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Snoop Dogg advocates for reality competition to find next rap star; can he succeed?

May 18, 2011 |  8:00 am


If Snoop Dogg had his way, the talent-based reality brand would get a little more ... 'hood.

With “American Idol” a few weeks from crowning its winner, “The Voice” heating up in ratings, the American version of “The X Factor” finally naming its judges and Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony hoping to break ground with their recently announced multilingual Latin music show, “Q’Viva! The Chosen," the rapper is hoping to he can throw his hat into the already oversaturated ring.

Snoop has announced he wants to produce an “American Idol”-esque competition to find the next hip-hop star, according to British newspaper the Guardian. The rapper said the competition would be “straight directed to the 'hood … at people with no money, just talent. I'm looking for a deal from a network to find the nation's hottest 'hood artists.”

Rap hasn’t had much presence when it comes to reality competitions, despite it's continued hold on the charts and radio, and it raises the question of whether Americans are ready to embrace a talent competition that's not about hitting soaring vocals?

VH1 tried (very unsuccessfully) twice, with “Ego Trip's Miss Rap Supreme” and “The (White) Rapper Show.”

MTV took the “Dancing With The Stars” approach when it paired celebs with rap star mentors for “Celebrity Rap Superstar,” and don't forget MTV's late-'90s competition “The Cut,” where aspiring pop stars, rappers and rock bands competed against one another. The show was hosted by the late Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes. In a sad twist of irony, her death prompted the members of her group TLC to search for a temporary rapper to add a verse on a song on their competition, “R U the Girl.”

Last year on Britain's “X Factor,” finalist Cher Lloyd got plenty of attention by tackling an R&B remix of Soulja Boy’s “Turn My Swag On” for her audition. Before placing fourth, she also covered Jay-Z, Missy Elliott, Mike Posner, B.o.B and injected rap into Coldplay’s “Viva La Vida.”

If Snoop does get a rap-based reality show, who should the judges be? What challenges should the contestants go through? And what should the ultimate prize be?


Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony team up with 'Idol's' Simon Fuller for new show

'The Voice' sings with a unique strain

Despite industry perils, Simon Cowell to offer 'X Factor' winner $5-million deal

-- Gerrick D. Kennedy

Photo: Snoop Dogg performs in Sydney, Australia, on April 8. Credit: Mark Metcalfe /Getty Images