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The Rap Game

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Finally caught the last 2 episodes.  Glad Nova won, cause as they said he was the only one who is ready right now, plus he also has great crossover appeal.  That being said, I would have been happy if either Deetranada or Roscoe took the competition.  Deetranada is fabulous, but she needs to work on her attitude a bit.  And Roscoe is so damn adorable and he grew so much during the season.  Also, his last performance was fantastic and definitely on par with the other to. 

I have to say that I really enjoyed this season.  I liked that the kids and parents/managers are got along and actually cared about each other.  I especially appreciated seeing the adults act like adults.  When they had an issue they talked it out and worked through it, and when necessary, sent the kids away so the grown folks could talk.  So refreshing for reality TV.

On 2/9/2017 at 2:00 PM, topanga said:

So this brings me back to Season 1. If JD doesn't care if a writer has help with his or her lyrics, why was it such a big issue with Supa Peach? Why didn't JD say to the group, "Supa is 12. If she needs help with her lyrics, that's okay). He said it during the TH interviews but not with the 5 contestants, especially Miss Mulatto, who had the biggest problem with it.

I think the main issue was that Supa Peach and her team were lying about who wrote the lyrics. 

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I wasn't dumbstruck when JD announced the winner like I was in Season 2. Deetranada was my favorite, but I agree that Nova was the most ready for the contract. I do hope I see Deetranada again. 

And I like that the families got along, for the most part. In all three seasons, this has been my favorite group of kids and managers. Everyone seemed mature, and though there were small arguments here and there, there were no fist fights (season 1) or near-fist-fights between two parents (Season 2). I wonder if JD will try to have a reunion show again. I think it will go much better than the Season 1 reunion. 

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I haven't seen season one but from what I have seen, as an adult I can see myself buying some music by Lil Key, Deetrenada, and Nova. I don't see how Roscoe or Flau'Jae could have as much success right now, although I think we'll definitely see Roscoe when he grows up if he's still rapping. But for now there is no market for child rappers. This isn't the 90's. I love the kid though. And I hope Flau'Jae can step out of her father's shadow. The girl has talent and shouldn't compare herself to a grown man. 

That being said, last season I was straight up blown away that Mani got signed over Lil Key who was clearly ready. I did like Mani just like I like Roscoe. My opinion remains that it wasn't his time. Where is he? Has anyone seen an album or anything by either season 1 or 2 winners? But, like JD said, Nova was ready to put out an album right then and I believe that. Congrats to Nova! He's going to be successful beyond the other two winners. With or without SoSo Def.

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On 4/8/2017 at 2:20 AM, phoenix780 said:

Meh. I think I should have been Dee. 

I wonder if JD didn't pick her because she would be direct competition for Ms. Mulatto.  Nova fills out the trio nicely demographics-wise.  I feel like Nova is going to totally overshadow Mani, who, while a nice kid, is probably the Taylor Hicks of The Rap Game.

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3 hours ago, HZAnita said:

I wonder if JD didn't pick her because she would be direct competition for Ms. Mulatto.  Nova fills out the trio nicely demographics-wise.  I feel like Nova is going to totally overshadow Mani, who, while a nice kid, is probably the Taylor Hicks of The Rap Game.

Is Ms Mulatto that special to JD? I wouldn't know because I didn't watch season one.

Nova may overshadow a lot of people in rap just in general. He's really got something. But Mani, god love him. While Miss Mulatto was dancing and showing support for the kids, cameras panned to Mani one time and he's looking just as dull as ever. I hope he doesn't give up on rap. He wasn't fully ready for the pressure in my opinion. That may be enough for him to say fuck this. He sure doesn't look like he's having fun.

Im not worried about Dee. She's special. I bet she gets a record deal very soon. I see her growing into a very well respected female rapper. She doesn't need SoSo Def.

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Is anyone going to see the SoSoDef tour this summer?  JD is bringing all of the best contestants from all three seasons, IMO.  I would go, but I am way too old. lol  

As an aside, I have become completely obsessed with Ekko's music.  You all probably already knew this, but he had a song produced by Mike Kalombo in 2012 and won "Best Male Rapper of the Year" at the 5th Annual Underground Music Awards in NYC.  Ekko is really talented; no wonder he was such a great manager for Nova.

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1 hour ago, HZAnita said:

Is anyone going to see the SoSoDef tour this summer?  JD is bringing all of the best contestants from all three seasons, IMO.  I would go, but I am way too old. lol  

As an aside, I have become completely obsessed with Ekko's music.  You all probably already knew this, but he had a song produced by Mike Kalombo in 2012 and won "Best Male Rapper of the Year" at the 5th Annual Underground Music Awards in NYC.  Ekko is really talented; no wonder he was such a great manager for Nova.

I really enjoyed Ekko of the show, especially how he worked with all the kids.  I haven't heard his music, but he definitely has a talent for grooming young rappers.

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10 hours ago, luckyroll3 said:

I really enjoyed Ekko of the show, especially how he worked with all the kids.  I haven't heard his music, but he definitely has a talent for grooming young rappers.

His style of rap is definitely more, er, "adult" than Nova's in that he goes a lot harder, grittier.  But he is really talented.

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New Season! I like this crop of kids, but I agree with JD that they’re less experienced than kids in earlier seasons. 

And Ricci Bitti (her dad really lets her call hersel ‘Bitti’?)—What was up with her performance? I don’t like her already.

Im looking forward to seeing kids from past seasons. I recognized Deetranada, Supa Peach, Lil Key, and the little boy with the Burger King crown. 

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Just realized this show was back.  I didn't really enjoy many of the kids except for the skinny tall girl (Rapunzel?) and the other girl that they said had bars.  Everyone else was meh.  

