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 this reality series -- in which women compete for a chance to break into the rap/hip-hop music scene -- stresses how hard it is for women to break into the industry and gives viewers a chance to learn more about the culture of the business. Expect some strong lyrics, threats of violence, and lots of cursing ("bitch," "damn," "hell," and "dumb ass" are audible; stronger words are bleeped). Some of the contestants' personal stories include discussions of addiction and molestation. There are also racial tensions between the contestants. Drinking is visible, as are women clad only in underwear (nudity is blurred).
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
In EGO TRIP'S MISS RAP SUPREME, 10 women from all over the world compete for the chance to break into the rap/hip-hop music scene. The contestants must participate in challenges designed to test both their rhyming abilities and whether they're strong and sexy enough to take the stage as a successful "femcee" (female rapper). Failing a challenge means potential elimination, while winning means one getting one step closer to the title of "Miss Rap Supreme," $100,000, and the respect of rappers everywhere.
Is it any good?
The series, which is hosted and judged by rap artist MC Search and hit femcee Yo Yo, stresses the fact that it's extremely difficult for women to break into and survive the male-dominated rap music industry. It also offers the contestants a chance to be creative and explore their own life stories by writing and performing rhymes that move away from the violent, swear-filled lyrics that rap and hip-hop music tend to be known for. Female rap icons like Missy Elliott offer criticism and mentorship to build the women as musicians and help them understand the industry's payouts and pitfalls.
Ironically, while the women are learning to survive the business, the competition brings out some pretty rough behavior. Threats of violence are frequent (though actual hitting is prohibited by the show's producers), and the women consistently use strong language (ranging from "bitch" and "dumb ass" to stronger curse words that are bleeped out) while talking and rhyming. Some of their personal stories deal with tough issues like child molestation, abortion, and drug addiction, and there are racial tensions among the contestants. It's an iffy viewing choice for tweens, but it does offer mature teens a chance to learn more about the rap and hip-hop culture, as well as what it takes for women in particular to make it in the industry.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the rap/hip-hop culture. How are rap/hip-hop performers typically portrayed in the media? Do you think the media perpetuates stereotypes about the rap/hip-hop culture? Families can also discuss the culture that surrounds particular genres of music. Is there a difference between rap and hip-hop? Why does this music generally seem to incorporate strong lyrics and socially unacceptable behavior? Are references to sex and violence ever OK in music? If so, when?