Home TV Series Rhythm + Flow: Season 1, Episode 1 “Los Angeles Auditions” [Series Premiere] – Recap, Review (with Spoilers)

Rhythm + Flow: Season 1, Episode 1 “Los Angeles Auditions” [Series Premiere] – Recap, Review (with Spoilers)

by Amari
Published: Last Updated on

Rhythm & Flow begins with the need to question, to be rap’s next big superstar, what’s more important: Lyricism, being a performer, or accessible to a white audience?


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Network
Netflix
Creator(s)John Legend, Jeff Gaspin, Jesse Collins
Director(s)Sam Wrench
Writer(s)N/A
Air Date10/9/2019
Genre(s)Musical, Competition
Good If You LikeHip-Hop/ Rap Music
Introduced This Episode
HimselfTip “T.I.” Harris
HerselfCardi B
HimselfChance The Rapper
HimselfSnoop Dogg
HimselfNipsey Hussle
HimselfAnderson .Paak
HerselfRae Khalil
HimselfAli Tomineek
HimselfD Smoke
HimselfOld Man Saxon
HimselfInglewood IV

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Overview

From one of the top commercial rappers in the modern age to someone whose longevity speaks for itself, alongside a rapper who found notoriety, fame, and even earned a Grammy, all while independent, we have a diverse group of judges. So it only makes sense the people they choose to guide them, and also the contestants they pick are just the same.

In the premiere, we get a young man named Inglewood IV who has a story your familiar with. You know, someone trying to make it in the world, do right by his family, and not succumb to his environment. Then there is Rae Khalil, a 22-year-old who comes from a prestigious family, got a different look to them from the norm, and knows how to rock the mic. Follow them is Ali, a 21-year-old who, like Rae, fits into that sort of Pharrell look to him and like the superstar, can switch things up if need be.

The last two are older gentlemen in D Smoke, a 33-year-old dude who is a teacher and bi-lingual, and Old Man Saxon. Homeboy dresses like T.I. and the rest do, mostly when they aren’t performing, and unlike most acts, he isn’t necessarily trying to do conscious rap, show how quickly he can spit bars or any of that. He is showcasing personality and originality in ways which may not make him the one to beat, but will definitely know someone out the competition if they get caught slipping.

Collected Quote(s) or .Gifs

You know everybody can rap, but not everybody can make a song.
— Cardi B

Talking loud don’t exude confidence.
— T.I.

Highlights

Diverse Contestants

With the show heading to LA, Atlanta, NY, and Chicago, just due to geographic location, you’d expect different styles by the time the actual competition starts. However, LA showed out. From those with the homegirl look like Rae to Old Man Saxon, it became clear that just because everyone found their way to the city of angels, it doesn’t mean they were bringing the same thing to the stage.

As for who from LA has a real shot at winning? I’d bet Old Man Saxon.

You Can See What Each Judge Brings To The Table

Each person on the dais brings something different. With Chance, he went the indie route, and with that, he knows the struggle of not necessarily having a machine behind him, and having to build himself up to a position of prominence. When it comes to Cardi B, she reps for the female rappers and those who rely on their visuals, just as much as their music. Also, compared to Chance, and this is no shade, she is mainstream.

Cardi B can just as much do a straight hip-hop/ rap record as much as do a pop record like being featured on a Maroon 5 song – and go to #1. Also, one could say that unlike TI and Chance, Cardi B is a rapper whose success and fame are born more so from her being a quality performer and a big personality, than her lyricism. Which is how Chance has a leg up.

But, when it comes to TI, he has the best of what Cardi and Chance bring, and to add in he has his own label, which has produced successful acts. Mind you, he has denounced Iggy Azaelia, but let’s not pretend she didn’t create hit songs under TI and made her mark. Also, between the three, he has had the longest career, has an established acting resume, and has diversified himself so that he can truly call himself a multi-hyphenate with very few notable failures.

Everyone Didn’t Seem Like A Sob Story Or This Would Make Or Break Them

While nearly everyone had a dead or absent family member, you weren’t presented the idea, over and over, if they weren’t chosen, that would be it. Did some, like Inglewood IV, who was crying while the judges were deliberating, really need a shot? Yeah. But it was more so the young folk who made it seem like they needed this signature of approval – as you would expect. Luckily, the 30 and over crowd were a bit more chill and helped balance things out.

