Jermaine Dupri and Queen Latifah have joined forces to find the next big young hip-hop star on their new show, The Rap Game.
The Rap Game is an eight episode, non scripted show that premiered on New Years Day. There are five young hip-hop artists, all within the ages of 12-16, who all have large followings or views on YouTube, Twitter and/or Instagram.
The rappers who are participating in the show are: Lil Niqo, 15, San Diego, CA; Miss Mulatto, 15, Atlanta, GA; Supa Peach, 12, Atlanta, GA; Lil Poopy, 12, Brockton, MA; and Young Lyric, 15, Houston, TX.
Each week they compete for the top spot on Jermaine’s ‘Hit List.’ There are five spots on his hit list and the goal is to be number one for each week. Whoever is number one by the end of the eight episodes will be signed to Jermaine’s label, So So Def Records.
The young rappers are given a task or group of tasks that they have to accomplish and Jermaine ranks them according to how well or how poorly they did with said task. For example, tonight’s episode was all about branding. He gave each rapper $30 to spend (and not exceed) at Goodwill and they had to pick an outfit that showcased their brand within 30 minutes. The next day they had to model that outfit for a photoshoot with a celebrity stylist.
The stylist, April Roomet, decided whether or not their outfits hit or missed the mark. She also made sure that the outfit that they wore to the photoshoot was actually the same outfit that they bought the day before. She gave little bits of advice to those who were wiling to listen and she also brought outfits that she thought would help each rapper look better. She reported her findings back to Jermaine and he in turn made his decision of who got what placement on The Hit List.
Tonight’s episode was only the third one, but, so far, I like the show. It’s interesting to see such young kids being so focused and dedicated to their craft. Some of them have crazy egos, but I think that’s kind of expected when you get that much attention from, not only your family, but from fans and strangers too. Some of them also have problems with following directions, which you will see when you watch the show, but I’m hoping that with time they can improve that.
I was asked what made this show different from American Idol, The X Factor and The Voice and I think it’s because it’s about hip-hop and the competitors are so young. There aren’t many shows that focus solely on rapping and I like that this show does. I also like that someone of Jermaine’s caliber is willing to take the time out to coach five young rappers, while knowing that he will only sign one, maybe two, to his label.
With each passing week, he’s feeling each of them out to see what their strengths and weakness are so that he’s completely aware of what’s to come if he signs them. He’s also feeling out their managers, who just so happen to all be parents. When he gives the rappers tasks, most of the time he does it separately from the managers because he knows how big of an influence parents can have on their children, so I think it’s a great idea to separate them for some tasks.
It’s refreshing to see all the talent and drive that these kids have and I wish them the best.
The Rap Game airs Fridays at 10 p.m. on Lifetime.
Note: I think Queen Latifah is a silent producer because she has yet to made an appearance on the show. She may be coming in later episodes, but don’t take that as law because I am not 100% sure, but you should definitely check out the show and tell me what you think.
**This review is based on episodes 1-3, so click here to check out my review for episode 4.