The Great White Hope Makes Good

Ego Trip's The (White) Rapper Show marks its cringe-worthy and triumphant debut

That may explain why Sullee didn't want to "snitch" on his cohorts by dissing them; meanwhile, Dasit, a rapper from Toledo, Ohio, who reminded everyone of Eminem—and who many saw as the most talented rapper there—claims that he purposefully showed up for the first challenge unprepared because he felt that he was compromising himself. (He told website hiphopdx.com that the challenge was "stupid . . . I knew the show would get corny.") But Jenkins has a simpler explanation: "He choked, which surprised everyone. We thought that guy was gonna win. We had no idea he was gonna choke."

Dasit claims that the editing didn't show things as they really happened, which Jenkins agrees with to a point: "Reality TV— it's not a secret that it's a cut-and-paste collage kind of form. I was there. He choked. That's all there is to it. I've talked to him since. He's said he's gotten a great response, and his MySpace is off the chain—more people know who Dasit is than ever. But he told me if he could do it all over again he would have done it differently."

Real rappers also benefited from The (White) Rapper Show's exposure: Underground heroes Brand Nubian and Prince Paul figured prominently, as did a few old-schoolers like Grandmaster Flash. "They don't have access to national exposure," Jenkins says. "This show gives them that. Brand Nubian is a really influential group, but MTV's not trying to put Brand Nubian on TV right now. We put them on TV, and people will know who they are and what they mean to the culture." Nothing cringe-worthy about that.

flylife@villagevoice.com

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