Next month MTV2 will debut Hip-Hop Squares, a rap-centric takeoff on the “tic-tac-toe with trivia and celebrities” game show Hollywood Squares. (The non-genre-specific version of the show aired its last episode in 2004.) The show will be hosted by Hot 97’s Peter Rosenberg, and MTV has announced a few of the participants already—Nick Cannon, Fat Joe, Biz Markie, and Machine Gun Kelly—but has yet to make public who will be in the center square, which serves as the linchpin of the board and, more importantly, the comedic linchpin of the show. Sure, the reboot is allegedly going to be “more party than game show,” and dude-centric-programming perennial Bam Margera is somehow involved. But the tradition of the center square, as established by the ever-acerbic Paul Lynde, is still hallowed, and given its strategic importance in the game it will probably have to be staffed by someone loaded with riffs. (Unless MTV2 goes all crazy on us and turns the “square” into, I don’t know, a trapezoid. Hey, it could happen!) Three suggestions for that hallowed spot—and one plea to not use someone who’s probably in negotiations with MTV as we speak—below.
MTV has announced him as someone who will “appear on the show,” leading me to believe that he might be the big center-square reveal just before the show’s debut. Which makes sense: His lyrical flexibility will allow him to riff on just about any topic the trivia overlords throw his way. And just imagine the possibilities for a Very Special Episode in which the entire Wu-Tang Clan tries to fit into the center square’s small space!
Because watching the contestants figure out whether they agreed or disagreed with his spaced-out aphorisms would be worth the half-hour on its own.
And the one who shouldn’t…
Sure, he’s America’s favorite rapper/reality-TV star/pot-smoker/pitchman/punchline and has been for nearly a decade, but he’s been so overexposed, especially in these last couple of years, that any joke he told would have its humor factor ruined because it already appeared in a TMZ item from 2009 or so. C’mon, MTV, show some originality! It’ll help make up for the fact that you used the term “malennials” while touting the overserved “young dudes” demographic that you hope to snag with this show.