And I still can't stand JD.  I don't understand why he was so appalled that the one girl rapped with her purse.  You asked them to rap on the spot.  I bet if she had said, "wait a second, I need to put this somewhere" instead of jumping right in to rap, he would have been upset with that to.  

9 hours ago, topanga said:

Im looking forward to seeing kids from past seasons. I recognized Deetranada, Supa Peach, Lil Key, and the little boy with the Burger King crown. 

Roscoe!  I'm looking forward to this too.  I think the Prince of NY will also be there, and I adore his little crazy ass.

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There's no real stand out in this group of kids.    I like the kid with the rainbow locs though.   He's probably the weakest lyrically, but his style is pretty on trend with what passes as hip hop today, and he has plenty of 12 year old swag.    I can see him doing well on JD's challenges.  

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So, none of these kids have really impressed me yet.  I can't even compare them to the "losers" of previous seasons.  King Roscoe, Supa Peach, Young Lyric, Lil Key, Deetranada, etc. eclipse most of these kids.  Anyway, as of the first two episodes this season:

1. Lil Bri - I like her the most.  She seems like a hard worker, good entertainer, and very talented.

2. Rap-unzel - She is friggin' gorgeous (and so is her mom!).  I really liked her episode 2 performance. 

3. Street Bud - He's cute, but he's like the Mario version of King Roscoe to me.  His mother is great.

4. Jordan - I don't really have anything to say.  He's just meh.  Boring. Plus Ican'tunderstandwhathe'srappingbecauseherunshisallofhiswordstogetherinalongmonotonousstream.

5. Ricci - Entitled, spoiled brat.  And I'm talking about her father.  She takes zero responsibility for her failures.  It seems like they thought that they had an "in" because JD had worked with the father and sister before.  Surprise!  Not even connections can save you from suckitude.

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It's back. How'd I miss this? 

Agree with HZAnita that the kids haven't impressed me yet. They Think they know more than they do, they think they are doing more than they are. I couldn't believe the outrage when Jny told them their intro performance wasn't good enough. Did they really think they were that great? I didn't. I was thinking there was a reason JD didn't ask them to perform for the crew at the beginning, thought that was how they usually do it? They had to rehearse first. For a reason. So simmer down  and hone your craft please.

Ricci Bitti is definitely not as good as she thinks. And being eww was not a good  first look.

I like Lil Bri and possibly Rap-unzel as of episode 2.

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Ricci lost me on the first episode with her whole "girls hate me cuz i'm lightskinned and cute" bullshit. I can tell her daddy fed her that which is why we aint never heard of her sister and will never hear from her after this show. He's too busy being 1991 colorstruck to teach her any skills other than excuses and blaming. Bye. 

Lil mumble boy...No. I get that his "swag" style is the trend now, but just no. When your mama has to snatch a poptart out of your mouth and force you to get your adhd under control...baby, no.

Tulsa dude has some lyrics, but needs to work on his cadence. He still doesn't have what it takes to win, IMO. 

Rap-unzel, i like. Gotta support the local chick. She has lyrics and smarts but not the charisma. I hope she can step it up, but it feels like she is living mama's dream at this point. Mama is more hype than she is!

Lil Bri---she has lyrics, she has flow, but again, charisma is lacking. I get where her manager is coming from with trying to get her fired up. She is more of a lowkey person and "rappers" (the star persona) typically have that braggadocio swag. Maybe she is just focused on winning and can turn it on when need be. I would put her at the top of the list to win the whole thing though. She seems serious about her craft and she comes through with the assignments. 

 JD is selling this show, but lets be real, no one is buying music from a preteen nowadays. It's not happening. No one is even buying music from 16 year olds. At this point, do the contestants really believe anything about a record deal? It's been what? 4 years and we haven't gotten even a single from the first season winner, not to mention a whole album. Shit, when is the last time JD produced anything for anyone?

Edited by neenyah
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8 hours ago, neenyah said:

 JD is selling this show, but lets be real, no one is buying music from a preteen nowadays. It's not happening. No one is even buying music from 16 year olds. At this point, do the contestants really believe anything about a record deal? It's been what? 4 years and we haven't gotten even a single from the first season winner, not to mention a whole album. Shit, when is the last time JD produced anything for anyone?

Well, there are a lot of the teen rappers blowing up right now who started in their early teens (e.g., Lil Pump, NBA Youngboy, Trippie Redd, XXX, etc.).  Of course, those guys are not the "teeny bopper" rap that The Rap Game puts out.  Miss Mulatto never signed with JD and she is doing okay doing the mix-tape thing.  Mani - I have no comment.  Nova - nada, which is disappointing because I thought he had some potential.  It's like The Voice.  Whatever happened to any of those winners? :/  Oh well. 

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Some of these kids are still not as good as they think they are. I remain as surprised at their surprise as they are shocked to hear they need to improve. 

I don't like Ricci Bitti. I said it. I have said before that I don't listen to rap anyway but I don't like her flow: it's this whiny, slurred, cutesy thing I don't enjoy. Obviously, I don't understand what's in style because she gets votes. I keep hoping JD will send her home. I don't like her attitude either. 

Jordan lost me with putting down the mic and walking off. Nope. 

Street Bud has something but mostly makes me miss the young kid from last season who wore the crown. He turned out to be stronger than I originally believed. Maybe Street Bud will pull that out too. 

 

This season isn't even generating the conversation that previous seasons did. Not a good sign at all.

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10 hours ago, Lyinfait said:

Some of these kids are still not as good as they think they are. I remain as surprised at their surprise as they are shocked to hear they need to improve. 

I don't like Ricci Bitti. I said it. I have said before that I don't listen to rap anyway but I don't like her flow: it's this whiny, slurred, cutesy thing I don't enjoy. Obviously, I don't understand what's in style because she gets votes. I keep hoping JD will send her home. I don't like her attitude either. 

Jordan lost me with putting down the mic and walking off. Nope. 

