1. What does it take to earn a nomination from the Ohio Hip Hop Awards?

First you have to make yourself known to us – please don’t assume that we already know who you are or what moves you’re making. To do this you need to, at minimum, submit your music/projects to our offices. The address is listed all over this website. The very best way to get recognized is to submit a press kit or EPK (Electronic Press Kit.) Along with that, you need to be making serious noise within the Ohio music scene. This means consistently releasing and promoting product, performing at various venues across the state, making an impact on DJ mixtapes and radio, marketing and promoting yourself via flyers, posters, online promo, videos, merchandising, etc…, all helping to create a true movement and fan base for your music.

2. What exactly is a press kit or an EPK?

Typically press kits are a collection of promotional materials such as music, singles, photos, fliers, artist biography, video clips, magazine articles, contact information, and so on. Often times when artists are launching a new album they release press kits to radio stations, award shows, newspapers, magazines, web sites, the music academy, DJ’s, and promoters.

Press kits vary in style and creativity. Some times the press kit is presented in the same fashion of the artists’s marketing scheme, in other cases press kits can be traditional, direct and to the point. Being creative is a great way to present your press kit to catch the attention of the person you are sending it to.

An EPK is an electronic press kit that can be sent out online. The upside to sending an epk is the low costs of production while avoiding mailing charges. When making an EPK, it is important to spend time on it as you would a physical package. Although EPK’s are cheaper to send out they don’t usually hold the same value as a physical package. Usually a well put together and planned out press kit is more impressive to the person receiving it.

3. How do I submit my press kit?

You can submit physical material to ESP Enterprises, 1266 W. 6th St. Suite 203, Cleveland, OH 44113. Please be sure to put “Attn: OHHA” on the outside of the packaging. Digital submissions should be sent to submissions@ohiohiphopawards.com This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it with the subject “Artist Submission”.

4. Do I have to submit a press kit with my music?

No. What you have to do is make sure we have your music, at minimum. If we don’t have your music, there’s obviously no way you can be nominated. It is not an absolute requirement to submit a press kit, however it definitely increases your chances to be nominated. Press kits help the board get a feeling for the artist’s overall image and business acumen along with their music which helps weigh a nomination decision. Submitting professional looking kits will naturally get you more attention compared to a disc with a phone number written in marker. Your press kit or EPK could very well be a deciding factor in your nomination. Assuming that the OHHA Board knows of your every move might get you over looked. Additionally, this is a standard industry requirement that you will definitely need to promote your music in the most effective and professional way possible.

5. How is an artist nominated?

Artists are suggested by their fans on http://www.ohiohiphopawards.com between May 1st and July 1st. The suggestions and press kits are then reviewed to narrow down the ballot. Having a tremendous amount of nominations doesn’t automatically mean that you will be nominated however. There are additional requirements such as retail sales, radio spins, performances/touring, mixtape placements, online presence, and overall artist visibility. The OHHA Board researches artists across the state and has networking showcases in seven cities during the month of July. At these showcases artists and models are interviewed and press kits are taken in person.

6. Can I perform at the Ohio Hip Hop Awards? How do you pick the performers?

The OHHA conducts a tour every July looking for the best talent the state has to offer. In previous years we have hit Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati, Dayton, Akron, Kent, Youngstown, Lorain and Toledo producing talent showcases in which the best of the best compete for the opportunity to win a slot on the biggest stage the state has to offer – the Ohio Hip Hop Awards show main event! In 2011 we are again hitting the road in July, touching down in the same 9 cities. Check out the “Showcases” section of the site to get info on how to sign up for a specific city showcase, or sign up for them all!

The showcases are the primary means of how the performers are chosen. Select others are also chosen by the OHHA board based on certain sponsorship deals or public opinion and demand of popular artists.

7. What is the talent showcase and how can I enter? What do I get if I win?

Each year in July the Ohio Hip Hop Awards & Music Conference hosts a talent showcase competition in Akron, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton, Lorain, Toledo, Kent and Youngstown. Whoever comes out on top in each of these cities will win a performance slot on one of the biggest stages for Ohio talent – the main event of the Ohio Hip Hop Awards & Music Conference. This is the primary way in which we select who will perform at the main event in September. The runner ups are given stage time the night before the awards at the official pre party. Winners also get an automatic nomination in the “Best Live Performer” category on the final ballot!

