Rap Legends who have made the move to star in their reality TV show and scripted television series include Diddy, T.I., 50 Cent, Snoop Dogg, and Flavor Flav.
Hip-hop has always been a great source of material for reality TV, whether you like it or not, and as a result, fans begged to see behind the scenes of their favorite rappers’ daily lives.
Television producers can find endless opportunities in the rap world due to its inherent drama, which ranges from rapper-versus-rapper competitions to melodramatic relationship exposés.
Producers have even less of an excuse not to film rappers in their everyday lives, given the popularity of the season episode of Love and Hip-Hop. In honor of hip-hop’s 50th anniversary, Afrobeats+ delves into the history of rap legends and reality TV shows highlighting seven rap icons who starred in their reality TV shows.
Ice-T’s Rap School and Ice Loves Coco
Ice-T’s Rap School, a 2006 spin-off of Gene Simmons’ School of Rock, gave him his first taste of reality TV, albeit a brief one. In the series, Ice taught a group of preschool kids how to rhyme. In 2011, the pioneer of hip-hop discovered his real calling with the television series, Ice Loves Coco, which chronicles the day-to-day lives of Ice T and Coco.
Rev. Run: Run’s House
MTV documented the private life of one of hip-hop’s most recognizable MCs, Rev Run.
Run’s House established the benchmark for hip-hop reality television. The comprehensive program included both the lighter moments, like Run’s wife Justine’s miscarriage, and the darker ones, like the daily humor of the Simmons family life.
Flavor Flav: The Surreal Life, Strange Love, and Flavor of Love
Given his reputation in hip-hop and his well-known antics, Flavor Flav is arguably the most notorious reality show rap legend on this list. Beginning with The Surreal Life, the Public Enemy hypeman went on to launch Strange Love and Flavor of Love, a show in which ladies competed for the attention of the legendary rapper.
Snoop Dogg: Snoop Dogg’s Father Hood
Even though his catalog of hip-hop hits may be what people remember him for most, Snoop Dogg managed to convert his musical success into a reality TV celebrity. Snoop Dogg’s Father Hood by The Doggfather became an instant hit, giving fans an unexpected glimpse into Snoop and his family’s lives.
T.I.’s Road to Redemption and T.I. and Tiny: The Family Hustle
Throughout his more than ten-year career, T.I. is one of the rappers on this list to have had two reality shows. The first, T.I.’s Road to Redemption on MTV, followed T.I for 45 days prior to his 2009 imprisonment on weapons-related charges. The second, T.I. and Tiny: The Family Hustle, which is still airing on VH1, continues the Run’s House model by chronicling the daily lives of the Atlanta rapper and his family.
Game: Marrying the Game
Game agreed to let VH1 film the months leading up to his marriage to Tiffney Cambridge for the series Marrying the Game, which was one of his more unexpected career moves. The couple eventually moved past reality TV and reconciled, even though they nearly ended up divorcing due to issues that surfaced during filming.
Diddy: Making the Band 2-4, I Want To Work For Diddy & P. Diddy’s Starmaker
Surprisingly, Diddy emerges as the hip-hop legend with the greatest number of reality TV shows to his credit. The Bad Boy impresario focused on finding up-and-coming musicians in the Making the Band series and Starmaker, but in I Want to Work for Diddy, he gave The Apprentice a unique twist.