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‘ego trip’s (White) Rapper Show’: Episode 03.

“They moved in a tight-knit order, carrying sticks and clubs, shotguns and rifles, led by Ras the Exhorter become Ras the Destroyer upon a great black horse. A new Ras of haughty, vulgar dignity, dressed in the costume of an Abyssinian chieftain; a fur cap upon his head, his arm bearing a shield, a cape made of the skin of some wild animal around his shoulders. A figure more out of a dream than out of Harlem…”-‘Invisible Man’ (556)

Remember when people read newsgroups and dudes would say shit like “Man so-and-so must be reading this newsgroup because they really fixed the show from last week”? Well, that’s how I feel after last night’s episode. Not really. No one is reading this but this week’s episode was a lot less problematic and actually addressed some interesting points while still being entertaining. The episode’s targets were more even-handed and I’m into equal opportunity embarrassment. I don’t demand for things to be fair nor would I consider it criteria for whether something is “good” but it is nice when you can tell a little extra thought is put into something.

Obviously ‘Affirmative Reaction’ (‘Family Feud’ but with racially sensitive questions), was supposed to make the white rappers look like idiots but the game also mocked super-serious posturing about racial anger. $hamrock’s foolish answers, especially the one about black people never being on time, were met with anger from the audience but Prince Paul just sort of laughed it off. It was fun with a serious edge to it, as opposed to being serious with some failed attempts at humor tossed-in. The set-up of the game made everyone involved seem pretty idiotic. Prince Paul, holding a spear was funny, audience reactions were funny, and the white rappers’ answers were funny. Everyone comes off looking stupid but with some dignity. You can’t totally look down at anybody except Lord Jamar.

The ‘Affirmative Reaction’ game seemed to be in direct contrast to the scene before, where Lord Jamar seemed angry at the white rappers only because they were white. At least a few of the rappers were excited to meet Brand Nubian, Persia was downright humbled, and all of them were listening but they were treated with nothing but disrespect. Sadat X was trying but recieved the “you’re a sell-out” eye from Jamar. Compare Jamar’s response to that of Juelz Santana who was very encouraging and disinterested in their whiteness. When Jus Rhyme rapped for Santana, he had the same exact horrified expression on his face that I have when Jus opens his mouth but Juelz was appropriately polite, unlike Jamar who took the super-obvious shots at poor John Brown. The show’s editors made no conceits to Lord Jamar either, making him look like the asshole he seems to be. To follow up Brand Nubian with Prince Paul’s half-parody of black power was a really interesting move by the show. Prince Paul, in full-on Ras the Destroyer mode, was a gentle joke on black nationalism. ‘Affirmative Reaction’ both laughed-at and reminded viewers of racial conflicts, moving away from the stone-faced seriousness of Lord Jamar without removing any of the significant points that could have been made.

The show is also becoming increasingly comfortable giving the viewers a taste of Jus Rhyme’s very-specific form of idiocy. Honestly, he’s the only character who needs to be made fun of…Jus Rhyme is not a freedom fighter. I know his heart is in a good place, but everybody’s heart is in a good place. It doesn’t stop them from being a fucking idiot. The look on Sullee’s face when Jus Rhyme wins over the barber shop with grotesque clichés about “the struggle” is really depressing. Jus is going for his Phd in ‘Ethnic Studies’? He’s yet to say a single insightful thing about race! The episode all comes together during elimination when Sullee says something incredibly insightful and legitimately challenging.

Presumably, without reading any of the books Jus Rhyme has read, without knowing or caring what he is saying, Sullee makes the incredibly important distinction between Whites in power and poor (or even middle-class) whites who do not have the time nor the interest in oppression. What Sullee is really addressing is not ‘White Power’ but ‘White Supremacy’ and makes a damn-good and dare I say, just fucking correct, assertion that it’s really just ‘Supremacy’. This some real ‘Redneck Manifesto’ shit! Sullee’s verse was even mentioned as exactly why the show isn’t a normal reality show in this video interview with the ‘(White) Rapper Show’ creators. The theme of last night’s episode seemed to be a significantly more even-handed approach to race where everyone is foolish and only half-knows what the fuck they are talking about. It’s a lot more rewarding to watch.

Some shit I wanted to say that I couldn’t incorporate into the points above…

Sullee was totally right about ‘Affirmative Reaction’ being bullshit but fucked-up as those rules may be, that’s just how ‘Family Feud’ rolls…

Also, poor G-Child. Where will she go? What will she do? Can we start a trust-fund? She also needs to lay-off the cough syrup. She took being sent home so well and she’ll just keep pursuing her dream of rapping like Vanilla Ice even when she is like, thirty. That’s really sad but really kind of touching too. Seriously. It is. Fuck you if you don’t realize why.

