I’m fairly sure I tried my damndest to hip you all to VH1’s Ego Trip’s Best White Rapper reality show sometime last year when I was knee-deep in the final few episodes. Subsequently I have failed to remember the name of the Bubba Sparks wannabe, grill-wearing, acne-infested winner, prolly cause I wanted John Brown to win, even if his flow was stifled by pot smoke and mild retardation. Of course those qualities do make for the most intriguing hip-hop. Fact is neither finalist was truly up to the challenge (where exactly are they now?). While the show was inventive, comedic, lathered in old-school nostalgia and Ego Trip’s know-it-all wit, the competition was weak. Perhaps white people really can’t rap.
Instead of punishing the public with a Best White Rapper II – the pool would’ve been quite shallow at that point – they decided to get serious. Not that Ego Trip’s Miss Rap Supreme (an all-girl rap off) was sucked of the spoof -- actually there was plenty of everything that made White Rapper an obsession -- it just focused more on the talents of the females rather than the personas, the stereotypes. Plus in addition to MC Search, this season had Yo-Yo (coming to a future Bo Jackson soon) who complemented Search with her feminine perspective on the business of hip-hop.
From the begin I was pulling for Ms. Cherry – I was smitten by everything about her – the hardcore lisp, the perfect teeth, the red streak in her hair, her bonkers fashion, her hand movements (I could pinpoint key moments that made me fall for her). It was her style on the mic that completed the package. I’m usually not for def poetry slam, and much of her cadence lent to that spoken word Southern boasting (especially without a beat), but when she was faced with a challenge that included backing track, her flow was infectious, curled up in delta slang and euphemisms that might be lost on most English speakers, but in the lexicon of syllabic attractors she spoke a language all her own. Pehaps I’m romanticizing a bit too much, but she was definitely the most original.
She came in third (certainly there will be a marathon for y’all to catch up), leaving Byata (the obligatory white mainstream-appeal rapper) and the mighty Reece Steele (the old-school hard-knock lifer, whose mother previously had a failed rap career). By the time the two had spit their sixteen bars freestyle, it was obvious who the champion was, and by the second round, the original composition competition, I became hooked on Reece. She capitalized on her Bronx crust, and impenetrable rhyme scheme that evoked Biggie at his most aware. The girl may not have the veneer of a successful pop artist, but her skills as an emcee will assure her some writing cred once she enters the business. And there exists the problem with these reality shows. Does the business take these winners seriously once they jump up from pit of reality television? Let’s hope for Reece’s sake they do, and for my sake, that they like what they hear from number three as well.