe to contribute and help them reach their goal.

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