For all the many X-Factors and Pop-Idols and The Voice style shows, there is one aspect of music that has unfairly been ignored in talent shows for way too long… Rap. Considering it is seen as the modern form of poetry, produced some of the biggest artists in the world, and given marginalized groups a real voice through which to highlight injustices, the style has been bizarrely ignored by talent television shows in favour of more ‘generic’ styles. (The few contestants who have featured rap in their routines have rarely done well).
Thankfully, Lifetime and Intuitive Entertainment have teamed up to put an end to the anti-rap nonsense, creating The Rap Game, a show where fresh wannabe rap stars aged from 12 to 16 compete with one another for the chance to win a coveted prize. #RG (which first premiered on July 22nd at 10PM ET/PT and has just finished its second season) is executive produced by Kevin Dill and Mechelle Collins (The Millionaire Matchmaker, Atlanta Plastic), Ted Iredell (Making the Band), Perry Dance (also Making the Band) and co-executive produced by Adam Schor (The Biggest Loser). Lifetime’s Mary Donahue and Mariana Flynn also executive produce in addition to music industry veterans, Jermaine Dupri, Queen Latifah and Compere.
So how does it all work? Well, seven aspiring artists compete against one another to demonstrate their raping skills in hopes that they can win the show and secure a recording contract with Grammy winner Jermaine Dupri’s label, So So Def Recordings. To help mentor the young teens throughout the season, Dupri enlists the help of from some of the most talented artists in music, such as Mariah Carey, Snoop Dogg, Timbaland, Nelly, Bow Wow, Monica, DaBrat, Flo Rida and producers, Bryan-Michael Cox, Zaytoven and Mike Kalombo.
Whilst it sounds like a great show and a nice palate cleanser from all the singing competitions available, #RapGame is going to need to be really popular in order to survive. We know that its already managed to secure a second season, but has it done enough to pick itself up a third outing, or is it destined to be out the game for good? Unfortunately, there is no official word as yet from Lifetime, but as the second season only just finished airing, that isn’t a huge cause for concern.
In addition, RG is a heavy hitter for the network, (actually being its highest-ranked show in its time slot) and averaging between 1 to 1.5 million viewers, with a 0.5-0.7 rating in the 18-49 demo. The second season averaged over 1 million viewers per episode, and aired with a 0.4 demo rating. In terms of reviews, things are a bit more mixed, with the show only getting a pretty mediocre score of 5.1 out of 10 on IMDB, but a far healthier 5 stars out of 5 on content streaming service, Amazon Instant Video. We can’t say for sure, but we think that the show has a big enough following, and is fresh enough in concept that it will earn itself a third season!
There are currently no Blu-ray or DVD versions available of #RG to buy, but if you wish to watch the show online, you can do so via Amazon Instant Video for $2.99 per episode or $18.99 for the first or second season in their entirety. You may also be able to catch reruns of the show on Lifetime’s channel, which is Sky: 156, Virgin: 208/209, BT: 329, or TalkTalk: 329 if you live within the US. If you aren’t then unfortunately, Amazon is going to be your only real way of legally watching some episodes.
Are you on board with a music talent show that features rapping rather than singing – a nice change, or something that hasn’t really been done before for a good reason? Do you watch the show and have a favourite contestant – what is it about their style that you connect with? Do you think Lifetime is the right channel to host something like RG, or do you think it would be even more successful if it was on a more popular network?
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