Ever since MTN started actively supporting Uganda’s Hip Hop Awards about 3 years ago, its interest in nurturing talent in the Pearl Of Africa got more manifest than ever. More projects like The MTN Cypher followed, and as a build up to the unwavering support to the arts fraternity, The MTN Rap Battles have been birthed this year.

If you participated in, or got acquainted with the MTN Cypher last year, this one will not be so foreign to you, save for a few differences. You will need to drop bars which have the potential to evoke a feeling: sadness, happiness, freight, anger or any other. The content should not be political, vulgar or hateful. Any language is acceptable so feel free to blow the approving team’s minds.

Talking video approval, the MTN Cypher was more about posting videos with the hashtag on social media, but the Pulse Rap Battles will require you to upload a video of not more than one minute, to pulse.mtn.co.ug/rapbattles, which the team will watch and if approved, you will instantly get an SMS notifying you of your success in getting admitted into the competition, and details on where and when the battles will take place.


The competition, which will span 12 weeks and will be televised, will include various challenges: “Pass on the mic” to test your ability to freestyle on the same beat as everyone else without losing it, “Can you handle the heat?” to test if you can do other activities while rapping, “Speed test” for articulation and speed, “Spoken word” which tests how good you are at writing and performing spoken word poetry, “Street Concert” to check how big of an audience you can attract rapping on a busy street.


The champion, who will be announced at next year’s MTN Hip Hop awards, will walk away with UShs 15 million, talent mentor-ship from a leading talent management establishment and a recording deal, a year-long pulse ambassador contract, lots of MTN data and talk time among other prizes. Other finalists will get cash prizes and MTN goodies among others. Their music will also be uploaded on Tidal, for potential earning of income from streams.

Hasten then, to pulse.mtn.co.ug/rapbattles and show the world what you’re made of, champ!

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