Tuesday, May 21, 2024

BET gives ‘Rap City’ the heave-ho…

October 3, 2008 by  
Filed under Entertainment, News

(Akiit.com) ‘Rap City‘ is no more.

The beat is ending at BET’s “Rap City,” the longrunning video program that finally helped vault hip-hop music into the popular mainstream.

The network confirmed Wednesday it will replace “Rap City” with a new show, “The Deal,” starting Nov. 10.

A farewell episode is planned for “Rap City,” which launched in September 1989. There was speculation yesterday it could run Oct. 29, but a network source said no date has been set.

While “Rap City” has drifted over the last three years, frequently changing hosts and time slots, it remains one of the media pillars on which rap’s current popularity was built.

“‘Rap City’ is a legendary program that has been crucial in creating awareness for hip-hop music videos that were tailored for the core rap fan,” said Ebro Darden, program director of WQHT (97.1 FM).

Hot-97 didn’t switch to a full-time hip-hop format – the first in the country- until four years after “Rap City” went on the air.

The Deal,” which will be hosted by deejay Diamond Kutz, also will be a music show focusing on hip hop. It will be an hour long and continue several themes from “Rap City,” including the popular “Pop-Up Video” segment.

Rap City” was considered a risky notion when it debuted, because hip-hop music was under fire for its “gangsta rap” controversy and there was fear the genre was too angry and harsh to become part of the mainstream.

But “Rap City” and its original host, “The Mayor” Chris Thomas, quickly became one of the network’s most popular shows, and a must-visit destination for popular and aspiring rap artists.

Over the years, almost every major rapper visited “Rap City,” which was considered edgier than its slightly older rival, the late “Yo! MTV Raps.”

In addition to videos, “Rap City” also featured freestyle and guest deejay segments.

Some fans feel the golden age for “Rap City” was 1994-1999, when Joe Clair and Big Lez cohosted.

But the freestyle era brought another boost after Big Tigger took over as host in September 1999 and the show was renamed “Rap City: Tha Basement.” In Tigger’s “freestyle booth,” guest artists would improvise vocals on the set.

Rap City” was created by BET veejay and producer Alvin Jones, also known as “The Unseen VJ.” Jones originally hosted an R&B-flavored BET show, “Video Vibrations,” and “Rap City” was an extension of the “Rap Week” segment there.


Speak Your Mind

Tell us what you're thinking...
and oh, if you want a pic to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!