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EgoTrip’s Miss Rap Supreme: Episode Five

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I’ll say this about ‘Miss Rap Supreme’. While last year, I leaped to my laptop as the credits for the latest episode began to roll, this year I find myself getting home from work at 3am, slogging through the episode and then generally, choosing to read or jerk-off than immediately post on the latest episode, thinking, “it can wait until tomorrow”. Still, this week’s episode was a little more engaging than the previous two…

The pretty-much total bullshit dropping of Lady Twist last week hangs heavy over the opening scenes of this week’s episode because well, everybody in the house knows it was total bullshit. Chiba not only messed-up way more than Twist– who simply under-delivered– but is so much more of a problem for the house and the show in terms of starting shit all the time. The show’s in a weird bind at this point because it seems like maybe the EgoTrip guys just didn’t expect a lot of typical reality-show bullshit because somehow, magically, the show last year was absent of reality-show bullshit and now has it in spades. The show feels ungoverned in a sense and at least in terms of the “who’s going to go home this week?” tension, it feels random or inevitable, neither of which makes for very good television.

Last year’s ‘White Rapper Show’ was great because of how far it stumbled away from being anything like a reality-show and after the first episode of this season, I had high-hopes and set the show up as some kind of actual response to ‘Flavor of Love’ but that’s sort of gone away too. There’s too great of a divide between characters’ actions and their rapping in the sense that, at least in terms of what gets you kicked-off, it’s exclusively how well or not-well you perform. Now yeah, that’s fair because it’s a show supposedly about talent and if the assholism of cast members got them eliminated, it wouldn’t be a competition but still- it’s frustrating. An episode is either really boring because characters are acting humble or it’s just like ‘Flavor of Love’ because people are acting a fool and being annoying. At least this week, the Chiba/Byata battle was relatively calm and it was instead, Nicky2States and Ms. Cherry who brought the ego-tripping. Of course, they also got the most praise, so who knows what’s going on.

Although Nicky’s talent and even her supposed “swagger” are being overrated, it’s easy to see why she’s successful in competition and as a personality on the show. Even when she’s being really evil and screaming at Reece Steele and just bossing every one around, it has a certain charm to it because it’s more out of ignorance than malice. It’s funny that Nicky was the cast member that early on cited her “experience” (which really just means she’d been knocked-up like four times) as being her biggest asset because she seems like someone that’s depressingly naive and has been given everything she’s ever wanted her whole life because she’s shameless and I guess kinda sorta hot (maybe). But the show’s supposedly about becoming a rapper and it’s clear Nicky knows little about rapping and recording when she refuses to stop screaming into the mic and passes it off as just being who she is. Only the ODB could really get away with that blowing-the-mic out style…

Ms. Cherry, the other darling of Serch and Yo Yo is pretty terrible really. She’s pretty funny and stuff, but I’m not sure if what she does can really be called “rapping”. Her flow, a kind-of sing-songy, slow flow that’s said in a voice that always sounds about to laugh, seems more influenced by look Rudy Ray Moore or like Chitlin Circuit insult comics than any actual rappers. I’m being funny but only sort-of. Even her verse and the entire concept of the song/video she headed about being robbed of all her jewels was on some like Moms Mabley comedic-fable thing, which isn’t bad, but has nothing to do with rapping in 2008 (or 1988 for that matter…).

It was a good look for Serch to tell her she needs to actually discuss the week’s rap prompt and not just totally internalize it and spit it back out as more egotism. Even when she’s trying to address the issue at-hand, it’s always from a near-martyred sense or cocksure attitude that’s just not interesting. It’s like how every introspective, vulnerable Jay-Z song is, if you think hard enough, Jay-Z’s fault; he’s the asshole who caused all his own problems and is now rapping all slow and crying about it. The same problem with ‘No Matter What’ by T.I which is a fucking awesome song except that he’s bragging about doing what he should do: take his shit that’s his fault like a responsible fucking adult.

The video prop game is fun and I’m glad it was brought back and it yielded the most engaging segment of the show this season. Soulja Boy came in for like three seconds and didn’t say much of anything even though you’d think if he could talk about anything, it’d be how to promote one’s self and make an entertaining video. Why does the show even have guests? Last year, they were a little better incorporated into the episodes but here, they pop-in for a few seconds and move-on. I feel bad now for giving Just Blaze or Lord Jamar shit for being dicks- at least they gave enough of a shit to be dicks! The implicit message of the prop thing is what Soulja Boy put into action whether he knows it or not: you don’t always need to most impressive shit to make a great video or market yourself. But again, inexplicably, it was Team Byata’s terrible yacht video that won, which kinda conflicts with that message…Also- why was Rece Steele going nuts about how she’s never been on a yacht as if that’s something most people have done? I’ve never been on a fucking yacht either. Oh yeah and Rece, you look like those weird Richard D. James monsters from Aphex Twin videos, it’s creeping me out.

Team Byata’s video was embarrassing and had the same feeling as every other video where a bunch of bad rappers, through money or connections, get a nice car or yacht or whatever and rap awkwardly on it. Their beat was good though, heavy synth squelches and some like DJ Quick-sounding guitars…but who knows how there was even a debate as to which video was better. Byata’s fake parrot on her shoulder creeped me out too. Last week, I was the comic book store and this tiny, gross lesbian girl was walking around with a fake bird on her shoulder as she bought like, ‘Dark Tower’ comics.

Cherry’s video didn’t remind me of a traumatic comics trek and was simple and contained in every way that Byata’s video was all over the place (at some point in Byata’s, it goes sepia-tone for a few images?). Outside of the over-saturated ‘City of God’ cinematography, it stuck to a simple concept that still bypassed conventional performance video tropes and got the job done. So, the team that should’ve won didn’t and it led to the wrong team being put in elimination which led to Bree being booted, which was fine because she probably should’ve been booted right after Khia, Lionezz, and D.A.B anyway.

And uh, don’t sleep on this…

Written by Brandon

May 20th, 2008 at 8:57 pm

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