[Last Week], season five of TV One’s Lexus -sponsored program Verses and Flow kicked off, and the artists involved this time are some of the best around. Estelle, Jazmine Sullivan, and Jussie Smollett of Empire fame have all signed on, as have over two dozen of the best poets and spoken word artists in the country—something that isn’t seen everyday on TV.
The show is an interesting way for Lexus to reach a potential new customer base. The automaker is meeting music and poetry fans where they are, and is sponsoring content that they want: performances and interviews. The show is primarily aimed at an African American audience, and most of the performers are black as well. In addition to sponsoring the show, Lexus is also continuing a scholarship that bears the same name as the program in partnership with some of the best-regarded historical black universities in the country. Two students from each of the ten schools will be awarded a $5,000 scholarship.