Street Bud has something but mostly makes me miss the young kid from last season who wore the crown. He turned out to be stronger than I originally believed. Maybe Street Bud will pull that out too. 

 

This season isn't even generating the conversation that previous seasons did. Not a good sign at all.

Yes, I’m not as impressed by these kids. I wonder where JD found them. I remember that in the first season, the kids on the show all had YouTube or Instagram videos with thousands of followers. I don’t know if these kids have the same level of experience or exposure.

I’m trying to figure out Ricci Bitti. It seems like she (or her dad) want her to be a young Nicki Minaj or Cardi-B. Sexy but misunderstood and disliked by other women. Somehow that just doesn’t work for a 13-year old girl.  I understand her frustration because she has improved over the season, but her whiny, annoying voice and empty lyrics continue to underwhelm.

Tiki (Rap-unzel’s mom) needs to sit her ass down somewhere. I do like the way she supports  and encourages her daughter, but she goes off the rails sometimes. I can’t tell if she’s bipolar or has ADHD.  The almost-fight between her and Ricki’s dad was hilarious. “Get up them stairs.” LOL. That would’ve set me off, too.

And I always like the input from the focus groups. The kids are articulate and polite, yet brutally honest. Their comments about Lil Bri were spot on—her lyrics and enunciation were good, but she always seems angry and maybe doesn’t connect with the crowd the way a rapper should. I think about Lil Bri in contrast to other “angry” female rappers like MC Lyte or Queen Latifah. The two of them made it big because they always interacted with the audience, and even if their lyrics were serious, they always seemed to be enjoying themselves on stage. And I don’t get that feeling from Lil Bri, even though she made it clear to Da Brat that she loves to rap and perform on stage.

Street Bud was doing his thing this week. But still don’t think JD should continue to bring 12-year-olds on this show. They’re just not ready to compete with the older teenagers. Except Supa-Peach. She remains my favorite contestant EVAH! I can’t wait for the episode when kids from prior seasons come back.

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7 hours ago, topanga said:

Yes, I’m not as impressed by these kids. I wonder where JD found them. I remember that in the first season, the kids on the show all had YouTube or Instagram videos with thousands of followers. I don’t know if these kids have the same level of experience or exposure.

I think the problem is similar to the problem with the kids on Timbaland's show (I think it was called the Pop Game).  They are big on YouTube/Instagram, but many of them have never actually performed infront of actual people before.  It makes it very difficult to connect with people, or rather, an audience, if all of your preformances have been for just a camera/cellphone.  Most of the kids from the first 2 seasons at least had some level of live performances under their belts.  And the ones that didn't, like Prince of NY, had some amount of charisma that gave them star potential.  Most of the kids on this season, with the exception of Rapunzel and maybe Street Bud (who has a lot to learn, but has a spark of it factor), don't.

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12 hours ago, topanga said:

Tiki (Rap-unzel’s mom) needs to sit her ass down somewhere. I do like the way she supports  and encourages her daughter, but she goes off the rails sometimes. I can’t tell if she’s bipolar or has ADHD.  The almost-fight between her and Ricki’s dad was hilarious. “Get up them stairs.” LOL. That would’ve set me off, too.

This too. She is a little too hype for me at times. That said, I appreciate her energy and that she does seem to know what she's doing with her artist. I'm curious to see what happens when the managers get switched up. Some of them don't appear to have much experience.

 

12 hours ago, topanga said:

Street Bud was doing his thing this week. But still don’t think JD should continue to bring 12-year-olds on this show. They’re just not ready to compete with the older teenagers.

I cannot take the really young ones seriously enough. I always prefer the older kids. Supa Peach was an exception.

But her mother. 

4 hours ago, luckyroll3 said:

I think the problem is similar to the problem with the kids on Timbaland's show (I think it was called the Pop Game).  They are big on YouTube/Instagram, but many of them have never actually performed infront of actual people before. 

That show. There's so much talent easily available online that it's not enough to be talented. It sure does grow big heads and unwarranted confidence though: I've got followers, that means I'm amazing. Then they show up and get a rude awakening. I kept feeling that when Jordan's mom was surprised by the "cocky" label from the focus group, 'he's only ever heard good things back home, what are they talking about?'

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I really like Lil Bri.  I think she is the smartest and most talented of all of the kids.  However, she seems to be having trouble connecting with the audience.  I don't know if it is because she is too serious or if she has an "old soul," or something, but she seems really out of place with the rest of the contestants.  Plus, I can't deal with her passive-aggressive stuff.  She definitely was the leader last night and I'm glad she finally spoke up, but she needs some kind of *spark* or something.  Also, I just have to say I think she looked so pretty in her talking heads segments last night.

I think JD is going to pick a girl this season because Mani and Nova.  IF he picks a boy, it has to be Street Bud because....Jordan.  

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I can't imagine any path for Jordon to succeed, I don't expect him to win, The problem with little Brim, is that she does not relate to her age group, it is as if she has been among adults so long, she can't identify. 

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I'm thinking it's Rap-unzel for the win, as I do agree that JD will select a girl this season.   Bri is the most talented, but I'm well past JD's target audience for the winner's music.   Bri, is appealing to fans of old school hip hop, but I don't see her connecting well to a kid audience and what the kids like in hip hop today.    Rap-unzel's edit appears to have her being well liked by other kids, having pretty good content, and she's very pretty (without the girls hate me cuz I'm cute attitude that Ricci has).       

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17 hours ago, After7Only said:

I'm thinking it's Rap-unzel for the win, as I do agree that JD will select a girl this season.   Bri is the most talented, but I'm well past JD's target audience for the winner's music.   Bri, is appealing to fans of old school hip hop, but I don't see her connecting well to a kid audience and what the kids like in hip hop today.    Rap-unzel's edit appears to have her being well liked by other kids, having pretty good content, and she's very pretty (without the girls hate me cuz I'm cute attitude that Ricci has).       

