Wednesday, January 17, 2007

The (White) Rapper Review

January 17, 2006

About a month ago the folks at VH1 announced the launch of a new reality show titled The (White) Rapper Show. Now, to be perfectly honest, Hip-Hop is not typically my cup of tea, and as with anyone, I was familiar with and enjoyed the Hip-Hop and Rap songs that were crossovers to Pop or Rock, but because they advertised the show here on SSG, and the promotions seemed interesting, I decided to watch the show. Here was the promotion for the second show:

Premier Episode 2:Nine remaining rappers embark on a hip-hop history tour including sightings of Old School pioneers Kurtis Blow and Grandmaster Caz. But the biggest surprise awaits at tour's end as the emcees face a musical onslaught that leaves their heads spinning. Afterwards, one rapper's low self-esteem imperils the future of the fellow housemates. With things heating up during the competition, strong emotions spill over into everyone's personal lives as well... with one lucky fellow meeting Misfit under the sheets. But will he close the deal?

As I sat down to watch, I was unsure that the show would have appeal to me. As someone who does not follow Hip-Hop and Rap, I felt that I would be lost trying to understand the language, and artists that would certainly be the subject matter of the show.

I was wrong.

The (White) Rapper Show breaks through the stereotypes and offers a compelling look into the world of Hip-Hop. I was expecting the HIP-Hop version of American Idol or Survivor. Instead, I was treated to a show that was part reality show and part documentary. The show does a wonderful job showing where Hip-Hop and Rap came from, what the roots of the music are, and how people use Hip-Hop and Rap to communicate their thoughts and feelings.

The typical items one might expect are there, but there is something compelling about seeing these individuals interact and learning more about their personality. No longer did I see a kid with a hat on sideways and baggy pants. I saw beyond that because I was exposed to his personality. It is this aspect of the show that was most appealing to me.

The show is a competition, but is laced with history and respect for the artists that came before that are legends in the world of Hip-Hop. The show points out the sacrifice that needs to be made in order to become a successful artist, and shows that rap, like any other music is an expression of ones surroundings and experiences.

While The (White) Rapper will not change my musical taste, it did broaden my knowledge of the music, and did show me something beyond the stereotypes that were ingrained into me, and perhaps others. I was impressed that in a 1 hour timeframe that I could be enlightened so much regarding this segment of the musical world, and also impressed with how little race came into play in the show. It really is not about color, it is about culture.

The (White) Rapper Show is now included on my season pass for Tivo, and the lesson learned is that reaching beyond your comfort level to experience and learn new things is an enriching activity.

1/17/2007 10:20:00 AM

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