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Prime Time Rap-Up

Posted on: November 24, 2008

First Ice-T, then Ludacris and now Nelly. No, I’m not talking about rappers who have beef with the cops or the media. I’m talking about rappers popping up on prime time television dramas. Last week, Nelly made an appearance on the network drama CSI New York. And while you’d think that Cornell just showed up to help the series get a ratings boost for its season premiere, it’s been reported that the St. Lunatic will be making regular appearances on the series. I smell a trend, and a bad one at that. Don’t tell me that this is going to go the way of rappers with clothing lines and energy drinks. Last thing I want to see is Lil’ Wayne being called in as a forensics expert on the next episode of Cold Case.

See what happens when you cancel Rap City? Rappers have to resort to prime time dramas.

This has to be some sort of hip-hop conspiracy. There’s no way that it’s a good idea for any rapper to end up on a cop-drama show. It’s a complete lose/lose situation. If they’re on the cop side like Ice-T on Law & Order: SVU, they’re automatically labeled a snitch and thrown in the same circles as Officer Rawse and who in the hip-hop world wants that association? Then if they’re on the criminal side, people are going to argue that they’re just perpetuating the stereotype that all rappers are violent and that they can only play criminals. And the third, most limited situation is that the said rapper just makes a cameo (like 50 Cent did in that one episode of The Simpsons). That’s probably the most fatal mistake that they can make as giving a brief cameo appearance, fans will tune into a show that they never watch to see their favorite artist, only to be disappointed that they made a :30 cameo.

And if rappers are going to be infiltrating your favorite prime time shows, then what’s to stop them from invading daytime? Trust me, the last thing I want to do is wake up, turn on the TV and see that Webbie has replaced Maury Povich on his own show. Next time one of those 150lbs babies waddles across the stage, he may just spell out their entire names.

In any event, I can see that this trend isn’t going anywhere soon. But given the fact that there are so many crime dramas that can feature rappers without looking like the coach from 106th & Park, I’m willing to bet fifty cents that Dancing with the Stars will be the next stop for your favorite emcees. Which if you think about it isn’t a bad place for them to end up. Given the amount of music video experience, even the most hardcore rappers can two-step on cue and if you add one more step, you’ve pretty much got a routine. Plus, it’s not like anyone’s checking out that show to watch the talent.

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1 Response to "Prime Time Rap-Up"

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