Agree with you 100%. Lil Bri is the best writer, but she’s not a good performer, and she doesn’t know how to connect to an audience, kid or adult. Rap-Unzel has good stage presence, and yes, she’s beautiful, but I’m not impressed by her lyrics. 

--I’ve said this before. I wish JD spent more time letting the kids be mentored by seasoned performers. Not just to critique the raps they’ve written or to watch them rehearse, but to work with each artist individually on their performance style, their sound, and their lyrics.

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I still believe she is a talented writer and rapper, but I think I'm done with Lil Bri. I know Tiki's annoying, but she DID help Lil Bri get to that #2 spot.  To me, it's kind of hypocritical for Bri to be upset that she wasn't acknowledged last week for the work she did, but she didn't feel compelled to acknowledge the energy and ideas that Tiki brought to her this week.   

I wasn't really surprised by the hit list because I feel like it accurately reflected the managers' talents: Rap-Unzel and Street Bud are usually at the top, Bri  usually hovers around the middle, and Ricci and Jordan usually hang out at the bottom.  Definitely seems like the managers play a major part in how their artists perform.

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While it did reflect the managers methods, it was surprising how much Jordan's mom toned down Rapunzel.  it was like she gave her an energy extraction.  I don't think either of them learned anything from that exercise . 

 

as to Tiki and Lil Brie.  Lil Brie thinks she is a serious "ar-teeste" and acts as if the whole show is beneath her. They made her write a song about a dance instead of the serious stuff she wanted to do.  She does not belong on such a show. 

I think the most successful pairing that got the most out it this exercise is Ricci. She is manageableble, just not by her dad, who wants to keep her his little girl.  1. she really enjoyed herself and 2. I think she learned something. Her father, not so much.

Jordan worked with  a professional manager, still blah, not that this manager works well in this environment as proved by his ego inflated client.  But I will say Jordan slowed down his rap and I could hear the words, but apparently that did not help him much. 

Street Bud, guess he is not a hit on that kind of media. Seemed OK, but, of what was shown, he had little input from his manager. 

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On 1/6/2018 at 2:08 PM, HZAnita said:

I still believe she is a talented writer and rapper, but I think I'm done with Lil Bri. I know Tiki's annoying, but she DID help Lil Bri get to that #2 spot.  To me, it's kind of hypocritical for Bri to be upset that she wasn't acknowledged last week for the work she did, but she didn't feel compelled to acknowledge the energy and ideas that Tiki brought to her this week.   

I wasn't really surprised by the hit list because I feel like it accurately reflected the managers' talents: Rap-Unzel and Street Bud are usually at the top, Bri  usually hovers around the middle, and Ricci and Jordan usually hang out at the bottom.  Definitely seems like the managers play a major part in how their artists perform.

True, the switch up only changed the artists position on the chart but the managers landed just about where they always do. 

Lil Bri disappointed me with that attitude. It was disrespectful. Tiki was unorthodox to be sure and a bit much, but Bri still should have acknowledged her manager's effort and thanked her. This is an audition. It's about making connections and demonstrating that you are someone others would want to work with. Don't think JD isn't taking notes.

On 1/6/2018 at 3:58 PM, holly4755 said:

While it did reflect the managers methods, it was surprising how much Jordan's mom toned down Rapunzel.  it was like she gave her an energy extraction.  I don't think either of them learned anything from that exercise . 

 

as to Tiki and Lil Brie.  Lil Brie thinks she is a serious "ar-teeste" and acts as if the whole show is beneath her. They made her write a song about a dance instead of the serious stuff she wanted to do.  She does not belong on such a show. 

I think the most successful pairing that got the most out it this exercise is Ricci. She is manageableble, just not by her dad, who wants to keep her his little girl.  1. she really enjoyed herself and 2. I think she learned something. Her father, not so much.

Jordan worked with  a professional manager, still blah, not that this manager works well in this environment as proved by his ego inflated client.  But I will say Jordan slowed down his rap and I could hear the words, but apparently that did not help him much. 

Street Bud, guess he is not a hit on that kind of media. Seemed OK, but, of what was shown, he had little input from his manager. 

I agree that Ricci got the most out of the switch up. I actually liked her this episode. At least with Cori, she was likeable. Cori seems to have the most talent as a manager. Street Bud is interesting to me. Is he just too on and "lit"? He had energy. He had a dance others were enjoying. I thought he would fare better. That said, his attitude in the talking heads and in the previews wasn't cute so I'm glad he wasn't as successful as he thought. Ha!

Jordan's mom  (what is her name?) Is bland. She doesn't stand out, doesn't have much to say, doesn't really offer input. Just thinks everything is great and is stunned that doing nothing much didn't lead to the top spot. Every week. 

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Jordan's haircut was a good move. As was mom sticking to her guns. I thought the picture she wanted was the best one too. Maybe, perhaps, Jordan has learned to start listening to others? Is that why she never bothered to voice an opinion? She's doing him a disservice if so.

 

Until JD said they would get back to the rapping next week? Hadn't even realized there wasn't any this week. 

Tiki does a lot for her artist. Too much sometimes. She has a vision, I'll give her that. Rap-unzel is lucky to have her because I'm not sure what ideas she has on her own. 

I think Reginald (Bri's manager) has a crush on Ms. Cori. 

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10 hours ago, Lyinfait said:

Tiki does a lot for her artist. Too much sometimes. She has a vision, I'll give her that. Rap-unzel is lucky to have her because I'm not sure what ideas she has on her own. 

I agree. I rarely hear Rap-unzel’s own ideas. I think she does write most of her rap lyrics, but her mother certainly edits and refines theme according to her own whims. It reminds me of how Cori manages 12-year-old Bud, which is appropriate for a kid his age. Who probably has ADHD. 

