Rhythm + Flow goes beyond what most of its competition does and shows us what these artists are selling. Question is, you buying?
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The Judges Are Iffy: Troyman, Caleb, Big Mouf’Bo
Not everyone makes a video that hits it out of the park. For Troyman, Cardi thinks his video is boring but likes the song, and personally, it seems like any ole song you could hear and while I can imagine it being a hit, not necessarily one which has legs. As for the others? Caleb taps into his religious background, which you know Chance loves, and it presents quality visuals. A forgettable song, but notable visuals.
As for Big Mouf’Bo? Her attitude catches up to her. For on top of the video and song not getting much love, with Chance walking in on her going off, that turned him off. Add in Cardi B having her experience with having a bit too much attitude for people in the industry, and that leads to her being cut.
Take My Money: D Smoke, Flawless Real Talk, Londynn B
However, while some have a struggle with balancing visuals and a song, others don’t. Flawless maintains living up to that name though the judges are kind of mixed on his output. Cardi is eh on the video, but likes the song, and Chance is eh on the song, but likes the video. But generally, everyone loves the hook, and it is a song you can bump to.
The same can be said for Londynn B who kept it the realest with he song and video but also gave you that bounce vibe. She found a way to make it relatable to an urban, working poor demographic, yet didn’t allow it to get depressing. Instead, it was all about the steps and making it in spite of. Plus, even though Flawless’ song was great, maybe 10 or so minutes letter, I only remember the visuals and not the words. Londynn B’s song, however, I at least remember the hook.
Leaving D Smoke. Straight up, he isn’t someone whose music clicks with me, but you have to respect the imagery, flow, and recognize that just because something isn’t for you, it doesn’t make it bad. Some people got a niche you don’t fit in or may operate in a lane that’s mainstream, but nowhere near your purview. That’s what D Smoke is to me, and for the judges, while Chance does feel uneasy about some of the imagery, they mostly agree the artistry he brings to his representation of his hood was astounding.
Because What Show Doesn’t Have Cliffhangers?: Ali, Sam Be Yourself
With 5 decided on, who will be the 6th person is left for us to question. Will it be Ali, who had a boring video that required an explanation for people to get it? Or will it be Sam who may not have Chance’s support, but does get props for having dialog, a character element, and a rather decent song.
Unfortunately, we won’t learn the answer until next week. Though, considering we barely see any advertisement behind either of these two, I can tell you if they survive this week, they aren’t going to win.
Collected Quote(s) & .Gifs
Sometimes the hard way the best way to learn.
— Big Mouf’Bo
Question(s) Left Unanswered
- What was the budget for these videos?
Londynn B, Flawless Real Talk, Sam Be Yourself, D Smoke
One of the things you have to appreciate is narrative, some kind of journey, and an arc. For with the music videos geared towards being about these people and their stories, why wouldn’t you do like Sam and show what your life was beyond your environment? Didn’t Troyman say he had to quit his job? Isn’t Caleb setting aside college for this? Why not bring that into the music?
Which is why you had to appreciate, be it the way Sam did, D Smoke, or Londynn, they gave you a vibe of where they were personally, and not just present this generalized viewpoint that anyone from their city could be dropped in. Since, as much as someone needs to connect and be relatable, you also need to show how you are different and deserve your spot. Otherwise, you just seem like someone who was willing to go into credit card debt to film a video. Whether it had smoke or not.
On The Fence
My whole basis of judgement is first would I stream their music, since that doesn’t require much effort, to whether I would but merchandise or a ticket. Honestly, outside of Flawless Real Talk and Londynn B, the answer is now. Which, again, isn’t to say those who made it this far are trash. The problem is, as the judges seem to forget and have to remind themselves, it isn’t just about how they got to where they are, it’s about whether these contestants, in their own way, can make it.
Now, as said with D Smoke, not all are going to be mainstream or seen as mainstream, and that’s fine. However, with him, the talent is undeniable. With others, like Ali, not to be shady, but calling him a rapper is like comparing an IG comedian who has never touched a stage to someone who has been up in front of a live audience for years. Do they both do comedy? Yes. However, whether off the cuff or with planned skits, one takes more risks and is far more vulnerable than the other.
So when it comes to Ali, and many of the ones still on this show or kicked off, I honestly feel like the range of their success is probably going to resemble most shows of this ilk. Making it so either they will be big in their genre, like Fantasia and Carrie Underwood, hot for a long time, like Kelly Clarkson, or someone whose talent is recognized, but have a lot of stop and go action, like Jordin Sparks. The kind that eventually may evolve into: Whatever happened to “____?”