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Scion Prospects for Rappers

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NEW YORK Toyota's Scion is set to launch its third iteration of a contest for unsigned rappers to get a taste of what it's like to have label support behind them.

Called "The Prospect: Rise of an Unsigned Emcee," the contest begins on Monday, April 9 and runs through August. Aspiring rap artists can submit their best lyrics to scionprospect.com.

The winner will get to make a song with producer Hi-Tek, shoot a video that will most likely include a Scion and go on a mini-tour sponsored by Scion. In addition, the winner will most likely generate goodwill for the brand by talking about it in interviews.

"It's set up to give an artist a quick taste of what it would be like to have label support," said Patrick Courrielche, managing director of Inform-Ventures, which created the contest for Scion. "We give them a feel for support and a little bit of public relations so they can make a better decision about what direction to take their career in."

Scion sponsors hip-hop, underground street art and DJ competitions to align itself with emerging artists.

To get the word out, the company is targeting hip-hop Web sites with banner ads, e-mail newsletters and public relations. "It helps to do most of our stuff online, mainly because it is a online competition and that's where the people who would be interested in it are," said Courrielche.