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12 hours ago, Lyinfait said:

Jordan's haircut was a good move. As was mom sticking to her guns. I thought the picture she wanted was the best one too. Maybe, perhaps, Jordan has learned to start listening to others? Is that why she never bothered to voice an opinion? She's doing him a disservice if so.

The problem is Jordan doesn't listen to his mom, at all.  And her not checking him on it is doing a disservice to their relationship as artist-manager.  If they are serious about him having a career, she needs to find someone who can actually manage him because letting him do whatever he wants when he has no clue about anything might work when they're in Nebraska (or where ever they are from), but won't help in trying to make it in the business.

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What happened to Street's scalp ? Bad perm? The scars look like where braids or dreads would have been.

I missed the makeover episode. I had hoped the episode would re-air this week. Are the past episodes on the internet or another website some where for free?

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5 hours ago, sATL said:

What happened to Street's scalp ? Bad perm? The scars look like where braids or dreads would have been.

I missed the makeover episode. 

I SAW the makeover episode and I STILL had the same thought as you for most of it, until Bud said something (which was actually referenced in his rap this week) that made me realize he hadn’t been burned or had pre-existing medical problems that were better-covered pre-makeover: he had had that done on PURPOSE.

 

In the makeover ep, he got all worked up that others were “stealing his swag” (because Bri and Rap-unzel—not really by their own choice, even— were getting their hair dyed “swag” colors, which natch means they were trying to copy him, because everyone wants to be just like STREEEEEEET).

So he got a “cheetah print” dye job (which maybe in person looks less like the poor kid* couldn’t sit still long enough and got his scalp burned off, because now he says it shows he still Has The Most Swag in da house). So, nothing wrong with his scalp: he had them bleach those as “cheetah” spots on the closer-shaven underside of his hair. On purpose. And now he’s Street and King Swag again, despite all those other kids several years his senior trying to steal said swag.

 

 

[tl;dr below: therapy. Don’t bother]

*I swing back and forth in my thoughts on Bud, between really “getting” this kid and having such a strong sense of misplaced animosity toward him that I end up hating myself.

I taught mostly sixth grade for many years, and I have had dozens and dozens of Street Buds in my classes through the years, kids who I knew had a sweetness and a talent outside the classroom but, in the classroom setting—no matter how much I tried to design a culture and curriculum that supported a learner like Bud—only showed the hyper (I obviously can’t diagnose, but I think it’s clear from both his behavior and his mother’s comments that he has some pretty heavy ADHD, at the least) and a performative (for his peers) bluster and defiance that would make him seem like a different kid if his mom joined him for a conference or shadowing. So I watch him, being both grateful that this kid has the support and potential for self-affirming success outside of school, and frustration and sadness at seeing what I interpret as such clear representation of one of the reasons I went from being the strongest supporter of public schooling to becoming worldview-destroying-level disillusioned with it.

I also will admit that I had an irrationally-extreme aversion to constantly seeing backpacks, folders, even assignments in which young people declared how SWAG they were. Like, if you are, why ya gotta be telling everyone? It just seemed so off to me, and, often, tragic (when they really...weren’t), again not feelings I should have about young people and—in a school culture that was toxic in so many other ways—made me hate who I saw myself becoming, and, coupled with my own increasing disability, reminded me of a promise I’d made to myself as a teenager—after a conversation with a teacher who was utterly abusive in the classroom, pretty clearly an alcoholic, and overtly counting down the days to retirement, made me realize that he had once been a passionate and dedicated educator, and probably even a good one (and that that was likely true of most; it’s just too hard with too little extrinsic reward for all but the truly twisted to START teaching without at least the best of intentions if not competency)—that if I ever started feeling differently from how I did then (and, later, reaffirmed in my first few years as an educator), I’d leave before I let it make me become anything like what this man had become.

So, I did, but it’s taken it’s toll, psychologically, and I watch Bud with both all the love and eventual conflict I had for the students and the career I once had such passion for (and—like writing on my backpack, but, hey) talent and skill for, and questioning the accuracy of my impression of him as to how much projection I’m imposing on a kid for a much greater and systemic problem that has nothing to do with this child/reality character on my TV.

But, regardless, he’s swag, and I’m not gonna lie and say I don’t picture him outside of this setting and in a school one and feel great empathy for his teachers. And I also then wonder if I’m completely wrong and, at least once upon a time, he’d have been a student I adored having in class.

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3 hours ago, methadonna said:

But, regardless, he’s swag, and I’m not gonna lie and say I don’t picture him outside of this setting and in a school one and feel great empathy for his teachers. And I also then wonder if I’m completely wrong and, at least once upon a time, he’d have been a student I adored having in class.

One thing Bud has going for him is that his mother is very involved in the day to day aspects of his life. Both as a manager and a concerned mother. She’s tough yet nurturing.

The challenge was really eye-opening. Ricci’s and Jordan’s raps really flowed with the orchestra. And I agreed with the music experts that their voices were the most clear and audible, surprisingly. Lil Bri and Rap-unzel both seemed nervous. And they weren’t off beat, per se. But they both just rapped over the beat of the orchestra rather than letting their raps flow and ride with the music of the orchestra, if that makes any sense.

I don’t know. Rocci Biti might run away with this. The response to her video showed that kids like her. She’s actually demonstrating that she has okay rap skills (though I still don’t like her whiny, ‘I’m so cute’ schtick). But she needs better management. Her dad definitely wants the best for her, but he’s clueless . 

Lastly, what’s up with Cori and Bri’s manager? They’ve been flirting all season, and last night, they sat next to each other on the bus. Could there be a love connection?

Edited by topanga
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2 hours ago, topanga said:

One thing Bud has going for him is that his mother is very involved in the day to day aspects of his life. Both as a manager and a concerned mother. She’s tough yet nurturing.

