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Amplified Voices #Vote4Hope
Song & Word Contest

Music and Spoken Word Artists, we want to hear from you!

This is a call to action to amplify the voices of our communities and encourage people to get out and vote!

Our goal is to send a flood of people to the polls, so we created a contest to tell the stories of our lives with music and poetry. This could be the most important election of our lifetime.. What is riding on this election in the scope of your world?  

Every day the effects of systemic racism, environmental crisis, financial hardship, health disparities, police brutality and COVID are felt across this country. This contest is a place to share these stories. 

We want to hear poems, raps, songs, or spoken word pieces from anyone living through these unprecedented times, to illuminate the everyday lives, dreams, and visions that make up the whole of our democracy.    

If you could amplify your voice to the world, what would you say? Why is voting in November important to you?  What keeps hope alive in you?

Ideas for Inspiration:
What does voting mean to you and your community?

What is the one thing you wish people understood about your life?

What are your tools for self-care and resiliency? 

How do you care for your community?

Contest Dates:  October 5th - 26th
Platform: Instagram
Partner orgs:


Two Winners will be announced on Instagram on November 2nd

Grand Prize Recording Session & Artist Development Program at Hip Hop for Change Studios including half day of recording & mixing along with production coaching, helping you get your music to streaming platforms, and more!
Contestants who can't travel to Oakland have access to remote sessions.
*Studio is currently being built and will be ready for sessions by March of 2021. $1000 Value

Audience Choice Prize $500 Cash

Grand Prize Winner will be decided by these judges.
Audience Choice Winner will be decided by the most votes.

All-Star Judges

Gina Madrid @ginamadrid_

Rafael Bustamante Sarria @lagentesf

Aima The Dreamer @aima_the_drmr

Khafre Jay @khafrejay

Marc Stretch @stretchito

Donn Wyatt @donniziam

Criteria for Submissions

  1. Videos must be two minutes or less
  2. Use one of these 3 instrumental tracks or record it a cappella with no backing track.
    (download links provided after you fill out the Registration Form)
    DJ Saurus - Makeeba
    UnLearn The World - Rose in Concrete
    Donn Wyatt - I Love It When You Vote
  3. Answer the Question:  How have I or my community been impacted by climate change, environmental racism, social justice issues, or COVID-19?
  4. Give a call to vote somewhere in song/piece
  5. No Profanity

Submissions will be judged first on how well the piece follows the topic and Get Out The Vote guidelines, then based on the collective artistic preference of our panel of six talented, experienced judges.

Submission Process

  1. Fill out the Registration Form by clicking Register button.
  2. Follow Breathe on Instagram @breatheforjustice
  3. Follow Hip Hop For Change on Instagram @hiphop4change
  4. Upload a Video of you performing your song or piece to your Instagram IGTV with the Hashtag #Vote4Hope
  5. Follow the Hashtag #Vote4Hope for contest updates
  6. Share, tell your friends, promote the contest, and send them to to vote for their favorite!

Hip Hop For Change, Inc. is an Oakland based 501c(3) dedicated to the preservation and education of the history and power of authentic Hip Hop culture and its core principles of Peace, Love, Unity and Having Fun. We seek to address the injustices of misrepresentation through education and community building. As an organization, we have always used our platform to empower people who identify with Hip Hop culture, and give them a safe space to express their truest voices, selves, and culture. 

Through our Education program, we aim to provide a community based counter narrative to the mainstream depiction of Hip Hop that all too often reinforces negative stereotypes and images of BIPOC youth. We have taught over 20,000 youth across California the history of Hip Hop evolution, music, and culture. Our program gives K-12 students the tools they need to facilitate positive self-expression, and better understanding of Hip Hop Culture.

We've employed 900+ people from all walks of life, providing them with livable wages and professional job training. Our grassroots team works to bridge the gaps between affluent and disparate communities by educating the public on issues of race, social justice, and the cooptation of Hip Hop Culture.

We also curate socially conscious Hip Hop events that more accurately depict the beauty and diversity of POC communities. In doing so, we hope to shift the narrative and reclaim the culture that corporate media has stolen from our people. Our shows give a platform to positive and progressive artists who have been left behind by corporate controlled media. We let the community speak their truths while educating them about important topics like environmental equity, women's empowerment, and more!

As leaders of the community, we provide positive representations of Hip Hop Culture that our youth and the public can draw from instead of relying on mainstream media. In addition to that, we also educate people on how Hip Hop can be utilized as a tool for social justice and ending white supremacy.

