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By Gerald Jimenez, MSL

June 22nd, 2023, 11:30 PM

#1 seed, Octavia The Great, Norfolk, VA.

NEWPORT NEWS, VA. - The postseason of the Song vs Song Series (SvS) kicks off with some of the nation's top independent artists. The SvS is a virtual song battle administered by MSL where the sport is the actual performance of songs as they go head-to-head in an NFL/NBA-styled season. In its official second year in existence, the series is starting to pick up worldwide recognition with now having voting participation from countries such as the UK, India, Canada, and Africa. In the SvS, game matches are displayed on MSL's website where people vote. Songs are initially won based on votes up until the semifinal round where winners are determined by a combination of votes and judges' scores.

The MICOFFS is the playoff game of the SvS where the independent recording artists, referred to as "players" or "music-sports athletes", must qualify by winning one of the 7 regular season games or clinching a wildcard berth based on ranking. Let's introduce the 2023 MICOFFS roster. Octavia The Great, Norfolk, VA will go in as the #1 seed after her clutch wins of games 4 and 5.

A rapper/singer, Octavia finished the regular season as the #1 ranked player in the series, and the first player in MSL history to have won multiple games in a regular season. Her song, "Sunshine" was the highest-scoring song in MSL history. She's been regarded as the favorite to win. Cassaun of Kansas City, currently ranked #2 in the series secured her MICOFF berth by having won game 2 back in February. Cassaun is a soulful singer that competed in the 2021 season, which was a BETA version of the SvS. The #3 seed is B Menace of Suffolk, VA, a high-energy, charismatic rapper that dominated the 2022 7-Cities SvS by going undefeated leading up to capturing the SvS championship belt last October. The #4 seed is Lundyn Blaq, also of Norfolk, who secured her MICOFFS seat by winning game 1 of the regular season. Lundyn, another rapper/singer, has a unique neo-soul-hip hop sound that gives you a remanence of Lauren Hill.  Neno Da Carter of Atlanta secured his 5th seed slot finishing the regular season #5 in the rankings. Neno won game 7 in the regular season, a rapper, his savvy sound, and lyrical skills give him a unique edge out of the group. Number 6 ranked, Gregory Bell (MR RNB) of Norfolk secured his MICOFFS slot by winning game 6 of the regular season. Gregory is a seasoned artist will exceptional singing ability and songwriting skills, and after hearing his music, is one to not sleep on to win the whole thing.

The 7th seed is Profit The Rapducer of Hartford, CT. Profit secured his slot by reaching the championship of game 5, but losing to Octavia The Great. Because she was already in the MICOFFS, Profit received an auto bid. However, Profit's music has great quality and is an overall talented rap artist.

The final two seeds are the wildcards. The wildcards are the two highest-ranked players that have not clinched. The ranking is based on a point system similar to professional tennis where points are earned based on how far a player advances in a game. Anthony M and Jamin Beats secured the wildcards, and these guys are extremely talented from what I heard of their songs. Jamin Beats resides in Chesapeake, VA, but is originally from Africa and comes with an international sound, which brings a unique vibe to the roster. Anthony M of Chicago, in my opinion, is a star in the making. He seems to have all of the makings of a future pop star, and would not surprise me if he were to reach the championship or win the entire thing.

The players that reach the MICOFFS semifinals will have clinched a SUPER MIC berth. The SUPER MIC, sponsored by HMG Sports Marketing, is the SvS world championship game on July 29th. The SUPER MIC champion wins the SUPER MIC championship belt, and a trip to Atlanta, GA to perform live at the GDFL (Gridiron Development Football League) national champion game halftime show on Labor Day weekend.

MSL is pioneering a new era of how independent recording artists promote and perform their music. "Music-Performance Sports" combines the elements of a pro sports league with music competition to make it more fan-engaging, and entertaining, and rebranding the look of independent music. MSL Founder/Commissioner, Juan A. Thompson envisioned a new sport where up-and-coming artists could gain the same perks as pro athletes do today. Juan indicates that professional athletes are measured by their skills, talents, competitiveness, and winning championships. Aspiring artists looking to make a name for themselves are, moreover, measured by their social media following versus their abilities to produce good, quality songs. MSL hopes to bring a balance to that by using Music-Performance Sports. However, today's music industry is extremely over-saturated with new music being released daily. This highly impacts an unknown artist's ability to attract new fans and potentially open the door to new business opportunities.

In conclusion, the MICOFFS roster is an extremely talented group of independent recording artists, and while I have reservations about who I think will win, I will keep that to myself. However, all-in-all, this is going to be a great game, and I'm looking for the four that advance to MSL's inaugural SUPER MIC on July 29th. Don't forget to listen and vote on July 6th - 9th. 

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