On The Fence

You Will Likely Disagree With The Judges

At times, it may not seem 100% clear what the judges are looking for. If not, whether or not they can find all that they are looking for, as a trio, in one person. Cardi B is looking for personality, Chance is looking for lyricism and T.I. looking for longevity and how they can be commoditized. This is alongside who can attract an audience, white especially, and who can perform in front of an executive and not scare them off.

We’re presented so many factors in their thought process, that I can guarantee you, from a fan perspective, versus someone in the industry, you’re not going to agree with the judges. Especially in terms of who has the look, sound, or what have you, to be successful. Because some of the rappers they cut, I can bet one or two will catch your attention far more than the ones who were chosen. In fact, I’d guarantee it.

 

First Impression: Positive (Watch This)

Unlike other musical competitions, you don’t feel like Netflix simply found people who were credible enough and would accept what they could offer. Rhythm & Flow feels professional in every way possible. Be it the expectations of the acts, the packages used to build them up, and the folks being used to judge them. For there is this idea that, generally speaking, Hip-Hop is a community, and even though sometimes the judges are harsh, it’s because they see the best way you could contribute is either getting better or finding something else.

For with each having a different path to prestige, they know the journey isn’t one size fits all, and what is success for one may not be for another. Yet, what they can all claim is a sense of longevity, the ability to diversify, based on their talents as rappers and people, and knowing that the gatekeepers, beyond them, will kick the average person’s ass. So as much as you may not agree with some choices, and it doesn’t seem these judges are necessarily trying to mold anyone, you can understand that they don’t want nobody who will chew these kids up, spit them out, and be a mark on their reputation. They want someone who, like they did long ago, just needed a chance.

