‘Rhythm and Flow’ Season 2 Auditions and Why the Show Gets Rap Competitions Right

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There is no official word yet on “Rhythm and Flow” season 2 auditions, but after completing my viewing of the first season, I will most definitely be paying attention to the trajectory of this show. 

Here’s a few reasons why you should be tuning in if you’re trying to make hip-hop, or are just a fan on the culture in general. 

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It Forces the Rappers to Perform in all Traditional Hip-Hop Formats.

Flawless Realtalk battes Beans on 'Rhythm + Flow.'
Rap battle on ‘Rhythm + Flow’

‘Rhythm + Flow’ is not your run of the mill singing contest. At first, I was skeptical about watching it because of all the similar rap contests that had either mocked the art form, or watered it down in the past. This show totally embraces every aspect of the culture and sends the artists through a gauntlet of hip-hop traditions including the cypher, battling, making a song with a sample, and an R&B feature with an established artist. The rappers are given full creative control and even get the chance to write a verse for a hit song and perform it with artists such as Teyana Taylor, Tory Lanez, and Jhene Aiko. By the time the contest is finished, the artist is taken from the amateur level to pro. 

The Guest Judges Are Awesome

Screenshot of Cardi B, Fat Joe and Jadakiss judging Rhythm + Flow in NYC.
Cardi B, Fat Joe and Jadakiss judging ‘Rhythm + Flow’ in NYC

The show is primarily judged by its main cast that includes Chance the Rapper, T.I. and Cardi B. However, guest judges were brought on this season during episodes where the three main judges visited their hometowns to audition some of the locals. Some of these guest judges included Fat Joe, Jadakiss, Big Boi of Outkast, Quavo of the Migos, Lupe Fiasco, Killer Mike and Twista. They all brought their own original take to the contest which made it that more interesting to watch. It’s also unique to watch how some of my favorite artists critique up and comers, and to find out what they deem important when it comes to skillsets. 

It Doesn’t Water Down the Music

A cypher from 'Rhythm + Flow.'
‘Rhythm + Flow’ cypher.

Rap contests usually have a hard time finding footing on networks due to the genre’s aggressive tone that normally includes cursing and strong sexual language. On Netflix, the rappers have free reign to say whatever they want and present their music in its original form. It also allows the judges to be a little more vulgar than they would be on a show like “American Idol.” This format caters the most to Cardi B who just loves to say whatever comes to mind. 

It Doesn’t Look Low Budget 

This show could easily be aired next to “The Voice” or “Idol” and you would never notice a dip in quality. The production value is on par with both of those shows even though it’s a Netflix only series. 

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It Doesn’t Bind the Artists to Slave Contracts

Shows like “American Idol” normally make the singers that perform on the show sign binding contracts that hinder them from doing business outside of the series. This also blocks them from using the music created during these shows for other ventures. T.I. recently told “The Breakfast Club” that “Rhythm and Flow” is just the opposite, and gives the winner $250,000 with no strings attached. If they end up winning, they are given the ability to invest the money back into themselves, or buy a lot of stuff. Either way, it’s in their hands and not the show’s. It’s unclear if they can use the original music that they make on ‘Rhythm + Flow.’

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