Show us the money - Page 2

Rap ruled at the Bay Area's Showtime at the Apollo auditions
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Citing fellow Berkeley High School students the Pack as an inspiration, the extremely ambitious and multitalented ninth grader looked older than his years — he writes all of his material and makes his own beats, boasting two albums' worth on his MySpace page. Before the panel of judges, looking not at all nervous, the teen confidently performed his song "Money in the Air," adding a little carefully planned flavor midway through by throwing in the air a fistful of cool-looking promotional play money — oversize, full-color $5 bills with his image and contact info strategically positioned on both sides, designed at home on his computer.

The next day Roberson was feeling satisfied with the whole experience. "I thought the auditions were great.... I gave 110 percent and I felt like the judges liked my song," he said by e-mail — naturally — adding that "my dream and my goal is to get a record deal." Whether he'll make it to the Apollo stage this fall remains to be determined. Rogers, who described the Oakland Apollo tryouts as "challenging" (seemingly because of the disproportionate amount of nonrappers the Apollo likes to showcase), said there were about seven acts she was pretty sure were ready for the big time but that her team would need a few weeks to carefully study the tapes back in New York before deciding who would make the trip from the Bay to Showtime at the Apollo.<\!s>*

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