In this new UPN reality series, rapper/producer Missy Elliott leads 13 (now 12) wannabe artists down the road to stardom. I'm still skeptical about the "talent" that they found, but after seeing their first challenge for the judges, I see about five of the wannabes who really seem to have a chance at stardom.
Heather - Thankfully, they did eliminate the right person tonight. Heather is a white female rapper, who stated that by being a "white female rapper," she had to "show her game." Her rapping and her overall persona didn't add up. If she's 22 years old, and she started to get into Hip-Hop around the age of 14 (the same year as the release of Jay-Z's debut album, in 1996), how is it possible that you not know a rhyme from Reasonable Doubt, the first album by Jay-Z? Her persona as a rapper just seemed very fake.
Nic - In my opinion, Nic isn't really all that great of a rapper. For starters, his ego is way too big and he's way too cocky to be successful. To me, in order to be a success in a business like the music industry, you must be grounded. Nic doesn't show that to me, and apparently he doesn't show that to Missy, the other contestants, or the judges. He, in all actuality, should've been in the bottom two.
Jessica - Jessica, to me, is like the next Mary J. Blige. She is in my opinion, the best female singer in the competition. She looks like a thug or a gangsta, but when she opens her mouth you just don't believe what is coming out. Jessica has a voice that doesn't really fit her look, but we'll worry about looks later. Right now, she has the hottest female vocals among the finalists.
Deltrice - Deltrice just has a set of very weak vocals. When she does try to hit those notes that normally sound wonderful when coming from a Beyoncé or an Alicia Keys, that just doesn't come across. As her sound emerges, her vocals don't come along with it. That's something that she really needs to work on if she wants to stay in the contest.
Cori - Cori is like the next Britney Spears. Her stage presence makes you almost forget or overlook the fact that she's not a really good singer. But, in a competition like this, vocals are key. Yet, then again, it all depends on what Missy's looking for. If she wants a performer, Cori's her girl.
Eddie - Eddie to me is the best rapper among the finalists. Unlike Heather, what and how he raps is believable and it fits his persona. He doesn't come off at all as non-talented or fake. He's a true rapper who deserves his props.
Nilyne - Nilyne has the almost-perfect "diva look", and she's an almost-perfect singer. I don't think that for perfectionist such as Missy Elliott, that only "almost-perfect" will cut it. If she wants to keep her spot on the bus, she'll definitely need to step up.
Akil - What I like about Akil just a bit more than I do the other finalists is that he's the most diverse artist in the bunch. He can sing, rap, write, and play the guitar. He's more like Missy Elliott than any of the others because of his diversity. Not only is he a singer, rapper, & guitarist, but he does all of them well.
Marcus - Marcus is, in basic terms, a flawless vocalist. He has that soul of Ruben Studdard and Luther Vandross, and he's also believable. Marcus is definitely my favorite because I can relate to him more than I can the others, having the kind of singing style that he has. He's a real singer, and every word that he sang for the judges, I truly believed them.
Frank B - Frank B's rapping simply possesses no rhythm at all. He doesn't show any flow when he raps, and anyone who knows rap music knows that flow is one of the key ingredients. Frank has the voice of a rapper, but he definitely needs to work on and improve his flow.
Yelawolf - Yelawolf is another "ok" performer. His lyrics are "ok", his style of rapping is "ok", and his flow & rhythm are "ok". Being "ok" isn't "ok" in my opinion.
Melissa - Melissa, in comparison, has a vocal style like Jessica Simpson, which is definitely a good thing. I love her adult contemporary style, but this contest looks more like an R&B/Hip-Hop competition. Melissa really needs to work on her nervousness. Aside from that, Melissa really should've tried out for 'American Idol'. Even with those powerhouse pipes that Jessica Simpson possesses, not even she would last in a contest that specifically pinpoints a more urban genre of music.
Matthew - As one of the contestants did point out, Matthew does strike you at first look & listen as a Justin Timberlake. His singing is alright, but he needs to sing from the soul.
I'm not feeling that soul from any of the singers, with the exception of Marcus & Jessica. He has a wonderful voice, but he just needs to let go of the fright and just let his voice shine through. Matthew definitely has a shot at winning.
I think that each of the performers had something to offer, and the right person was axed from the competition. I don't know what the Hip-Hop world would've done if Heather had gotten a chance to get her big break with Missy. Not only that, Missy's reputation would've been ruined. All of the performers have something to work on, but if the judges see that "something" in them, they could each have a shot at winning.
Aired: January 5, 2005
Written: January 5, 2005
Original Post Date: January 6, 2005