September 11, 2007 13:52 ET

YouTube OnTheRise RAP Edition '07 Wraps Up

Out of Thousands of Entries, Conceit Takes Crown; R-Mean and Gist aka The Essence Finalists

SAN BRUNO, CA--(Marketwire - September 11, 2007) - YouTube, the leading online video community that allows people to discover, watch and share originally created videos, today announced the results of the YouTube OnTheRise Rap competition. Thousands of artists entered and 50 Cent, Common and Polow da Don helped choose the 20 finalists that were voted on by the YouTube community.

Conceit ( took home the grand prize, winning a trip to New York City to professionally record a single for G-Unit/Interscope Records, a $10,000 Guitar Center Shopping Spree, a Boss BR-1600 Digital Multitrack Recorder and a Roland MV-8800 Production Studio, and had his video featured on the homepage of YouTube. R-Mean ( and Gist aka The Essence ( were first and second runners-up. They will receive $5,000 and $2,000 Guitar Center shopping sprees respectively.

"Thanks and a big shout out to everyone who voted on my video, and also a major thank you to 50 Cent and YouTube for helping me shine," said Conceit. "The other artists in the top 20 were first class emcees and it was a privilege to be part of this with them. A special thank you to all the SF Bay Area heads that have always supported me and my crew, you get all my love."



Conceit, a San Francisco native, has been making music for more than a decade with various album appearances and mixtape releases. He has built a name for himself in the greater Bay Area and nationwide. Founder of the Strangeface Crew, as well as an affiliate of Gurp City and artist on Machete Vox Records, he has two Freestyle Olympic titles including winning the Gold in the 2005 and Silver in 2006. He is currently working on his debut album to be released by Machete Vox Records, as well as wrapping up a Northwestern tour with fellow crew members Top.R. and Foul Mouth Jerk. Conceit, although known for his freestyle and battle skills, drew critical acclaim from underground music fans after dropping his Wasted Talent mixtape in collaboration with LRG Clothing last year. The mixtape brought back the classic style of "mixtape" by actually using a DJ (Max Kane of 4OneFunk) to blend the cohesive collection of 25 songs that reflected his writing talents and knack of speaking on the ups and downs of everyday living.


It all started as a means for him to express his inner turmoil. R-Mean grew up with a mother still in love with her lost husband. Since his mother carried the financial burden, R-Mean started working in his uncle's rug store at a young age while going to school mainly as an attempt to keep his mother happy. Being the quiet kid that he was, his nature would not allow him to express his emotions, so he turned to the pen. After living in the Netherlands for 18 years he moved back to his place of birth, Los Angeles, where he met a struggling producer by the name of "Blind." Blind fell victim to a drive-by shooting in Pasadena, CA in 1992. He got shot in the face, which caused him to completely lose his eyesight. Together they started the crew Pentagon, which symbolizes the four corners of the world (east, west, north, south), and the 5th angle which is the Lord, who "guides us through everything." Though Pentagon is a family, R-Mean's independence allows him to remain at heart a solo artist.

As an incredible lyricist and extremely talented songwriter, he manages to put all his life experiences in his music, as he "speaks the bottom of his heart from the top of his lungs." Good music markets itself. The addictive sound of his voice, flow and lyrics and his marketable look and style makes him popular among people from all ages and backgrounds. That's how R-mean has sold over 10,000 copies of his independent album Broken Water (2005) and another 3,000 copies of mixtapes without any large promotional companies or big marketing budgets. His drops have been on heavy rotation on LA's largest Hip-Hop stations POWER 106 and KDAY 93.5 and his song "Call Me" was featured on the "Hate it or Love it" segment of tha Goddfellas show on KDAY. R-mean has recorded with artists like The Game and shared the stage with artists like Nas, Bone Thugs-n-Harmony, and Tyrese just to name a few. His hard work is finally paying off as his buzz has reached incredible heights. "Every day I get approached by die hard fans. I even met people who had tatted my lines on their body! It's just crazy because I've never been signed or anything."


Gist aka The Essence, a new, young and fresh MC, hails from one of the most influential boroughs in Hip-Hop music, Queens, New York. In a similar trend of his predecessors, (Nas, A Tribe Called Quest, Mobb Deep, Run DMC, LL Cool J, and 50 Cent) Gist aka The Essence's musical style and lyrical flow is guaranteed to change the face Hip-Hop culture. Like those before him, Gist comes from humble beginnings. As an artist, he uses his life experiences and surroundings as inspiration for his music. Gist prides himself... in just being himself. His individuality, real content, creativity, and delivery demand the respect and appeal of any listening audience. Gist will be releasing his new album entitled "Young, Gifted, & Black" Tuesday, September 11, 2007 available for free download at The theme track, "Young, Gifted, & Black" can be viewed at

YouTube OnTheRise RAP Edition Details

Submissions began for the YouTube OnTheRise RAP Edition Friday, August 10 and ended Friday, August 17. Artists were encouraged to submit original videos that showcase their personalities and creativity. Each video entry was required to include a full, original song that was five minutes or under. All entrants had to be 18 years or older and residents of the U.S to participate.

About YouTube

YouTube is the world's most popular online video community allowing millions of people to discover, watch and share originally created videos. YouTube provides a forum for people to connect, inform and inspire others across the globe and acts as a distribution platform for original content creators and advertisers large and small. YouTube, LLC is based in San Bruno, CA and is a subsidiary of Google Inc.