Official Rules & Regulations

Submission deadlines - The submission time frame is from July 1st  until June 30th of each calendar year. Any material recognized as commercially released between those dates will qualify for a nomination. If your submitted release was created after July 1st then your submission will qualify for the next year's awards. Submissions are accepted year round as a way to keep track of artist development and achievements.  Submitted material must include the creative works of either an Ohio resident or a native born in Ohio.  If the material was released in the first quarter of the previous year, January through our qualification deadline and created a heavy buzz around or after July 1st, the OHHA board reserves the right to consider the material for nomination the following year.

2. Press Kit Specifications – We accept both physical press kits as well as electronic press kit (EPK’s). If you find it more suitable to submit an EPK that’s fine, if you feel that you want to make your press kit more presentable in a physical package that is fine as well.  Press kits may include but are not limited to; pictures, biographies, discographies, mixtapes, singles, albums, promotional materials, newspaper/magazine articles, links to websites, and contact information. Press kits cannot be returned and become the property of the OHHA. By submitting your press kit you acknowledge that you have read and agreed to the terms of submission to the OHHA.  You can submit your electronic press kit at ohiohiphopawards.com/submit or mail in your physical material to P.O. Box 19305, Cleveland, Ohio 44119.

3.  Showcase procedure - Every year the OHHA throws showcases in Akron/Kent, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton, Canton, Toledo, and Youngstown. At each showcase artists perform against each other in front of a panel of judges. The artist pay a registration fee then receives 50 tickets, a contract, receipt and fliers to the event. Each ticket is worth $10, this means that each participant has the option of selling tickets for a profit. Artists will then arrive at the showcase at the scheduled time for check in and will enter into the lottery to decide stage time. The artists will be judged based on criteria such as song creativity, use of original beats, stage presence, appearance, lyrics, flow, sound quality, whether or not they brought promotional materials to the event, use of props, crowd interaction, crowd reaction,  mic control, etc... Mini and Full Tour registered artists will have their time slot arranged during the middle of the showcase.

4. Use of Submitted Material - By submitting your material to the OHHA you grant the OHHA the right to utilize your material for promotional purposes. This usage includes but is not limited to synchronizing materials for television and radio promotions, online promotions, giveaways, and use on OHHA website. By submitting your material you acknowledge that the OHHA's can use anything you have submitted to promote and market our events, without any financial compensation due to you whatsoever.   

Categories (These are some, but not all categories. For a complete list of categories and qualifications, please contact us directly in writing @ This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

New Artist/Group: the new artist/group category is open to both male and female artists who are releasing their first large scale promotion or album recognized by the OHHA. For example a 35 yr old mc coming out with their first serious project, recognized by the OHHA, is as eligible as a 16 yr old artist. To qualify the said artist or group needs to have released a widely promoted single, mixtape or album before July 1st. 

Best Media Outlet: This category is open to commercial websites, magazines, or television shows that report on Ohio Hip Hop artists.  

Websites created before April 1st can be nominated. Blogspots, Myspace, and other social networking sites cannot be nominated.  The content of the site must be Ohio Hip Hop related and regularly updated. Send your link to submissions @ ohiohiphopawards.com. 

Magazines must have printed 2 issues between July 1st of last year and June 30th of the current year.  The magazine has to report on Ohio Hip Hop in some form or fashion to be nominated. All issues need to be dated and contain contact information.  Physical submissions are necessary for magazines, if you own and promote an online magazine, then submit the link to your online mag as indicated above.  

Television Shows can be aired on television or released online. The show must have aired 5 episodes between July 1st of last year and June 30th of the current year.  The more well known the program the higher chance it has to be selected.  You can submit your show to our office at PO Box 19305 Cleveland, Ohio 44119 or send us a link .

The DJ Besto Turntableist(s) of the Year: This category is for DJ’s that specialize in the art of battling and scratching. Group nominations are welcome. Footage of live performance, resume of events, and audio files of sets can further a cause for nomination. 

Best Graffiti Writer:  This award goes to graffiti artists who actively throw up murals in the state. Send in flicks of pieces you have thrown up and contact us at 216-744-7716 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Break-Dancer of the Year: To be nominated for this category please send in footage of you competing at events. Also please send information on the events you have competed in or performed at. 

Mixtape of the Year/Mixtape Artist of the Year/Mixtape DJ of the Year: Any mixtape released after July 1st of last year and before June 30th of the current year is eligible for nomination. Mixtapes must have professional cover art on the insert and print on the CD to qualify (No sharpie markers!). Online mixtapes have to be effectively promoted and accepted in the Ohio Hip Hop market. Mixtape nominations are judged on buzz, production, theme, mixing, creativity, and song quality. Mixtapes should be included in the artists press kit that is mailed in to us at PO Box 19305 Cleveland, Ohio 44119 or submit your link on our website.

Video of the Year:  The overall quality of the video, visibility, creativity, and song quality is what is considered for nomination. Videos must be over two minutes in length. 

Lyricist of the year:  Lyricists are nominated after review of their material, so it is important to submit your material to the Ohio Hip Hop Awards to get nominated.    

Clothing Designer - Clothing released and sold by a designer who lives or was born in Ohio. Designer must release and market a minimum of 4 designs during the nomination period to qualify. Samples of your work must be submitted to the OHHA Board for quality inspection. 

Graphic Design Artist - Artists must have created three heavily marketed graphic designs within the nomination period. Email us with your graphic art work.     

Entertainment Group - Has to be headquartered in Ohio with a major release promoted during the nomination period. Also has to have at least one signed Ohio Hip Hop artist to their roster. 

Best Album - Albums released during the nomination period qualify. Albums must be professionally packaged and actively marketed.  

Best Artist/Group - Must have a major mixtape, album release, or multiple features. Those who have a major presence in the Ohio Hip Hop scene. Send in your resume with information on what shows/tours you were on, features released, management info, and contact information along with release.  

Producer of the Year - Producers need to have placed either a minimum of 1 track with a  major label or have multiple placements with recognized Ohio artists. Send your track placements and samples of work in your press kit. 

Model of the Year - This category is open to either male of female models born in or residing in the state of Ohio. Please send a press kit and include comp cards, pictures, and a listing of job placements that were executed during the Qualifying Time Frame (July 1st  - June 30th ).  

If there are further questions regarding rules or regulations as relates to any particular category, please send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 216.744.7716.

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