 

Agreed totally: that’s to what I was alluding with the mention of how I can picture him appearing quite different in his mother’s presence. She don’t play!

As an observer, it’s easy to judge her as too harsh and/or banking on his success to create her own (iirc, she’s the one who said she had quit her job to help make sure he succeeds, which, at first viewing, sounded kinda shady, until I realized how produced that segment was; she may well have quit a job to “manage” him, not ages ago, but to come on this show, which would pay not just Bud but her (I’m not sure how it works in GA/because it’s reality and not SAG, but the “managers” may even have to be paid both an appearance fee for being featured on the show and a per diem for serving as the on-set guardians for minors*. I don’t recall what type of job she left...whenever...but if it were a lower-paying one or one at which she had little seniority, one she could likely replace with something comparable after the show wrapped, doing so actually could have been a financially sound decision, even if it did NOTHING for Bud’s “career” after the fact (and, I’ll admit I know close to nothing about monetizing one’s social media presence, I’d have to imagine that, at the least, even the most forgettable kids from this show have at least a significant uptick in that arena, with most being able to capitalize at least minimally on their fifteen minutes with paid hometown appearances and such, even if it doesn’t lead to the winning contract (or chain!), interest or representation from outside SoSoDefLand, or the sure discovery and quick accession nearly anyone who signs their rights away to these shows surely believes will result), and she seems to understand her son’s needs well and the tough-love harshness she sometimes doles out to a little boy who seems more in need of a hug suggest a far more thoughtful and intentional response to what works for him. The more I see of both of them (particularly remembering that this is both a condensed and edited version of their relationship), the more I think she’s actually quite in tune with what he needs and when he needs it, and, especially considering that (iirc) she had him quite young and is seemingly doing this on her own, I’m more impressed with her each episode and hope that, opening episode “giving it all up for my son” narrative aside, after this, she’ll find something that matches and values her talent and worth that allows her to continue to support her son while also living for her own success.

 

2 hours ago, topanga said:

The challenge was really eye-opening. Ricci’s and Jordan’s raps really flowed with the orchestra.

 

 

LOL: I can’t believe I forgot to comment on this in my original post, as this was a stand-out ep for me due to the challenge but also left me frustrated as such minor tweaking could have made it both more educational (for the kids AND the viewers. ...And, given that most of the mentor peeps couldn’t even get the name right—I could ignore the “Atlanta Symphony” and “Atlanta Orchestra” as just natural, colloquial truncating, But B. Cox’s calling it the “Atlanta Symphonic Orchestra“ was NOT music to my ears, nor was the frequent interchanging of “band” and “orchestra”—the adults!). 

 

My greatest issue was with the fact that, despite the emphasis on the difference between performing with a track versus live music, there was little focus on the actual CONTENT of the live music wrt the kids’ learning about the music or writing bars that fit it any differently from any other track they’re given. JD gave a TH mentioning the actual music (sort of: he at least named the opera from which the selection came). But what, if anything, were the kids told about it? The Barber of Seville is probably one of the most accessible operas, both musically and narratively: surely, making part of the challenge be to write eight bars that at least fit with the overall story, thematically... I didn’t need them to be rhyming about what would actually be acted out on stage in a full production, at that moment of the music, but some bars that somewhat reflected the content—hell, even just a call for a comic piece, or even having them rework two of their prior pieces together, paralleling the composition of the overture—would have given the task a stronger through line and not relegated that stunning symphonic performance to little more than a live and more robust beat to which a bunch of kids rapped completely unconnected (to the music or each other) natterings about their clothes, their names, how they were gonna make it, how they spit to do good, the cars their skillls would get them, and the other “topics” most of them revert to week after week. 

 

2 hours ago, topanga said:

I don’t know. Rocci Biti might run away with this. 

 

I don’t know that I agree with THAT one (although, if she picks up a few more top 2 placings in the next few weeks, I might have to reconsider; it would certainly be a good narrative, although she still has a long way to go to even be ... someone who should be on this show: despite her having shown the greatest progress, she started out so low, imho, it would be hard for her not to, and even if she maintained that kind of trajectory, she still would be at the bottom for me).

 

HOWEVER, last night, I agree she was significantly better, and that’s because she made her tone and diction much less affected. Her distinctive (read: annoying to me) cadence worked—in this case—better because a) as above, it wasn’t paired by the equally affected vocals, b) it gave the listener a mental “break” from the four other rhythmically similar-sounding interpretations, all of which were too trite or garbled for the lyrics to be the differentiator, (especially being the middle performer in the same-same sandwich), and her drawn-out cadence, in this case, happened to service the music as a whole and not just the drum rhythm, giving the whole performance room to breathe and remind the listener that there was a[n almost] full symphony behind them: JD noted that she sounded like a trumpet going off when she entered, and I don’t disagree with him; I’m just not sure I think that was skill more than luck, esp both coming in after the other two (usually stronger) girls who didn’t nail it AND happening to start at a point in the music that gave her that opening. As their bars had their order but weren’t inherently linked to the actual bars of the composition (I.e., I don’t think each performer’s eight bars were literally mapped to specific measures of the music so much as they just knew rhythemically how it had to fall; if Bri and Rap had each taken a little longer or shorter, Rikki might have started with another measure and I don’t think it would have crossed her mind as long as the rhythm remained as expected and she could comfortably enter on the beat she expected, which it would have), I think she more lucked into that strong opening.

Which just continues my frustration with this task: I think the music—outside the percussion—was treated more as a distraction to work past, rather than the core to work with.

 

Still, despite some misguidedness and improvements that could have made this challenge superlative, I love the idea of it, I think it was interesting, and hopefully it opened some people’s minds on both ends (i.e., opera/symphony fans to rap and rap to more classical)... If even a fraction of the viewers have had anything close to the Barber earworm as I have had for the last 24 hours, I don’t see how it couldn’t have had an impact!

