Jermaine Dupri is known for taking young talent to the next level. Remember Kriss Kross? This breakout duo dominated 90s radio with their catchy singles and unique fashion sense. With “The Rap Game,” a reality TV competition on the Lifetime Channel, Dupri is at it again. The show is executive produced by Queen Latifah and the two rap legends are looking to find the next big teen rap star for the So So Def record label.
About “The Rap Game”
This reality TV series is Lifetime’s first unscripted urban reality program. Its purpose is to develop young talent and prepare them for the cutthroat rap and hip-hop industry. The series follows five up and coming artists between the ages of 12 and 16 as they compete to win a record deal with the legendary Jermaine Dupri. Since its debut 5 years ago, the show has grown in popularity. Its fans are dedicated and knowledgable about all things “The Rap Game.” Or, so they might think. In this spirit, we offer up 10 things you didn’t know about the show:
1. Some kids miss they chance because their parents didn’t pass the required background check
There are several instances where talented individuals were not chosen because their parents have criminal backgrounds. In other words, some talented kids lost out on their big break because of their parents’ prior mistakes.
2. Season 5 was Dupri’s most frustrating season
When the kids first came to Atlanta, Dupri wasn’t impressed. At one point, he was on the verge of starting the process over and sending the kids home. Thankfully, he changed his mind and Season 5 is touted as being the best one yet.
3. Jermaine didn’t know he was going to pick Mani as the 2nd season winner
Throughout the season Mami was unfocused. So, when it came time to perform for the last time, he entered as somewhat of a wild card. But, when he got on the stage, he outperformed everyone there.
4. Lil Poopy (from Season 1) had already established a foothold in the industry before coming to the show
Although he was the youngest in the group for his season, he was also one of the accomplished. Before coming on the show, he’d made over 200 videos and performed with big stars like French Montana, Rick Ross, and P. Diddy
5. Previous contestants have gone on to compete on other shows
Since being on the show, several of the talented kids have tried their hand at other competitions. For instance, Lil Bri (from Season 4) appeared on P. Diddy’s brainchild “The Four” and Flau’Jae (from season 3) made quite an impact on America’s Got Talent.
6. Jermaine Dupri hates the selection process
The famous producer says that choosing the participants of the show isn’t glamorous at all. In fact, he said it’s downright frustrating.
7. Dupri isn’t sure if he will make it in the industry
Street Bud was the breakout star of his season. But, when it was time to do the work, his mentor felt that he wasn’t 100% there. Still, Dupri says that he has hope that one day Street Bud will reach his full potential.
8. Jermaine Dupri started his rap career at the age of 12
Many know Dupri as the highly sought after producer whose beats have made us dance for decades. But, did you know that he’s been in the rap industry since he was a preteen? In fact, he was schooled in the ways of the music world by none other than the legendary LA Reid.
9. One of the kids will perform during 2019 Super Bowl Week
Since the end of his season, Street Bud has been inconsistent. But, Dupri hasn’t given up on his yet. The talented young rapper is doing more shows than ever – none bigger than his gig performing at Centennial Olympic Park during the week of the 2019 Super Bowl.
10. Dupri is no longer working with the first two rap game winners
Because of creative (and other differences) fan favorites, Mani and Miss Mulatto, are no longer signed to So So Def.
With his background in music, it’s clear that Jermaine Dupri has the chops to help these kids reach their ultimate potential. However, it isn’t as easy as it sounds and some of the kids have forfeited their dreams. Others have taken their chances and ran with it. But, these are the things that make this show interesting. The inner battles, the drama, the talent, and the relationship dynamics are just a few of the reasons this show is a must-see.