If you’re not watching EgoTrip’s The Greatest White Rapper on VH1, you’re truly missing out. It’s hosted by MC Serch, who the most talented member of the great old-school trio 3rd Bass. For those who don’t know, I can’t post a tune by the group because their stuff is RIAA material, and you know I’m not going there anymore, but trust me, they were a great group that often are misidentified as a “white rap group.” Actually, only MC Serch and Pete Nice were caucasian. (Richie Rich, the D.J., was a black man from the UK.) But Serch and Nice were 2 of the first white rappers to earn street cred and actually lay it down—way before Em, before Snow, and before Vanilla Ice as well. (In fact, the band had a classic feud with that top-40 rapper, leading to the great song, “Pop Goez the Weasel,” on which MF Doom appeared in a previous identity as Zev Love.)
Anyway, Serch is now on a search to find the next great white rapper. Right now they’re about 5 episodes deep, and it’s entertaining as hell. Like The Apprentice and Survivor, contestants do a series of challenges testing their knowledge of hip-hop music, b-boy culture, and, of course, their rhyming skillz. Although none of the contestants thus far seem like they’re destined to be great, a few of them are pretty good (I’m thinking mostly of Persia, although 100 Proof is easily as good as the Crazytown
guy—same style, too). And the show features a range of styles, which is interesting since the players are all white. It shows the diversity that even white rappers can have: There’s a political backpacker, a skate punk, a few southern drawlers, a suburban wannabe gangsta . . . It’s all here. And the show gives the incredibly witty Serch a great platform as
well. When Avril-look-a-like G-Child says Vanilla Ice is her hero, Serch says: “If you grew up in Allentown, like G-Child did, this was her hero, this is what hip-hip was for her. As misguided as that is, it is what it is.”
But the real fun is how much the show can show us about the roles race plays in hip hop. They play it straight—never playing lowbrow race cards, never suggesting that whites can never rap, and most def never cheesy—because Serch is a true believer. And the cred of the show is bumped up by appearances of legends well-known and lesser-known, including Juelz
Santana, Prince Paul, Everlast, Just Blaze, Brand Nubian’s Lord Jamar . . . That all these folks would come out for a small VH1 show is truly a testament to how underrated Serch was.
Anyway, it plays (and replays) over and over on VH1. Definitely check it out and lemme know what y’all think. I don’t think I’ve seen every ep, and a few I’ve seen are out-of-sequence, but I just don’t care about that. It’s so much fun to watch. Favorite scene so far: G-Child getting drunk on sizzurp and beating the snot out of an enormous teddy bear (‘cause she’s pretending it’s the Dipset).