by Carmen Van Kerckhove
I’ve been intrigued by the new VH1 reality show The White Rapper Show, which made its debut on Monday.
The premise sounds kind of awful (the show wants to find “the next great white emcee of the new millennium”) but then again, the ego trip crew is behind it, and they’ve done some great stuff on VH1 before, like Race-o-Rama and TV’s Illest Minority Moments. But then again, it’s VH1, the center of the minstrelsy revival.
So far the show is a bit disappointing. It feels really stilted and awkward – I don’t know if that’s just bad editing or what. I also felt like the whole n-word thing was pretty poorly handled.
Sure, we had Persia break down in tears after the miniature golf outing (WTF? by the way) saying she was ashamed that after everything she’s gone through in her life, it took this to make her see that her use of the n-word was unacceptable.
But the show never really gave a good reason for why white rappers/people shouldn’t use the n-word. Serch’s explanation was something along the lines of “we don’t play that here.” Um, ok. I know it’s a reality show and I don’t expect them to launch into a long lecture on systems of oppression and stuff like that, but I expected something sharper from ego trip.
Still, I’m intrigued and want to see where they’re going with this whole thing, so I’ll keep watching. Now, let’s get into what other bloggers are saying about the show.
You can read a recap of the episode on Bol’s blog at XXL. Excerpt:
A few of my favorites were some d-bag named John Brown who calls himself the King of the Burbs, this broad named Jah Jah who looks like she might bang a lot of black dudes (which is what I look for in a woman), and Jus Rhyme, a ridonkulously earnest ethnic studies major from USC.
Rapper Jamie Radford auditioned for the series and will be writing regular recaps. Excerpt:
I thought John Brown would be the first to go. Mostly because he’s an idiot. Nobody on the show likes Mr. Brown, who’s gimmick is that he just repeats a couple of phrases over and over – namely “I’m the king of the burbs,” and “It’s a ghetto revival.” On the one hand, I dislike John Brown as much as the cast does, because I actually know a lot of people like him – guys who have all these abstract ideas about how they’re going to take over the world with their non-existent record label, but whose ideas lack any foundation in reality, or humility about their shortcomings.
Yeah John Brown is a total wanker. It’s as if he once sat in a media training class where they taught him to always stay on message, and he just took it way overboard.
33jones had this take:
it seems pretty clear that this is the objective of the producers: to show a group of white people who are trying so hard to emulate what they perceive as being “black.” Its disappointing to see MC Serch, a white rapper who had to fight the same stereotype of the wannabe white boy that this show is propagating, get involved with this project.
Did you see it? And if so, what did you think?