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Hip Hop Honeys

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Saturday, October 28, 2006

VH1 & Hip-Hop

VH1 which used to be about Peter Gabriel, Genesis and Madonna videos, never touched rap. Now in the modern day, where rap has taken culture over almost everywhere, VH1 shows frequent rap videos and now hip-hop awards shows as well. Recently they had the "Vh1 Hip-Hop Honors Show" which payed tribute to pioneers of rap. Included amongst those honored were Afrika Bambaataa, Rakim, Ice Cube, MC Lyte, Russell Simmons, Beastie Boys and Wu-Tang Clan. The show featured interstitial black and white mini-documentaries by the respective artists discussing their roles and stories in hip-hop. It also featured some interesting performances.

The opener had Diddy, Q-Tip and Fabolous covering a montage of Beastie Boys hits, and then the actual group coming on stage to finish things off. Other performances saw Young Jeezy covering Eazy-E; Black Thought, Fat Joe and others payed tribute to Afrika Bambata; and Lil Kim performed a classic MC Lyte song before the legend took the stage. What surprised me most was when Ice Cube came out to perform and chose a newer track, "Go To Church". While it's smart to promote the new album, you would think he'd represent himself with a classic such as "It Was a Good Day", "Steady Mobbin" or "Check Yourself" on this sort of show. The final performance was a tribute to Wu-Tang Clan, with Talib Kweli, Black Thought, Common and Lil Jon (as ODB) each doing lines from a Wu-Tang track, as the real group then took stage.

Also of note, VH1 is now airing "Ice-T's Rap School", a reality show where Ice-T teaches the fundamentals of rap to middle school kids at a primarily white NY prep school. At least this concept isn't as harmful as their "Flavor of Love" show, depending on how you see it. On Ice-T's show, techniques, stereotypes and concepts of rap are examined by 8th graders, probably to be humorous. This is likely promoting 2 things; 1- VH1's integration of more rap to its viewers who might not like it or know about it, and 2 for Ice T to promote his next album.... Lessons learned.

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