LOS ANGELES — Music mogul Simon Cowell is aiming to cash-in on the growing trend of "Cop Rap" videos with the launch of a new competition: Cop Idol.
The producer and owner of First Amendment Records announced the launch of the online contest to be judged via YouTube.
Cowell said he came up with the idea after noting a rise in the number of music videos being uploaded to the website by officers, particularly in the gangsta rap genre. The upsurge has spawned an increasingly popular sub genre known as Cop Rap, or C-rap for short.
The top 20 videos will be determined by YouTube video views, with the final winning videos chosen by a panel of rap experts.
Contestants are encouraged to appear in uniform and drive their squad cars in the submitted videos to ensure the authenticity of the C-rap clip.
C-rap has quickly become one of the hottest music trends around, according to Cowell. "There’s something about persons sworn to uphold the law swearing, brandishing weapons and rapping about killing people and committing other crimes that is irresistible to listeners, and they’ve really captured an increasing market share of the rap music scene," he said.
The winner will be crowned the “Ultimate C-rap Artist of the Year” on April 1, 2014, and be signed to a one-year, one album exclusive contract with First Amendment Records.
First Amendment Records has set aside more than $1 million to serve as a reserve defense fund for any officers who need to hire an attorney to fight any resulting disciplinary action by the contestants’ departments.