 

*Um, shiiiiiit, yo, I just came across some casting calls for this season (I hadn’t even realized they did them; I thought they started the casting process with invites based on existing social media), and they say NO PAY. I wasn’t looking for this and haven’t followed up on their legitimacy (or whether that’s really true, or if it’s just for the kids and the guardians still get a per diem or anything), but IF true 1) forget what I said above and 2) that is so disgusting and exploitative. I’m conflicted enough over the ethics of putting children on reality programs; if they’re not getting paid for having their time and talents used to make money for a lot of powerful adults, I don’t think I could, in good conscience, continue watching. Ima have to look into this more and start writing some I-can-say-it’cause-I’m-grown letters. ‘Cuz this ain’t no game.

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10 hours ago, methadonna said:

Um, shiiiiiit, yo, I just came across some casting calls for this season (I hadn’t even realized they did them; I thought they started the casting process with invites based on existing social media), and they say NO PAY. I wasn’t looking for this and haven’t followed up on their legitimacy (or whether that’s really true, or if it’s just for the kids and the guardians still get a per diem or anything), but IF true 1) forget what I said above and 2) that is so disgusting and exploitative. I’m conflicted enough over the ethics of putting children on reality programs; if they’re not getting paid for having their time and talents used to make money for a lot of powerful adults, I don’t think I could, in good conscience, continue watching. Ima have to look into this more and start writing some I-can-say-it’cause-I’m-grown letters. ‘Cuz this ain’t no game

Keep me posted, please. ‘Cause JD is certainly making money off this show. Why shouldn’t the actual participants?

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If I recall correctly, I appeared on TV, but since it was incidental, I was in an area filming and had to sign a release, no talking though. I believe all people on reality shows get paid at least the Minimum SAG of 200 something a show.  Now that is not a performance fee, it is just an appearance fee. 

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On 1/20/2018 at 8:29 PM, topanga said:

I don’t know. Rocci Biti might run away with this. The response to her video showed that kids like her. She’s actually demonstrating that she has okay rap skills (though I still don’t like her whiny, ‘I’m so cute’ schtick). But she needs better management. Her dad definitely wants the best for her, but he’s clueless . 

Lastly, what’s up with Cori and Bri’s manager? They’ve been flirting all season, and last night, they sat next to each other on the bus. Could there be a love connection?

I was thinking the same thing after last week.  She has become more tolerable (or the editing has made her seem more tolerable), and sometimes in the talking heads she actually sounds like the 13 year old she is.  Plus, she's from Atlanta.  I keep thinking JD wouldn't pick her because it might look "fixed" since he worked with her dad and her sister previously.  But JD probably doesn't even care about that perception. lol  Ever since he picked Mani over Lil Key after Lil Key had been on top of the hit list the entire season, I believe that JD knows who he is going to pick the second he meets the kids (or watches their audition tapes).

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11 hours ago, HZAnita said:

I was thinking the same thing after last week.  She has become more tolerable (or the editing has made her seem more tolerable), and sometimes in the talking heads she actually sounds like the 13 year old she is.  Plus, she's from Atlanta.  I keep thinking JD wouldn't pick her because it might look "fixed" since he worked with her dad and her sister previously.  But JD probably doesn't even care about that perception. lol  Ever since he picked Mani over Lil Key after Lil Key had been on top of the hit list the entire season, I believe that JD knows who he is going to pick the second he meets the kids (or watches their audition tapes).

Keke Palmer! She was a great guest. I love her energy, and she worked well with the kids.  

Jordan was grating last night. He IS cute, but he was acting like he’s already Drake or Usher, not a marginally-talented teenager who needs to keep hustling to try to impress JD. 

I can’t believe Lil Bri was the only person who had issues with looking down at the floor or messing up in general and having to do retakes. She certainly didn’t deserve #4. Editing is crazy. 

Rap-unzel is beautiful, and the camera loves her. But her verse didn’t impress me. 

Ricci is comfortable in front of a camera,  but her verse sucked. I can’t believe her manager and father actually thought it was good. 

Poor Street Bud. He’s too young to be on this show.

I’m still not blown away by anyone. But if JD chooses Jordan or Ricci, I’ll be so upset. It’ll be another Mani situation—a choice based on so-called ‘star power,’ not talent. 

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Jordan was cracking me up this week, and so was JD's reactions to his "glow-up".  But he needs to get that ego in check real quick.  Confidence is great, but ego is grating.  And I only find it funny because I don't need to deal with.  Unfortunately, he already doesn't listen to his mother so she won't be any help.  That being said, his verse was pretty awesome. 

Actually, I think all the kids did really well today.  Of all the seasons, these kids are definitely showing the most growth considering how mediocre may of them were in the premier. 

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JD said he was going to judge them based on their lyrics, said that Bri's bars fit the best with the song but admitted he put her at #4 because she looked down her first time performing in front of a camera. Smdh.

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Jordan forgetting his lyrics, Street Bud crying for some reason or another...another episode of the rap game y'all!

I thought it was hilarious how nervous Ricci was about Supa Peach's methods. They were a strange pair. Supa was all teenaged (cute shoes, how do you wear your hair) and Ricci was trying to be professional. Felt like Karma. Off the dome indeed. She was waiting for her lyrics to be delivered. That's ok though, Ricci had only one line prepared anyway. I was waiting for Supa Peach to yell new! It would have been better than just repeating Ricci's bars like a goofy echo. 

Lil Key's mom was...different from my memory. As in, I remembered liking her more in that season. Jordan was gonna complain regardless, he likes to just do what he wants and Mom lets him, that's how they work. I noticed that not only did he forget those lyrics, he forgot to add the emphasis where he was asked to. Good thing Key is a professional. 

