The music reality show, The Rap Game, has taken the US by storm and the UK is set to feel the impact as BBC Three launches the UK version.
In the US, the show is fronted by Jermaine Dupri and Queen Latifah. The Rap Game UK sees rappers Krept & Konan team up with BBC 1Xtra’s head of music DJ Target. They will mentor unsigned MC’s from a penthouse in Birmingham. Seven hopefuls will be looking to win a recording contract with Krept & Konan’s label, Play Dirty.
This idea has already taken off in the US, with shows like Making the Band and The Rap Game. Another hip-hop show set to air is Cardi B’s new show, Rhythm & Flow, launching in the autumn.
Similar music reality TV shows have the same prize but for an MC who knows the culture of hip-hop and stays true, has little chance of winning. The tabloids would dig into their personal lives and ridicule them for any wrong they have done. One of the artists on The Rap Game UK has been to prison for intent to supply drugs. Another is a single father that lives in emergency accommodation, hoping music can lift him out of his situation.
Speaking on the mocking of auditions in similar shows, rapper Krept explains that there is none of that. He said, “rather than replacing any public humiliation element, this one starts with the contestants already in place and there is no public vote.” Konan added, “you don’t see them audition and we don’t press buzzers.”
The Rap Game UK Deals With Real Issues
Not only does The Rap Game UK offer chances to talented MC’s but it’s taking hip-hop to places where it can thrive. Keeping with the genre’s core, the show keeps everything authentic and real. Some of the bars are controversial and deal with real issues that certainly wouldn’t be on The X Factor. Dj Target wanted to give the artists freedom of speech. He said, “Rap was created because people were unheard. The last thing we wanted to do was give these artists a bunch of rules about what they could and couldn’t say.”
You can see The Rap Game UK on BBC Three starting on Friday 23 August.