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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