I like King Roscoe more than Street. I thought they were at a disadvantage being paired together, too similar in that they are so young. Supa Peach had her best moment here when she was comforting Street Bud and wiping away his tears.

Prince of New York. He was out for blood. He has definitely found his niche. I would have loved to have seen his performance with Bri. But he was the clear winner if I go by the stunned expressions on all the professional rappers faces. 

Rap-unzel and Deetranada were my favorite pair. They worked well together and had a bit of a rhythm going. They figured out how to mesh their styles. They just weren't going to be as cut throat as Prince...which is okay? Haha, the parent responses to him were hilarious. Stay away from my baby, demon!  

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When Prince of New York said to Bri, "Don't worry, I already have rhymes ready for all of them," two seconds after they started working together, I knew it would be a blood bath.  He is crazy and it works for him.  I also loved all the parents' responses ("He called out somebody's dead dad?!?!" LMAO.)  They need to bring him back every season to see which kids can take his crown.  

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10 hours ago, luckyroll3 said:

When Prince of New York said to Bri, "Don't worry, I already have rhymes ready for all of them," two seconds after they started working together, I knew it would be a blood bath.  He is crazy and it works for him.  I also loved all the parents' responses ("He called out somebody's dead dad?!?!" LMAO.)  They need to bring him back every season to see which kids can take his crown.  

JD would be wise to do that! It would always be an entertaining episode for the season. 

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Boys vs girls: for once, Lil Bri, actually interacted with the audience during the performance. And it made her much more entertaining and appealing. She definitely has improved.

The entire girl group was nice, though I enjoyed the boys, too  

And I’m sorry, but someone needs to step on Jordan’s sunglasses. I’m tired of looking at them indoors

I love the little girl who won the contest. She was so giggly and appreciative 

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This season is so different from previous seasons, for me anyway. It felt like before there was always a clear frontrunner (even if they didn't win -- Lookin' at you, Lil Key).  At the beginning of this season, I thought I knew, but now, every week, I feel like it could be someone else.  At first, I was all about Lil Bri and Rap-unzel  Then it looked like Ricci Bitti and Jordan were making a comeback.  Now it looks like Street Bud may be it and I'm back to Lil Bri!  Nice editing, RG producers!

I  don't know why I'm trying to predict.  I should know by now that JD is going to pick who he's going to pick, regardless of the hit lists. 

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On 2/17/2018 at 9:15 AM, HZAnita said:

This season is so different from previous seasons, for me anyway. It felt like before there was always a clear frontrunner (even if they didn't win -- Lookin' at you, Lil Key).  At the beginning of this season, I thought I knew, but now, every week, I feel like it could be someone else.  At first, I was all about Lil Bri and Rap-unzel  Then it looked like Ricci Bitti and Jordan were making a comeback.  Now it looks like Street Bud may be it and I'm back to Lil Bri!  Nice editing, RG producers!

I  don't know why I'm trying to predict.  I should know by now that JD is going to pick who he's going to pick, regardless of the hit lists. 

 

On 2/17/2018 at 12:20 PM, timeywimey said:

They kept referring to Jordan as Superman. Only if Superman forgot where the phone booth was 7 times out of 10!

I agree that there is no clear front runner. Which could be an advantage to JD if he wanted to mold a young rapper into who he wanted him or her to be, ala Kriss Kross or Bow Wow.  But I don't understand what he's done so far with the talent he's chosen in the past three seasons. I understand that Miss Mulatto never signed to So So Def and continues to make online songs and videos, which is what she did before The Rap Game. JD mentioned that Nova makes music on SoundCloud. But did he really need a So So Def contract to do that? And I have no idea where Mani is. I haven't seen him since he showed up last year to help the Season 3 kids make their videos. 

 

I found the press conference rather unfair. Yes, the kids need to learn how to speak to members of the press, but those journalists were asking tough questions--loaded questions, in my opinion. As if they already had an answer mind--and that's tough for any artist to handle, let alone kids who are between 12-15 and haven't spent much time doing interviews. 

e.g. one woman asked the kids about their greatest musical influences and then basically added that they'd better not choose Nicki Minaj. But Nicki is Ricci Bitti's influence, and in her defense, JD shouldn't have expected a 13-year old to be mature and confident enough to contradict a grouchy, abrasive grown woman and tell her that Nicki is indeed her influence, and here's why. With Teyona, Ricci felt comfortable enough to be able to say that while she doesn't agree with all of Nicki's content, she likes her as a performer and a style icon. 

and then there's the Erykah Badu wannabe radio personality who asked the kids why she should buy their music, when it was clear she doesn't like most new hip hop. They were in a no-win situation. 

I do think Jordan shat the bed a little, but that was because he was a bit nervous and insecure. And for Jordan, his nervousness comes across as arrogance. I just realized that it's why he wants to wear his shades during interviews. But I'm glad Teyona made him take them off. The producers must have edited out his mother saying something--anything—that a manager should say to help her artist. 

And I really like Rap-unzel, but I agree that there has to be more to her inspiration than trying to escape skinny-shaming. She did add at one point, "I'm brown," but she never explored that any further. She and Bri are still my favorites, though. 

Bri was good, but I also agree with JD that she needs to talk about more than "my city, my struggle." Or at least expound on what that means to her and what she plans to do with her music. That's where her manager and practice will help.

Street Bud was his usual energetic self. But I don't think he has the bars yet to be a recording artist. I wonder if all of the other kids named him as the person to be picked because they don't see him as a true threat. 

I’m looking forward to the finale. But I'm a little sad, too.  These kids have grown on me--even Ricci Bitti, whom my teenage son has a huge crush on. 

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I wish they'd at least given the managers feedback after the press conference. Then we could have seen if they made adjustments for the last interview.

I do like all these kids and managers though. Ricci has really grown on me. And I like seeing the managers help and support the other kids. They all seem like nice, caring people.

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