A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Drop the Mic is a scripted competition show based on a segment from a late-night talk show (like Carpool Karaoke). It often features expletive-laden rap lyrics spat out by contestants hoping to outdo each other with insults (meant to be funny, but not always nice). No subject seems to be off limits, and contestants mock one another's weight, sexuality, and race (for example, Korean actor Randall Park is mockingly compared to other Asian actors like John Cho and "Data from The Goonies"). Drinking is occasionally visible, and celebrities use the show as an opportunity to plug their various projects.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
DROP THE MIC is the newest show based off a popular segment from James Corden's Late Late Show (the first being the viral sensation Carpool Karaoke: The Series). Hosted by rapper/actor Method Man and actress Hailey Baldwin, the show pits two celebrities against one another as they taunt each other through boastful and cutting rap lyrics, with some help from the in-house band and beatboxer. The winner is chosen via the crowd's reaction -- though in-house "rap expert" Method Man makes the final call as to who goes home with the golden microphone trophy and bragging rights, because (as he rightfully puts it), "The crowd wasn't part of the Wu-Tang Clan. I was." Each episode features two sets of celebrity competitors, which include actors, musicians, and athletes.
Is it any good?
The premise works OK as a "bit" within a longer talk show, but stretch it into a series, and the whole thing falls kind of flat. Historically, battle raps were meant to show off fresh, inventive rapping techniques, and although some were committed to record, many of the best raps in this genre were (and are) performed freestyle and live. While nobody expects, say, James Van Der Beek or NFL player Ron Gronkowski to be able to flex that level of artistry -- and let's face it, part of the fun is seeing how awkward or skilled certain celebs are at it -- it's just not that compelling watching celebs strut around stage reciting lyrics pre-written by comedy writers. Co-host Hailey Baldwin told the press that the contestants are "in the mindset where they know already that there are going to be some digs in there, and it's never surprising to them." This lack of spontaneity comes across in the unflappable non-reactions of the "battling" celebs. At best, Drop the Mic is mildly amusing. At worst, it's boring.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the history of hip-hop culture, and how battle raps became a "thing." Do you think the performers on Drop the Mic really mean the things they say when they're rapping? Does the boastful content ever go too far?
What topics would you rap about if you had to? Would you want to prepare ahead of time, or make up your lyrics on the spot?
For kids who love music
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