It was all eyes on Ashton, Wednesday night.
Houston native, Ashton Travis, snatched the 2010 Hip Hop Unplugged title belt, defeating Mic Check and WhyteOut in front of a packed house in Manhattan’s Crash Mansion.
“I was blessed”, says the Howard University undergraduate following his winning performance. “I was blessed to have them receive it the way I wanted to put it out.”
Travis impressed the celebrity panel of judges with a swagger tight, lyrically nimble cover of Jay-Z’s “Who You With?”, an original song that connected viscerally with the audience and a polished display of showmanship.
“I came in expecting to kill it, wanting to kill it” he says. “I was a little bit anxious, a little bit on the edge because I was wondering if I was going to slip up because every single time I compete here, I write a brand new song. I don’t have all the time in the world to memorize it so I’ve got to memorize it as fast I can.”
Hip Hop Unplugged is a year long competition showcase highlighting new, under heard talent from across the country. Twice a month, 6 auditioned artists accompanied by a live band perform in front of a panel of industry, media and celebrity judges. The three winners with the highest score compete in the year end Grand Finale vying for props and a prize package intended to enhance their awareness throughout the music industry.
Hip Hop heavy weights Lenny S (Def Jam VP of A&R), Datwon Thomas (Vibe Magazine Editorial Director), Xavier Jernigan (Epic Records Sr VP of Marketing), Big Lite (Host, The Roundtable Show) and Sway Calloway (MTV Executive Producer) were on hand judging 2010 Hip Hop Unplugged Grand Finale.
“I think what separates Hip Hop Unplugged from other showcases is the passion we put into it”, says Remi Williams, producer of the competition series. “It’s not just a money scheme showcase. We really look for the best of the best talent.”
“I was so happy and proud to be a part of this competition”, says Hip Hop Unplugged host, Amanda Diva.
“There is a lot of this thinking that people are only doing this for money at this point so when you have a competition like this you get to see that’s not the case. There are still people that are passionate, that really believe in their music and not in just being famous and this show brought that out. Our winner, Ashton Travis exemplifies that to the fullest.”
Def Jam recording artist, Sheek Louch and emcee Saigon also performed.
For more on Hip Hop Unplugged, visit www.HipHopUnplugged.com and follow on Twitter @HipHopUnplugged
Follow Ashton Travis on Twitter @AshtonTravis and download his mixtape, Mr. Freshman 2.0 HERE.