Updated: Nov 14, 2019
If you grew up in an urban area or been around the African-American community you may have encountered a lot of “want to be” rappers. How did you react to a family member or a friend telling you they want to be a rapper?
Did you support them? Or didn’t take them seriously?
Did you laugh in their face? Or behind their back?
Did you check out their music link? Or pretended you did?
Did you tell them “rap don’t pay the bills”? Or reminded them to “go find a job?”
I’m guilty as charged and if you’re reading this and guilty like me, I want to share how Netflix’s Original Series Rhythm + Flow was not only a fun show to watch but allowed me to put some respect on aspiring rappers name.
Here are three things I took away from Season 1 of Rhythm + Flow - yes they hinted at a season 2 in the final episode. No spoilers - (maybe). 1. IT’S MORE THAN JUST LYRICS AND RHYTHM, IT'S AN ART AND IT’S HARD WORK.
Maybe you clicked onto Rhythm & Flow because one of your favorite rappers is hosting the show (like me) but as you began to watch it you learn so much about rap and it’s culture. You get to learn about cyphers, rap battles, music legends, samples, working with producers, and a glimpse of what it takes to become a superstar. If you also pay attention to the judges their giving honest critic on the industry.
He observed his environment and presented it in his art - I ain't worried about scaring white people. - T.I.
2. THE STORIES BEHIND THE LYRICS ARE AUTHENTIC - IT’S REAL
Like Londynn B said herself, “Rap is my voice. Rap is my strength.” As you start to watch the show, they allow you to get to know many of the artists who are auditioning. You get to hear their story then literally listen to it in their music and that right there is deep. Artist C&G chose his stage name Comes and Goes because he felt as though everything in his life comes and goes.
One of my favorite episodes was “Music Videos” (Episode 7) where they headed back to their hometown to shoot a music video. Although it may have been obvious since they were sent to their hometown to film each one of these artists put their heart and soul on who they are and it transferred over in their music. They were all amazing and told real truthful stories. Londynn B “I Can’t Change” musically tells her story about where she comes from and where she hopes to be. The music video personally makes me shiver.
Medicaid, we had them houses at section 8. -Londynn B.
and my son D Smoke “Let Migo” song was the blatant truth. He talked about police brutality and murder between the black and brown community, the gang element, and even love. He tied it back to his community and hometown Inglewood. The song gives you strength, chills, and hope. Cardi B herself said she liked the message.
Something in the water, something wrong, something doesn't feel right, something doesn't feel right, but we strong.- D Smoke.
3. RESPECT THEIR PASSION AND TALENT JUST LIKE ANY OTHER CAREER GOAL
I’ve watched how every artist from the auditions to the final four all shared and reminded us that it’s more than just doing music and it’s certainly “not an easy way out.” Like Snoop Dogg said in the LA Auditions(Episode 1) “we’re looking for someone who is a star but just don’t know it yet.” Many of these aspiring rappers have a strong reason why and a strong desire to continue their passion. Many of them are also really talented and you can tell by the challenges and performances they had to excel during the Episodes of Rhythm & Flow. They had 48 hours to pick an iconic sample, write an original song and perform it in front of a huge crowd (Episode 8). Not forgetting that every performance was a hit. That takes a lot of skills, talent, and dedication.
So the next time someone wants to work towards being a rapper instead of a doctor or a lawyer, take a second to hear them out and don’t knock them for their own life goals and choices.
A world without rap is simply boring. To hear more about how it plays an important role in TV, movies, and videos check out my latest episode here.
Here’s how to sign up for Season 2 of Rhythm & Flow (note their site is currently down so you may want to check out my episode in the meanwhile).