AMC Networks’ Urban Movie Channel (UMC) is partnering with the American Black Film Festival for the “Shoot Your Shot” talent search for the upcoming UMC series, Partners in Rhyme.

The series is from Martin executive producer and The Jamie Foxx Show co-creator, Bentley Kyle Evans, as well as iconic rapper MC Lyte. The casting call is searching for the co-star of the show, who will lead the series alongside MC Lyte. The rapper and actress producing through her Sunny Gyrl production company.

Partners In Rhyme chronicles the trials of an up-and-coming female high school rapper, social media sensation and foster kid who thinks she is the best thing to happen to the rap game since Cardi B. MC Lyte will portray a label executive charged with helping the difficult but talented new artist navigate the industry.

In order to participate in the national casting call, contestants must be 18 years or older and submit:

 -A 3-minute profile video about themselves and their background
– 2 contemporary monologue performances – 1 comedy, 1 drama
-A rap performance of 1 verse of their choice (original or cover)

Submissions can be emailed to Submissions will be accepted from May 18 – June 30th, 2020. Leah Daniels Butler is leading the casting.

“The UMC team has gone into this year determined to test new waters in content, connecting with our consumers, and even sourcing new talent for our original productions,” says Brett Dismuke, Chief Content Officer of UMC. “The opportunity to pair an industry legend like MC Lyte with up-and-coming talent we’ve yet to discover is the exact principle on which both UMC and ABFF were founded. This partnership is the perfect springboard to launch this exciting new project from Bentley Kyle Evans.”

“For the past 24 years, our film festival has led the way in showcasing the work of Black artists and content creators,” says Jeff Friday, festival founder and ABFF Ventures CEO. “We are thrilled to continue our partnership with UMC and very excited to support the ‘Shoot Your Shot’ Talent Search and upcoming ‘Partners In Rhyme’ series.”

Executive Producer / Creator MC Lyte says, “It’s an honor to be in business with UMC for ‘Partners In Rhyme.’ Teaming up with Bentley Evans and Harvest Studios made the creative process an amazing journey.  I’m even more excited that my production company, Sunni Gyrl, led by Lynn Richardson, who also serves as Executive Producer, has planted its feet in the production world. I’m excited to see all of the casting submissions and find our co-star.”

Five finalists will be chosen and alerted on August 10, 2020. They will be invited to a final round during the ABFF Film Festival where they will perform a scene from the show and a rap verse in front of an audience and judges panel. The winner, chosen on the spot, will receive the role. The first episode of the show will premiere at ABFF 2021 ahead of the UMC premiere. If this year’s ABFF Film Festival does not take place, the winner will still be chosen. More information can be found at

UMC is also set to premiere the new series, Double Cross, starring Darrin Dewitt Henson, Ashley Williams, Jeff Logan, Jasmine Burke, Tremayne Norris, Erica Burton and Faith Malonte. That series premieres on May 21.


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Photo: UMC

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