Rhythm + Flow Is The Hip Hop Talent Competition You Should Be Watching
As media consumers, we’re no stranger to a broadcast talent competition. American Idol was a cultural phenom during its release, but audiences have moved forward in what they demand from these kinds of shows. Rhythm + Flow has done more than break the mold for talent shows; it has completely redefined the genre and our expectations as an audience.
Cardi B is a boss rapper and the effervescent lead host on the Netflix show. She brings in a menagerie of Hip Hop talent including her co-hosts Chance the Rapper and T.I. as well as guests including Snoop Dog, Fat Joe, Killer Mike, Lupe Fiasco, Jhené Aiko, and Miguel to name a few. The major take away from these artists is that they all make the effort to build contestants up, instead of tearing them apart in front of an audience for laughs. All of these artists understand how difficult breaking into the industry is and the commitment needed from popular musicians. They empower the contestants with tools to be successful in their music whether they win Rhythm + Flow or not. That is incredibly refreshing to see.
The final four contestants Londynn B, D Smoke, Troyman and Flawless Real Talk, are an excellent example of the metamorphosis Hip Hop has undergone since its institution. The audience sees in real-time the pressure cooker of creativity coming out of major hubs of the US. One of the most prevalent aspects I saw arise in Rhythm + Flow is the influence of women and motherhood in the scene as well as the growing use of the Spanish language.
Rhythm + Flow is also the first talent competition completely dedicated to the Hip Hop genre. When music’s top 40 charts consistently feature Hip Hop and cross over pop, why haven’t we seen this sooner? Rhythm + Flow has provided a precursor to all of the great music we have to look forward to in 2020. Catch up with your favorite finalists since the show ended in the video below.