Rhythm + Flow Directory

Creator

John Legend, Jeff Gaspin, Jesse Collins

Character Guide

Created

Collected Quotes

Created

Current Status

Active

Where To Buy, Rent, or Stream?
Netflix

Season Reviews

Season 1
Check Out The TV Series & Specials Page
Season/ EpisodeSynopsisEpisode InformationTopics & Focused Characters
Season 1, Episode 10 “Finale” [Season Finale]On the season finale, family members are gathered, budgets explode, and the winner of season 1 of Rhythm + Flow is given $250,000 – with no strings attached.
Director(s)Sam Wrench
Writer(s)N/A
Air Date10/23/2019
  • The First Eliminated: Troyman
  • The Second Eliminated: Londynn B
  • There Can Only Be One: Flawless Real Talk, D Smoke
Season 1, Episode 9 “Collaborations”Some of R&B’s biggest names join our up and coming stars, and one person stumbles during their performance. Can you guess who?
Director(s)Sam Wrench
Writer(s)N/A
Air Date10/23/2019
Introduced This Episode
HimselfMiguel
HerselfJhené Aiko
HerselfTeyana Taylor
HimselfTy Dolla $ign
HimselfTory Lanez
  • You Gotta Have Fun With It: Miguel, D Smoke, Ty Dolla $ign, Troyman, Caleb Colossus, Tory Lanez
  • Get Sexy With It: Jhené Aiko, Flawless Real Talk
  • Will One F*** Up Ruin An Opportunity?: Teyana Taylor, Londynn B, Caleb Colossus
Season 1, Episode 8 “Samples”Alongside learning who got cut, we get a taste of what these rappers can cook up real quick when the pressure is on.
Director(s)Sam Wrench
Writer(s)N/A
Air Date10/23/2019
  • Can’t Impress Everyone: Caleb, Sam Be Yourself
  • The Respect Of Your Peers Is Worth It All: Flawless Real Talk, Troyman, Londynn B, D Smoke
  • Elimination Time
Season 1, Episode 5 “Cyphers”While it isn’t clear why a cypher was needed, since many popular rappers wouldn’t be able to do so, this is a competition and contestants have to be put through the ringer.
Director(s)Iren Brown
Writer(s)N/A
Air Date10/16/2019
Introduced This Episode
HimselfC.Rose
HerselfMaddiemook
HerselfAJ, The One
HimselfKing Vvibe
HimselfKing Los
  • Who Are These People?: C.Rose, Maddiemook, AJ The One, King Vvibe
  • Let The Cyphers Begin
  • There Can Only Be 16
Season 1, Episode 6 “Rap Battles”This episode, they got the contestants battle rapping, and while we lose some good ones, others get reminded many need that $250,000.
Director(s)Iren Brown
Writer(s)N/A
Air Date10/16/2019
  • You Really Aren’t About This Rap Battle Life Are You?: Felisha George, Caleb Colossus, Big Mouf’Bo, Rae Khalil, Ali, Ariyon
  • You Said Who Won?: Old Man Saxon, D Smoke, Jakob, Troyman
  • I CAME TO BATTLE: Londynn B, Inglewood IV, King Vvibe, Sam Be Yourself, Beanz, Flawless Real Talk
Season 1, Episode 7 “Music Videos”Rhythm + Flow goes beyond what most of its competition does and shows us what these artists are selling. Question is, you buying?
Director(s)Sam Wrench
Writer(s)N/A
Air Date10/16/2019
  • The Judges Are Iffy: Troyman, Caleb, Big Mouf’Bo
  • Take My Money: D Smoke, Flawless Real Talk, Londynn B
  • Because What Show Doesn’t Have Cliffhangers?: Ali, Sam Be Yourself
Season 1, Episode 4 “Chicago Auditions”Chance is faced with the most 25 and under seen thus far, but them Chicago/Mid-west kids got stories to tell and damn if they won’t make you bop your head.
Director(s)Sam Wrench
Writer(s)N/A
Air Date10/9/2019
Introduced This Episode
HerselfKaylee Crossfire
HimselfSam Be Yourself
HerselfSasha Go Hard
HimselfNikee Turbo
HimselfAriyon
HerselfBig Mouf’Bo
HimselfJae Ham
HimselfJakob Campbell
HimselfYung Water
  • You Stumbled, But You Going To LA: Kaylee Crossfire, Sam Be Yourself, Sasha Go Hard, Nikee Turbo
  • The Kids Are Alright: Ariyon, Big Mouf’Bo, Jae Ham
  • Always Saving The Best For Last: Jakob Campbell
Season 1, Episode 3 “Atlanta Auditions”We head down to the ATL, and unlike NYC, no one dares bring their sob stories. Instead, many just rap like they trying to compete with Twista or Busta Rhymes.
Director(s)Sam Wrench
Writer(s)N/A
Air Date10/9/2019
Introduced This Episode
HerselfAmavi
HimselfCaleb Colossus
HimselfBaddnews
Himself2’Live Bre
HimselfTroyman
HerselfLondynn B
  • Some Got Potential But Had To Be Put On Notice: Amavi, Caleb Colossus, Baddnews
  • Skinny Dudes Stay Winning: 2’Live Bre, Troyman
  • There Can Only Be One: Londynn B
Season 1, Episode 2 “New York Auditions”Cardi B hits up S.O.B.’s in New York to find some talent, and… she may have found one that won’t just fill a slot but could also win.
Director(s)Sam Wrench
Writer(s)N/A
Air Date10/9/2019
Introduced This Episode
Herself$avannah Hannah
HerselfKay Makavel
HerselfBeanz
HimselfCakes Da Killa
HerselfFelisha George
HimselfOnetake Carter
HimselfFlawless Real Talk
HimselfJadakiss
HimselfFat Joe
  • These Sob Stories Gotta Stop: $avannah Hannah, Kay Makavel
  • All My Life I Had To Fight: Beanz, Cakes Da Killa, Felisha George, Onetake Carter
  • The Only One Whose Name Rings True: Flawless Real Talk
Season 1, Episode 1 “Los Angeles Auditions” [Series Premiere]Rhythm & Flow begins with the need to question, to be rap’s next big superstar, what’s more important: Lyricism, being a performer, or accessible to a white audience?
Director(s)Sam Wrench
Writer(s)N/A
Air Date10/9/2019
Genre(s)Musical, Competition
Good If You LikeHip-Hop/ Rap Music
Introduced This Episode
HimselfTip “T.I.” Harris
HerselfCardi B
HimselfChance The Rapper
HimselfSnoop Dogg
HimselfNipsey Hussle
HimselfAnderson .Paak
HerselfRae Khalil
HimselfAli Tomineek
HimselfD Smoke
HimselfOld Man Saxon
HimselfInglewood IV
You Will Likely Disagree With The Judges - 75%
Everyone Didn’t Seem Like A Sob Story Or This Would Make Or Break Them - 80%
You Can See What Each Judge Brings To The Table - 90%
Diverse Contestants - 85%

83%

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