Wrapping up ‘Rhythm + Flow’


D Smoke from Inglewood, CA performing “The Last Supper” started off with playing the peiano while wrapping his own lyrics. | Photo by Adam Rose/ Netflix

Ana Peres Bogo, Writer

“Rhythm + Flow,” Netflix’s first music competition, made its debut on Oct. 9. With appearances from famous artists like Snoop Dogg, Fat Joe, Quavo and Lupe Fiasco, the show teaches its audience how difficult and how much thought goes into crafting a successful rap song. The judges were Cardi B, “Tip” T.I. and Chance The Rapper, each of whom displayed their musical knowledge charisma. 

How does it compare to other singing competitions? Well, according to Snoop Dogg, “This ain’t ‘The Voice’ motherf****rs.”

The competition consists of ten episodes lasting fifty minutes each. The first five were auditions held in major U.S. cities, such as Los Angeles and the hometowns of the judges: New York, Atlanta and Chicago. Then, the competition really started. A few of the challenges were cyphers, rap battles, songwriting plus making video clips, working with samples and performing with famous rappers such as Ty Dolla $ign. In the finale, the four finalists were paired with the biggest music producers in the rap industry and had to perform an original song. 

The judges were harsh and extremely thorough in their critiques. They were also very analytical, much like in the auditions. They took everything into consideration, judging the contestants on their charisma, stage presence, ability to freestyle and attitude. Each of the judges emphasized different elements. Cardi B wanted to see if they were relatable and marketable. For Chance, it was all about the lyrics and the subjects they rap about. T.I. was very critical of each aspects, especially their attitude and uniqueness. 

Last week, T.I earned the vitriol of the internet when he affirmed in the podcast “Lady Like Us” that he takes his daughter, Deyjah, to the doctor to confirm her virginity. 

“We have yearly trips to the gynecologist to check her hymen. Yes, I go with her,” the rapper stated. 

Due to the overwhelming backlash, the episode of the podcast has been taken down. The podcast’s hosts, Nazani Mandi and Nadia Mohan, apologized via twitter. T.I. has remained silent. However, his daughter has liked tweets that called her father controlling and possessive. 

“Rhythm + Flow” is definitely a must watch. The combination of intricate challenges and  critical judges gives the whole process a refreshing take on music contests. The contestants are extremely talented. Despite a very tense atmosphere, the judges, especially Cardi B, did not let one episode pass without comedic relief. 

A very good take on the hip-hop industry for someone who does not know a lot about it without making it boring for those already familiar with the process.