Also, also: Isn’t it pronounced “Ju-els” and not “Jules”? Serch clowns himself again. Last week he did it by being totally out-rapped by Grandmaster Caz…

“…Ras bent down from the horse, saw me and flung, of all things, a spear, and I fell forward at the movement of his arm, catching myself upon my hands as a tumbler would, and heard the shock of it piercing one of the hanging dummies.”-‘Invisible Man’ (557)

-Ellison, Ralph. Invisible Man. Vintage: New York, 1980.

Written by Brandon

January 24th, 2007 at 7:41 am

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You Should Maybe Watch: ‘ego trip’s (White) Rapper Show’

(the picture is unrelated, it just looks awesome.)

This show is really, really entertaining but it isn’t much more than that. ‘The (White) Rapper Show’ isn’t even that funny, which is weird since ego trip ostensibly had something to do with it. MC Serch is incredibly unlikeable (and is not “a hip-hip icon”); he adds an embarrassingly serious aspect to the show that isn’t necessary but makes the show more like every other reality show out there. The humor is kind of off or just seems strange and borderline offensive to blacks and whites: the cast members sleep on inmate beds, their house is ‘Tha White House’. The strangest is the way they represent a cast member being eliminated: MC Serch tosses a pair of shoes with their name on it atop telephone wires. It is all corny and uncomfortable the same way someone calling my out-dated cell-phone “ghetto” is uncomfortable. Those types of “ghetto” in-jokes seem bitter and forced; it’s much funnier making these goofballs play mini-golf or putting a giant ‘N-Word’ chain around Persia’s neck. That’s hilarious in a way that ego-trip is usually funny. Less of MC Serch’s personality and more of Prince Paul’s.

‘The (White) Rapper Show’ really is just a reality show that is rap-themed and that’s okay. The cast carries the show and their decency (at least so-far) makes it interesting to laugh at without feeling too superior. I was enthralled for the full hour because of the cast, not the production. The cast is nutso in a typical reality television way, however, they seem sincere about their rap inspirations, so there’s a little less cynicism at the heart of their actions. When G-Child unabashedly says her biggest inspiration is Vanilla Ice and is shown in previews for next week’s episode screaming “I hate 50 Cent! I hate Dipset!” it’s easy to laugh-off but she probably means it. My friend John also made the very good point that, out of all the rappers on the show, G-Child is probably the most “real” in the sense of having a tough-life. She’s this sad, weird, kinda trashy chick from Allentown, PA. I went to school in a semi-rural area and you get girls like G-Child there. They just seem perpetually out-of-place, too angry while, at the same time too sincere about everything (Exhibit A of her sincerity: her love of Vanilla Ice). I’d bet money she’s been molested or raped or cuts herself or something. The girls like this in my area, listened to Insane Clown Posse and drew fairies and stuff. It’s sad and not because I think these girls are lame but because they are just lost. Where do they go? Who do they marry?

Earlier in the night, I was at ‘Wendy’s’ with my friend John in this semi-crappy part of town where this discount store we were going to is located. Two G-Childs were working the register of the ‘Wendy’s’. That is what happens to these girls. They work at Wendy’s. Anyways, I can’t even really explain it, if you’ve ever met the girls I’m describing you already know what I’m saying…but seriously, the only thing that got me through my Big Bacon classic without crying may have been the discounted CDs I found at C-Mart, this weird discount/remainder store that gets all kinds of crap. It seems like most, if not all of their stuff comes from businesses that have closed. For example, a few months ago they randomly had racks of ‘American Apparel’ stuff. Well, some kind of record store must have closed-down or flooded because C-Mart had about 3000 flood-damaged CDs for sale, $3 apiece or two for $5. Here’s what I picked up:

-At the Gates – Gardens of Grief
-Bone Thugs-N-Harmony – Art of War
-Can – Landed
-Juelz Santana – What the Game’s Been Missing!
-Lee Hazelwood – Love and Other Crimes
-Scott Walker – Looking Back With…
-Slum Village – Detroit Deli (Advance Copy) *Has ‘Hood Hoes’ on it*
-The Obsessed – Incarnate
-The Whatnauts – Message from a Black Man
-Venom – At War With Satan

