For those not in-the-know, BMI is a music rights organization that represents songwriters in all genres – basically the music industry’s version of the acting industry’s SAG or AFTRA. In layman’s terms, they get you money for the sh*t you write. Every year they honor the elite songwriters with various award ceremonies (depending on the genre), and this year’s Hip-Hop/R&B Awards will take place on Friday, August 22, at the Pantages Theatre in Hollywood.
For the third year in a row, the BMI Hip-Hop/R&B Awards will honor a popular new artist with their fan-voted “Social Star” award. The accolade is presented to the BMI songwriter who “best demonstrates the power of social to showcase his songwriting talents,” and after being nominated by BMI based on what they’ve already achieved, win based on their fan’s votes. In 2012, that person was Mac Miller, and in 2013, my homie Machine Gun Kelly.
For 2014, the Social Star Award nominees are rapper Sage The Gemini, singer/actress Zendaya, singer August Alsina and rapper Rich Homie Quan. Below, read why BMI chose each particular artist, then cast your vote for who you think is the real “social star” of the year!
Sage The Gemini
- 2013 single “Gas Pedal” peaked at #29 on the Billboard Hot 100, #6 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs, #4 on the Hot Rap Songs
- 2013 single “Red Nose” peaked at #54 on the Hot 100 and at #12 on the Hot R&B Hip-Hop Songs
- Debut EP Gas Pedal was released in March 2014 and peaked at #29 on the R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart
- Currently a featured artist on Wiz Khalifa’s ‘Under The Influence‘ tour
- Starred on popular Disney Channel series “Shake It Up!”
- Was runner-up on season 16 of Dancing With The Stars
- Debut single “Replay” was released in January and is certified platinum
- Has performed at the White House, on The Today Show and more
Rich Homie Quan
- 2013 single “Type of Way” hit top 10 on the Billboard 100
- Appeared on both 2 Chainz and Yo Gotti‘s albums in 2013
- Featured on YG‘s platinum-selling single “My Hitta” alongside Jeezy
- New video “Walk Thru” with Problem has almost 1 million views on YouTube in a little over a week
- Generated millions of views on his handmade cover videos on YouTube before his record deal
- Debut single “I Luv This Shit” with Trinidad Jame$ was the #1 record on the Billboard Mainstream R&B/Hip-Hop Chart
- 2014 debut album Testimony sold 67,000 units in the first week and was the #1 R&B album, and #2 overall album on the Billboard 200
- Became the first singer to be a XXL Freshman in 2014
- Won “Best New Artist” and “Viewers Choice Award” at the 2014 BET Awards
So, who do you think should win? You can vote here (as many times as you’d like!) until August 19, and we’ll be sure to keep you updated on who wins on August 22! My vote is on Sage, because it’s HBK ALL DAY, SON!