A competition show in the vein of American Idol, The Rap Game has completed its second season on Lifetime. The brainchild of executive producers Queen Latifah and Jermaine Dupri, The Rap Game focuses on hopeful rappers between the ages of 12-16. Through challenges designed to test their creativity and skill, the field narrows until one young rapper wins the final prize: being signed to Jermaine Dupri’s label, So So Def.
This second season was won by 16-year-old Mani from Los Angeles, who Dupri felt had the best chance of being made into a star. In the final episode, not only did the contestants have to market themselves, but then rap in front of people in a concert setting that included past mentors and some competitors from the first season.
Compared to other genres where musical instruments are directly involved, it can be a bit difficult for those who don’t follow rap to understand the skill, thought, and presence that makes a successful rapper. The Rap Game has been praised critically for taking the time to show what makes a star in this highly competitive genre. In addition, the kids on this show are flat-out talented. This is most showcased by the fact that they are tasked with writing their own rhymes, giving a rare insight into this rigorous process. Even though only one of them can win, seeing the talent on display at such a young age has proven to be both a joy and a draw for viewers.
Equally enticing for would-be watchers has been the array of celebrity guests who have appeared on the show to serve as mentors for the show. Guest appearances in this season include Mariah Carey, Snoop Dogg, Nelly, Timbaland, Flo Rida, and more. Don’t forget Queen Latifah, who was a top rapper in her own right before turning to acting, and Jermaine Dupri, of course. In addition to fans of competition shows, the presence of some of the biggest names in music for such a new series has both given casual rap fans a chance to watch, as well as instant credibility for the show for more established fans.
The first season of The Rap Game was a great ratings success for Lifetime, performing the best in its timeslot and making major gains among the 18-49 demographic. To date, a third season has not been confirmed, but judging from this success, Lifetime would certainly like it to come back. If anything, it may boil down to scheduling issues to see if the show stays on. Jermaine Dupri has a busy schedule running his label, and shooting a television show takes time. For now, fans certainly hope that he has the time to put together another season of this exciting show.
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