R.I.P. Rap City
BET aired the Rap City finale over the weekend with relatively little fanfare. The episode, which is also streaming at BET’s memory hungry website, reunited all the hosts (from Chris Thomas to that string of nearly irrelevant bammas that followed Tigger) to talk to some past guests about their memories of the show. The whole affair was pretty understated and casual, which is probably appropriate. One of the shows main strengths, at least prior to Tigger’s exit, was the willingness of the personalities to be fans first and that was particularly apparent here, with all of them running into frame to recite old LONS lyrics or Joe Clair still geeking off the fact that KRS knew his name.
The guests themselves were nearly irrelevent in the presence of the hosts. Busta was happy, if predictably self aggrandizing (isn’t “Arab Money” just “React 2008″?) LL probably had the most poignant interview, talking about how, basically, the classic hip hop era that the show represented has completely passed, and how it might be time to just step back and let the youngins take over. He seemed genuinely sad. It’s good to see RZA and Rae are talking again, or at least pointing at each other. Luda, 50, Jeezy, Juelz, Jimmy, etc. were present as well and seemed reverent enough. Bow Wow had no business being there and Khaled remains the most obnoxious hip hop personality since the Burger King DJ (come to think of it they sort of look alike, iirc). It would’ve been nice if the artist selection was more representative of the shows entire existence, but I guess the BET execs no longer have D-Nice or Ras Kass or whoever in their rolodex.
Despite the dozen or so a-to-b list guests the Yo! moment never came. The final and only freestyle came from Tigger, which, again, is sort of appropriate given his history of mic hogging. Equally disappointing was how little archival footage was show. They pretty much ran only excerpts, most of which came from the post-2k era. It would be nice if someone at BET went up into those vaults and put the two decades of lost rapping. The only pre-Basement footage I could find on youtube is below: Pac racing John Singleton and a heavily compressed Born Jamericans interview.
And in honor of Rap City, I’ve decided to bring back the poll. Check the right sidebar to determine the best host.