So yeah, had the excitement of opening those CDs not existed, I would have had a G-Child meltdown. But again, what makes ‘The (White) Rapper Show’ entertaining on a human level is the way the rest of the cast (besides Persia) seems aware and respectful of one another’s neuroses. The cast is just really confusing. 100 Proof is just Andrew Dice Clay in ‘Brooklyn Bad-Boy’ mode. John Brown is the Sun-Ra of white rappers, his whole bizarrely sincere demeanor and referring to himself as “an entity”…and did he name himself after thisJohn Brown? Dasit sounds like Eminem and it isn’t because he’s white, he’s trying to do that. Jon Boy, Sullee, and $hamrock are pretty good rappers and that’s a good thing because I was afraid the whole show was going to be a total joke (I’d still watch it but hey-). Jus Rhyme is jus a fucking idiot and who knows what to say about Persia. Oh yeah and sorry fellas, especially black men because I know you’re thinking it, but Misfit Dior is not hot. Also, I think she and G-Child conceived a child and named it Lady Sovereign.

All half-jokes aside, if you step out of the irony box, all of these people are really interesting because they are so damned earnest, too earnest. That’s interesting because I’d say that there isn’t a group that could possibly be more laughed-at and equated with inauthenticity than so-called “wiggers”. Can you imagine the life of the “wigger”? No one takes them seriously! I mean, I dress like a dorky white guy and I have a hard enough time justifying my love of rap to most people. The show itself actually encourages this laughing at them and and it’s a testament to their personalities that they all come out kind-of dignified (except Dasit).

I’ve always been disturbed by the word “wigger” for a million obvious reasons. My friend John (again) made the point that so-called wiggers should really be called “woons” (as in white-coons) because the biggest offenders of wigger-ism do not act “black” rather they act like gross stereotypes of acting “black”. I can recall being weirded-out when I saw the Genius in Baltimore a few years ago, not because everyone was patted-down for weapons, but because of so many woons with something to prove bumped into me and leered at my girlfriend’s ass. Baltimore’s a pretty real place and plenty of people in that audience probably do carry guns but it was only the woons that act like they have something to prove. This is what Tom Breihan was talking about in this entry when he said: “rap shows…are always sort of stressful [because] you’re jammed into an extremely full room with a whole lot of dudes in hoodies, and it’s always somewhere in the back of your mind that you might jostle someone wrong or spill someone’s drink and start a fight”. Breihan got a lot of shit for that comment as being racist and he probably could have explained himself better, but I knew exactly what he was talking about. Those fight-at-the-rap-show types are woonin’. There are plenty of white kids that I knew in high school who would have been called “wiggers” by outsiders but were legitimately into rap music and weren’t interested in acting “hard”. They wore Wu-Wear in eighth grade and white-T’s in 11th but they kept to themselves and I have pretty fond high school memories of joking around with those guys and occasionally talking rap with them. Let’s put it this way, Eminem is a woon, Paul Wall is just a guy who likes rap. Paul Wall is fun-loving and knows his rap history while Eminem is all self-indulgent look-at-me anger. He should probably drive down to that ‘Wendy’s’ in Joppatown, MD and bang one of those girls, they think that agro-shit is cool, it’s why G-Child is admires Persia so much…

This entry doesn’t really describe ‘The (White) Rapper Show’ at all though, sorry. It’s an entertaining way to spend an hour and I felt legitimately pissed-off that I had to wait a whole week for the next episode. I’d say the show is entertaining the way this is entertaining…

WOON STORY # 10,806:
Location: Edgewood, MD. ‘Goodwill Super-Store’
Description: This giant kind-of white-trash guy that looked like one of The Nasty Boys was pacing around this dressing-room mirror on his cell-phone telling someone about the “roc-O-wear” jeans he just found: “Honey, you’re gonna love these, I look so bangin’ right now…”

-‘ego trip’s (White) Rapper Show’ is on VH1 every Monday at 10:00 PM.

UPDATE:(01/18/07) I just recieved an email from my friend John, mentioned in this post…

“I am honored to have such a complex definition of a woon attributed to myself, but I am afraid my separations were much simpler.

When I mean “woon”, I mean guys who basically clown their whiteness to fit in with blacks and entertain them as subservients-just like “coons” did before [with] their black stereotypes. ‘White Mike’ on the ‘Wayans Brothers’ [but] really any white guy on a black show: ‘White and Nerdy’ all that. Dasit’s appearance sort of fits in.

I’m afraid that saying a wigger doesn’t act black implies that “nigger”= black.
A “nigger” is an exagerration of the negative stereotypes of a black person.
Perhaps then, Kid we went to high school with/Paul Wall are just “Whack”? Ehh? Get it?”

Written by Brandon

January 9th, 2007 at 9:41 am