To register for the competition contact your local Ohio Hip Hop Awards representative or contact our office directly at 216-574.2211 or submissions@ohiohiphopawards.com . The registration fee is $150 per city until June 1st, $200 afterwards. Just because an artist has the entry fee and wishes to enter does NOT mean they will be accepted – it is not 1st come, 1st serve. Music and/or press kits/EPK’s need to be submitted and approved by the OHHA board well in advance along with a request in writing to be considered for the competition in a particular city or cities. Upon review, the best of the best will be invited to enter the competition. For your registration fee, artists get 20 tickets to the event priced at $10 each – artists can sell these tickets to their fans to come out and support them in the competition, or give them away to family or friends. Registered artists also receive show fliers, a contract agreement for the event, and an official form listing what they are being judged on. Each artists gets to perform 1 song up to 5 minutes long judged on: Song creativity, use of original beats, stage presence, appearance, lyrics, flow, sound quality, whether or not they brought promotional materials to the event, use of props, crowd interaction, crowd reaction, and mic control, among others.

8. I’m an R&B/Spoken Word artist, can I still compete?

Yes. R&B artists, spoken word artists, dance teams, and even live bands are encouraged to enter.

9. Can I compete in more than one talent showcase?

Yes. Artists can enter into as many showcases as they want as long as they are able to travel to each location. This increases your chances of winning as well as gives you the opportunity to tour the state, sell merchandise, and network with artists and potential fans in other cities.

10. When will the final ballot be online?

The final ballot will be made available at http://www.ohiohiphopawards.com by mid August.

11. Do you accept votes offline?

Offline votes can be conducted by OHHA staff only. No mailed ballots will be recognized.

12. Do you need street team members?

Yes. Please email your request to join our street team to info@ohiohiphopawards.com .

13. How can my company find out more information on advertising on your website and/or becoming a full sponsor of this year’s Ohio Hip Hop Awards & Music Conference?

If you are interested in advertising or sponsoring, please send an email to info@ohiohiphopawards.com with all of your contact information. An official representative of the OHHA will contact you at our earliest convenience.

14. I just moved to Ohio recently. Can I still qualify for a nomination?

Yes, as long as you have lived in Ohio for at least 6 months & are active in your cities Hip Hop scene. The OHHA Board reserves the right to require residency verification at it’s discretion.

15. I am a model, how can I get nominated?

Send us a copy of your portfolio, comp cards, press kit and information of what you have done in the past year that will show us why you should be on the final ballot.

16. I am a B-boy/B-girl, how do I qualify for a nomination?

Send us some video footage of yourself in action. A press kit or EPK with any shows on movements that you have been involved with couldn’t hurt either.

17. I’m a DJ, how can I get nominated?

Depending on what categories you are trying to be nominated in, here are a couple of things that you should send in to better your chances. 1) Video footage of yourself in action, especially if you are a turntablist. 2) Fliers (with your name on them) to the events that you have spun at. 3) Any mixtapes that you have released in the past year. 3) A press kit or EPK listing some of your accomplishments and/or club residencies.

18. I don’t have my music professionally pressed up & printed, but I’m HOT! Can I still qualify for a nomination?

Unfortunately we do not except ANYTHING that isn’t professionally packaged. No, it doesn’t mean that your music isn’t good enough to compete. But with us receiving literally hundreds of packages throughout a year’s time from artists who invest some sort of real financial commitment towards their material, if your project comes to our offices on a CDR with writing from a marker on it you do not meet the criteria for an Ohio Hip Hop Award. We are trying to award those who’s complete package and presentation represent the best that Ohio has to offer. Please work on getting a professional package together with nice artwork & packaging before you submit anything to us. Presentation is key – you never get a 2nd chance to make a 1st impression.

  1. skeeter says:

    Cousin skeeter
    Could y’all put me on the blog again, youtube.com/dnycesqn soundcloud.com/cousinskeeter003

  2. kenny green says:


    I was wondering do you all have a photography contest and if so how would I goabout entering? I hope to hear from you all at your latest convenience.

    Thank you,
    Kenny Green

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