The Top 5 Rapper Reality TV Shows

Over the weekend, Birdman released a new single, Fuk Em, which seems to be a Lil Wayne diss. Really? Aren’t we past this? Is Birdman seriously responsible for Tha Carter V two year delay? Or are they just beefing for the sake of it now?

I thought they had moved past it, as earlier this year, both rappers appeared on stage together in Miami. But no, Wayne was still suing Birdman for millions. Birdman spoke out on the matter in an interview with Hot 97 claiming he’s not responsible for holding back the release of Tha Carter V:

Me not putting out Tha Carter V, why wouldn’t I? I’ve got a lot of money invested into Young Money and Wayne. So for me, I want to get some of mine’s back, you understand me? … I think the world deserve Tha Carter V. Whatever he wanna do, I’m good with it. I ain’t gonna stop him, I’m gonna embrace it. Wayne is a boss. He his own boss. … I would never stop him from doing nothin’. He’s still puttin’ out records—I could stop that shit if I wanted to, but I ain’t gonna stop him from hustlin’. We in this for the money, man. We rap for the money.

Two sides to a frickin’ coin with these two – but whatever the reason, I wish we could go back to a simpler time. A time when Lil Wayne and Birdman were friends

Do you remember when Lil Wayne and Birdman were the best of friends? I do, it was great. We had solid releases from Wayne and also had the two doing what they love, rapping for money. What about that time when Birdman took Lil Wayne’s daughter Reginae jewellery shopping for her ‘Super Sweet 16’? Remember that beautiful brotherhood moment?

Skip ahead to 21 minutes to watch the glorious Rolex action (and stay watching for cameos from The Game, Ludacris, Nicki Minaj, Rae Sremmurd, and uh, two luxury cars – including one Ferrari – for this girl’s sixteenth birthday).

It’s always quite novel when rappers appear in reality TV shows. It’s like seeing a lion up close in a zoo – not nearly as scary when it’s in a cage. Gangster rappers like Ice-T and Ice Cube have certainly lost their one toughened edge since entering into the world of reality TV, comedy and children’s movies. Then you’ve got rappers like Snoop and Xzibit who just nail their weird and wonderful cameo appearances.

As such, we’ve decided to take a look at our five favourite rap reality shows. In no particular order, here they are. And just to clarify, making the list doesn’t mean they’re exactly great or worth watching. We just think they’re funny.

5: Ice Loves Coco

The show features the life of Ice-T and his wife Coco as they move house, start a family and struggle to spend their riches. I was initially super excited to watch this back in 2011 when it aired, as I had remembered seeing an MTV Cribs episode that featured Ice-T’s house a few years before. It was hilarious, he was gangster, and most importantly he had vending machines everywhere. Vending machines that worked as normal, by the way – despite his masses of money, no one gets a free ride. I was so impressed that I wanted vending machines (and still do) in my house. However, it seems that Coco is an exception to the ‘no free ride’ rule, as it turns out this show was pretty much about her, the glamour model, with Ice-T occasionally just saying things and doing stuff. At times it feels like a father-daughter type of thing, like in the episode where she teaches him how to use Skype. Overall, I think Ice-T is just far too soft.

4: Snoop Dogg’s Fatherhood

I personally love this show, because Snoop is one funny motherfucker. “This ain’t the Huxtables but we living comfortable/ and I don’t make my kids eat their vegetable,” he says in the intro song. Everything he says and does in the show is fantastic. I truly think I could be actual friends with Snoop Dogg; I have thought it my whole life, and seeing him as a family man and really not having anything lost from his persona confirmed it. I mean, I have a dogg and I am still as gangster as I was before I did – we are two peas in a very tall pod. The show runs viewers through every aspect of Snoop’s life, from making music videos to his peewee football league, living in the exact way you would imagine Snoop Dogg living his life.

3: The Vanilla Ice Project

The last thing I heard about Vanilla Ice was that Suge Knight held him over a balcony. Well, he clearly survived and is doing very well flipping houses. His show The Vanilla Ice Project is currently in its 6th season – yes, six seasons of Rob Van Winkle aka Vanilla Ice renovating houses. I haven’t watched a lot of this show, but it seems very serious. If you didn’t already know Van Winkle was Vanilla Ice, you might never know. He does occasionally (unintentionally?) quotes rap songs with ome improvement gems. For instance, a new interior might run “from the window/ to the wall.” Classic. Never change, Ice.

2: Xzibit’s Pimp My Ride

This one should need little explanation as it is probably the most popular of the rapper reality TV shows. You shoot a video of your crappy car and ask MTV to pimp it up. Simple. It’s one of the greatest shows of all time in my opinion. It used to come on right after The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, and me and my mate Drops would watch the show while fantasising about owning our own pimped up rides. Unfortunately, Xzibit has moved on (see tweet below) and I guess, in a way, I have as well. I currently drive an Isuzu light truck during the week and scoot around on a tram during the weekends. Occasionally, I splurge for an Uber Black (okay, I did that once) but as far as wanting or owning a pimped up ride, I’m right where Xzibit is. Shit’s been over for a decade. And I have got a job.

But until you have a ute that doubles as a pool table, you cannot truly say you have it all.


1. Flavor Flav in The Flavor of Love 

I have been scratching my head for a way to explain this show without sounding like someone who ‘loves’ The Bachelor. I have had many (one or two) girl friends (girls who let me hang out with them outside of school, anyway,) who inexplicably love watching terrible reality TV. But as far as reality dating shows go, this is number one. Not just in this list, but number one of all reality TV. Back when I had dreams of making it big as a basketballer, I also had dreams of becoming washed up and lonely and starting my own reality dating show where lots of women had to vie for my attention (ed. note: after chatting to Alex while editing this piece I’ve discovered this isn’t necessarily a joke. I think he really did dream of becoming a lonely washed-up reality dating show host.) But Flavor Flav beat me to it. He stole the idea right out of my 15-year-old mind. That said, his show differed from mine as at the end of the show, the girls had the option of ‘love’ or ‘money’. The show starts with Flav nicknaming all the girls, because apparently he is bad with names. Like on The Bachelor, there is a rose ceremony at the end of each week – sorry, not rose, clock; yep, he puts a clock around their neck if he chooses them. At the end of season 1, he picked Hoops (we all knew he would) but Hoops, plot twist, picked the money instead – cue season 2. Side note: New York, one of the girls from Season 1, went on to star in her own reality dating show. At least it wasn’t Hottie, the girl who served Flavor Flav’s mum an entire raw chicken.

When rappers stop making music, boredom must set in and new endeavours must be undertaken. Some turn to media conglomerations, some found their own record labels or extremely successful headphone brands, some purchase hi-fidelity streaming services and others partner with the biggest tech companies in the world. Others turn to reality TV. For better or worse, I prefer the latter; it humanises my idols and usually shows you a funny side you might not see or hear in their hardened raps.

There is no sign of them slowing down, as evidently Snoop Dogg, Birdman, Jermaine Dupri and Damon Dash plan on making a new reality TV show entitled Music Moguls – I, for one, can’t wait.

Image: VH1