The top 30 contestants from auditions in four major cities will compete in competition for this second round of episodes of Rhythm and Flow. After rounds of cyphers, rap battles, and music video productions, these artists will have the opportunity to showcase their unique talents to the judges. The winner of this competition will be performing on Spotify’s RapCaviar playlist, and of course will be awarded 250 thousand dollars, with no strings attached.
With the coaching of rapper King Los Freestyle, the 30 contestants work in cypher groups to write their verses, receive critique, and prepare for a performance for the three judges, all within 24 hours. The ancient hip-hop cypher formula includes a setup, metaphor, and punchline, so the artists need to execute stellar lyrics, flow, delivery, connectivity and conviction. The pressure is on to impress the judges because half of the competition will be sent home…
A few cypher groups really dropped the ball overall, getting nervous and forgetting lyrics, while others stood out from the rest, delivering from top to bottom with exceptional bars and flow. These artists were hungry for sure, vibing off each other’s energy and clever lyrics to push them all to their best abilities. They utilized each other to keep the competitive and creative juices flowing.
All the talented artists on this show have already proven they’ve got something going for them and they won’t just stop after this, so even the ones being sent home will still be on our radar. Our boy 2’Live Bre went back home to Nashville, TN, where he’s a student at TSU, and the marching band featured his track “Bounce That Booty Like A Trampoline” during their halftime show, some awesome hype to come home to.
And then there were 16… The remaining contestants were paired up in two’s for an intense, cut-throat rap battle. Each one is fighting here to send their component home, so once again only half the contestants will continue to the next challenge.
Troyman, Jakob Campbell, Flawless Real Talk, D Smoke, Ali Tomineek, King Vibe, Beanz, Inglewood IV, Big’Mouf Bo, Caleb Colossus, Londynn B, Old Man Saxon, Felisha George, Rae Khalil, Sam Be Yourself, Ariyon all rapped tooth and nail to keep their spots in the competition.
The rap battlefield was a complete bloodbath. Everyone was straight savage. The most legendary moments were:
- Londynn B and Inglewood IV bet their chain to the winner. Londynn B flubbed a bar, but hopped back in quick and finished strong. Inglewood IV seriously almost took the Victory, but fell out at the last minute and graciously put his chain around Londynn B’s neck before the judges even made their decision. It was honorable.
- Big’Mouf Bo and Rae Khalil, two female artists with polar opposite vibes, proved to be an entertaining battle. Rae’s verse was soulful, unique, and fire, but Bo’s aggressive, competitive side went wild in Rae’s face.
- Beans and Flawless Real Talk both slayed. Beans dropped a line at the end, “Today’s his daughter’s birthday, so I’m sending daddy home.” But Flawless fought even harder for this spot and spewed out, “Hold up, I’m Puerto Rican, I’ve been eating beans my whole life” and ultimately sent Beans home…
- D Smoke announced in espanol, “It’s gonna be a massacre tonight.” And boy was it. Old Man Saxon and D Smoke have both been at the top in their respective categories the entire competition. While Old Man Saxon was incredibly entertaining and witty, as always, D Smoke took the win. He’s just got it all: humility, lyrical prowess, artistry, vision, Spanish flair, and maturity. D Smoke spoke up for his battle partner to share what a stand up dude Old Man Saxon is, and it was really cool to see their bond and mutual respect.
The final 8 contestants were randomly paired with notable producers (G-Dav, Denaro Love, and Off-The-Wall) to record an original song and then sent home to film a music video in their respective cities. In the studio King Los returned to coach the artists on their lyrics and delivery. Through the videos we got to see what it was like growing up in the “hoods” of each of their cities, versus staying out of trouble growing up in the church or spending leisure time at nostalgic roller rinks. Everyone was creative in regards to expressing their stories through their music and visuals, but unfortunately two of them were sent home after this challenge.
- Troyman brought everyone back to the nostalgic Atlanta Cascade roller rink for his music video “Again.” His brothers and his crew turned up in the video to show everything that Troyman is all about! The song bumps, and the video is super fun.
- Caleb Colossus grew up in a church, so his faith in God is super important to him and his music. He incorporated Michelangelo’s “David” in music video and song “Michelangelo.” The video was raw and artistic, cool aspects like the people “statues” saying the lyrics, and the hook is tight.
- Big’Mouf Bo brought everyone to hood Chicago for her visual “Capitol Hill.” Everyone in the video is her blood relatives, and it was filmed outside her granny’s house where she grew up. Overall this project didn’t wow the judges.
- D Smoke slayed as always with an important message to say. “Let Migo” is a song about police brutality and he executed the entire project very well. He was excited to work with such a young, talented producer as Denaro Love. They vibed, ate some chips, played around with some ideas, D Smoke tickled the ivories, and let Denaro get his hands dirty to make the track bang.
- Ali Tomineek had a fairly boring music video for his song “Right Now,” but the song itself I really liked. He brought all his friends to Arizona Studios to create a music video showing people that the realm and chaos of Hollywood is not necessarily him, but he’s still always going to be true to himself and what he stands for. He didn’t do the greatest job portraying this idea, but he’s still a talented artist that I’m sure we’ll be seeing around.
- Flawless Real Talk stepped up to the plate to represent his city Providence, RI. Recording “Trouble” was his first time collaborating in the studio, so he learned a valuable lesson of giving up control to create magic. This song is about his arrival. In the video he trained in a boxing ring to show his competitive nature and he literally stepped up to claim a crown in the video to represent this.
- Sam Be Yourself took a more theatrical approach to his music video for “My Whole Life.” He could go back home to a regular job, but that’s not what he’s trying to do, so he implements a narrative of quitting his job to chase his dreams at the beginning of the video. This project proved to everyone his versatility as an artist and what he’s capable of. The concept, dialogue, personality, and narrative was cool, but overall was less strong in comparison to the rest of his competition
- Londynn B’s “I Can’t Change” took the audience through the things that she’s been through. She says, “I can’t change what I’ve been through, but I can change where I’m going.” The song and video speaks struggle but with aspiration, presenting it with flavor that didn’t feel forced. Basically this video and song just further proved that Londynn B is a boss bitch.
A cliff-hanger at the end of this round of episodes keeps the audience at home on their toes waiting to find out who gets sent home and who moves forward to the finale!