We are artists. We are disruptors. We will use art to disrupt society and demand justice! This is our Hip Hop Revolution! The Fight For Our Culture!

Support Hip Hop For Change

Official Rules

To enter this contest, you must follow steps 1-4 of the Submission Process above. Multiple entries from the same person are welcome. Contest opens at 7am Pacific on October 5th, 2020, and closes at 11:59pm Pacific on October 26th, 2020.

Winners of the Grand Prize and the Audience Choice Prize will be notified by email within five (5) days following selection of winners. Hip Hop For Change and Breathe shall have no liability for winners' failure to receive notices due to spam, junk e-mail, or other security settings or if winners' provide incorrect or otherwise non-functioning contact information. If winner cannot be contacted, is ineligible, fails to claim the prize within 30 days from the time award notification was sent, or fails to timely return a completed and executed declaration and release as required, the prize may be forfeited and an alternate Winner selected.

Actual/appraised value of the Grand Prize may differ at time of prize award. The specifics of the Grand Prize shall be solely determined by Hip Hop For Change. No cash or other prize substitution shall be permitted except at Hip Hop For Change's discretion. The Grand Prize is nontransferable.

Any and all prize-related expenses, including without limitation any and all federal, state, and/or local taxes, shall be the sole responsibility of the winners. No substitution of prize or transfer/assignment of prize to others or request for the cash equivalent of the Grand Prize by the winner is permitted. Acceptance of prize constitutes permission for Hip Hop For Change and Breathe to use the winners' name, likeness, and entry for purposes of publicity or advertising without further compensation unless prohibited by law.

Host organizations Hip Hop For Change and Breathe reserve the right to rebroadcast any and all submissions for a film project in development. All artists will be credited for their works according to the credits submitted in the Registration Form or updated via email to before the contest closes at 11:59PM Pacific Time on October 26th, 2020.

Instrumental backing tracks are owned by their producers. Any use of this music outside this contest requires explicit written permission from them. For licensing and permission inquiries, email


  1. I understand that these music tracks are to be used for the sole purpose of this contest, and that any additional use or distribution must have the previous written consent of the producers for that specific use.
  2. By entering this contest I represent and warrant that my entry is my original work of authorship, and does not violate any third party’s proprietary or intellectual property rights.
  3. By entering this contest I understand that Hip Hop for Change and Breathe and anyone acting on behalf of Hip Hop for Change or Breathe shall have the right, where permitted by law, to print, publish, broadcast, distribute, and use in any media now known or hereafter developed, for 120 years hence, and throughout the world, without limitation your entry, name, portrait, picture, voice, likeness, image, statements about the contest, and biographical information for news, publicity, information, trade, advertising, public relations, and promotional purposes.
  4. Limitation of Liability: By entering this contest, I agree to release and hold harmless Breathe and Hip Hop for Change and any other advertising and promotion agencies, partners, representatives, agents, successors, assigns, employees, officers, and directors from liability related to any purported monetary damages or physical injury that may occur, directly or indirectly, whether caused by negligence or not, related to participation in the contest.

Terms & Conditions

Hip Hop for Change and Breathe, reserve the right, in their sole discretion, to cancel, terminate, modify or suspend this contest if virus, bug, non-authorized human intervention, fraud, or other cause beyond Hip Hop for Change and/or Breathe’s control, corrupt or affect the administration, security, fairness, or proper conduct of this contest. In such case, Hip Hop for Change and/or Breathe may select the winner from all eligible entries received prior to and/or after (if appropriate) the action taken by Hip Hop for Change or Breathe. Hip Hop for Change and Breathe reserve the right, in their sole discretion, to disqualify any individual who tampers or attempts to tamper with the entry process or the operation of the contest or website or violates these Terms & Conditions.

This contest hosted by Hip Hop for Change and Breathe is in no way sponsored, endorsed, administered by, or associated with Facebook or Instagram.

Hip Hop for Change and Breathe have the right, in their sole discretion, to maintain the integrity of the contest, to void audience votes for any reason, including, but not limited to: multiple entries from the same user from different IP addresses; multiple entries from the same computer in excess of that allowed by contest rules; or the use of bots, macros, scripts, or other technical means for voting.

Any attempt to deliberately damage any website or undermine the legitimate operation of this contest may be a violation of criminal and civil laws. Should such an attempt be made, Hip Hop for Change and Breathe reserve the right to seek damages.