Jermaine Dupri and Queen Latifah are teaming up to bring you the next big thing in hip-hop.
The two have teamed up with Lifetime for a new unscripted (read: reality) series called The Rap Game which will follow five emerging artists (ages 12-16) who are trying to make it big in the Atlanta hip-hop scene. One will have a chance to become Atlanta’s next rap star.
Producer Dupri will be joined every week by such guests as Usher, Ludacris, Da Brat, T.I. and Silento to help mold the kids into the next big young rapper and earn a record contract with their mentor’s So So Def Recordings label.
During his more than 30-year career, Dupri has worked with young talents including Bow Wow, Da Brat, Kris Kross and TLC. Dupri will exec-produce alongside Latifah and her Flavor Unit partner Shakim Compere. The Rap Game is additionally produced by Intuitive Entertainment, Mechelle Collins and Kevin Dill (The Millionaire Matchmaker), showrunner Sean Rankine (Basketball Wives), Laura Fuest Silva (America’s Next Top Model) and Chris Deaux (Rods and Wheels). Lifetime’s Eli Lehrer, Mary Donahue and Mariana Flynn oversee in for Lifetime. Filmed in Atlanta, the series will air Fridays at 10 p.m.
“Hip-hop is where Latifah and I came from so it’s great to be able to produce a television show that is derived from our roots. The show is going to be a lot of fun,” Compere said.
For Lifetime, The Rap Game comes as both broadcast and cable networks alike are looking to tap into the success of Fox’s hip-hop soap Empire. VH1 on Jan. 4 will premiere The Breaks, a TV movie based on Dan Charnas’ best-selling book The Big Payback: The History of the Business of Hip-Hop, which is considered one of the most comprehensive accounts of hip-hop; while Starz has found ratings success with its 50 Cent-produced hip-hop drama Power. On the unscripted side, WE tv has picked up an Empire-like docuseries Growing Up Hip Hop, featuring the aspiring offspring of music legends Damon Dash, Rev. Run, Russell Simmons and more.
So, basically it sounds like ‘The Voice’ meets rap/hip-hop to us. Will you be watching?