Hallelujah, holla back! Even by VH1 reality-show standards, Ego Trip’s The (White) Rapper Show is some seriously skin-crawling shit. It’s the only place on TV you can see a white guy who calls himself “King of the Burbs” step on Grandmaster Flash’s front porch, shake the great man’s hand and say, “What’s pimpulatin’?” It’s the latest master jam from the ever-hilarious Ego Trip dudes, sticking ten white MCs in a South Bronx crib. Everybody’s favorite has to be John Brown, who declares, “I’m not a rapper, I’m an entity.” He walks around saying, “Ghetto Revival!” and “King of the Burbs, baby!” If I were a ghetto, I’d be feeling pretty revived right around now.
The (White) Rapper Show (alternate title: Honky’s Open Doors) is hip-hop if you only knew about it from watching other VH1 reality shows: no music, no clever rhymes, just meathead clowns threatening to pop each other. What a crew: 100 Proof, the Southern biker dude with the mohawk; country girl G-Child; and Sullee, a Boston Irish guy who gets a couple of drinks in him and then starts trying to kill everybody, which may or may not be hip-hop but is definitely awesome. Then there’s Persia, who can’t remember her rhymes but thinks she’s a rap star anyway because she can wave a dildo and call people “niggas.” Shooting whitefish in a barrel? Yeah, but it’s still more fun than listening to the Game album.
In classic Ego Trip style, the show riffs on racial issues with flip gags, like calling the crib “White House” and labeling the wastebasket “white trash.” They humiliate the contestants with hazing challenges that have nothing to do with hip-hop (pushing shopping carts? hitting pinatas?), but, hey, anything to keep them from rapping. MC Serch lectures the kids about hip-hop while they look at him like, “Right, sir. When do the bitchez show up?” Thing is, they’re not allowed to smoke weed or shoot suckers or even play music in the crib, so they just look bored. No cream, no bling — what is this, freakin’ indie rock?
Serch is the right host because he takes it all so seriously — he’s stuck in an Eighties time warp, where “step off” is a fresh catchphrase and nothing ever happened outside New York. Poor dude bullies the out-of-town kids like his feelings are hurt about something (possible clue: nobody ever mentions the Beastie Boys). It’s kind of touching when the contestants band together, like when Sullee and Jon Boy walked out on the snitching challenge. But John Brown, you can’t fade him. His MySpace page has history-major info about the 1850s abolitionist John Brown — another Ghetto Revival rapper is named Dred Scott. I love how J.B. keeps his cool when everybody gets in his grille. He never takes the bait; he just shrugs and says, “It ain’t easy being King of the Burbs, baby.” No doubt — America is ready to get Revival Minded. Soon, we will all be pimpulatin’