The Rap Game UK Ep5: The Finish Line is on the Horizon

Initially when Unknown Smooth was sent home in Ep3, we thought that it would be a continuing theme throughout the series and actually there would only be two artists left in the Final. Well, it turns out that Unknown Smooth’s exit was an anomaly. The Final will see the remaining 6 rappers go head to head to earn the contract with Krept & Konan’s Play Dirty record label.

This episode saw the rappers take their songs, that they created with Jae5, to the next level by accompanying them with a music video. First though, the rappers were put in front of some of the scenes biggest media influences. From one of the biggest UK music reaction pair, Denz and Renz, who boast a subscriber count of over 100,000 subscriber on Youtube to the ever so popular Harry Pinero would put their thoughts out there about the rappers. All of the contestants were put in a small room, away from the influencers, where they were would get a chance to eavesdrop on what the influencers had to say about them. Then one by one, the contestants would go to perform for the influencers for a chance to change a negative opinion they may have had or solidifying a positive one.

All of the rappers flourished in the Challenge with fluffing bars or messing up now being a thing of the past. Chade, who struggled initially with performing, has come on leaps and bounds with now being able to perform in front of a group of people with confidence. Kico was liked by the group with Harry Pinero stating his performance actually gave him goosebumps. J Lucia impressed with the influencers stating that the vibe he was going for is a very listener friendly approach. Lady Ice confused the influencers with them not really knowing the genre or sound she was going for. They found Ransom very likeable but were thrown off when FOS decided to go down the singing route instead of sticking his usual Grime flow that they expected. The power of social media when coming up as an artist is second to none as it allows the fans to engage with their favourite artist and keep up to date with their music. Furthermore, it is always avenue for feedback that new artists in particular need to embrace to better themselves.

Now it was time for the artists to create the music videos to their tracks. Their songs theme was focused on their hometown so the contestants were told to be as creative as they could in representing exactly that in their music video. All contestants were sent back home with some of the scenes top videographers on hand to help them put their vision across. Chade was paired up with Flash Johnson, who has worked for the likes of Trey Songz, Shaggy and Krept & Konan themselves. Using his friend’s house to create a visually appealing music video that showed confidence in his ability but lacked much of a representation for his hometown. Credit must be given to Chade though as when he made it back to London, he found out that he had actually been let go from the hostel he was staying in. Regardless of this, he still managed to pull through and get the job done. Kico was paired up with legendary videographer, Risky Roadz who has been creating iconic content for the scene since the beginning. Kico’s vision was a creative and reflective video that looked back on the troubles of growing up his area. FOS was assisted by Ray Fiasco and although FOS appears to literally hate his hometown of Scunthorpe, he managed to use his surroundings and a good setting to create a visually imaginative and creative video. Lady Ice teamed up with Lolly and they used the centre of Manchester to her advantage by taking a bus through the city centre to showcase her love for the city. Ransom went back to Aberdeen with the help of Kevin Hudson whose worked with Wretch 32 and Avelino and representing his town through the use of Aberdeen F.C. football ground as a backdrop. J Lucia arguably had one of the most awkward and trickiest tasks. With the help of videographer Frost, they needed to try and turn Southend into St Lucia. Living in Southend, J Lucia focused his song on his birthplace and where he was raised, St Lucia. Using the editing and the beach to his advantage to create a Caribbean vibe video that would have anyone fooled.

Following on from the music video’s being created, each contestant was then put in front of their finished video. They recieved feedback from the judges but also opinions and feedback from one of the biggest directors in the game, Matt Walker. Matt has worked and directed for the likes of Stormzy and Skepta on his recent video for “Greaze Mode”.

Everyone but Kico was pleased the final edit of their music video. Kico was left fuming thinking that this would put him down in the rankings. It turned out that the judges actually liked the creative vision as no one had really given a backing story in their video. The rankings saw FOS gain #1 spot this week as he able to win the influencers over but also managing to create a very visually creative video. The second spot went to both Chade and J Lucia who were able to impress the influencers and Chade’s ability to become more confident has helped along with J Lucia’s ability to create a video with the toughest settings. Kico came third with his creative visuals but also, arguably, the most impressive performance for the influencers. Ransom followed, although he was not pleased, due to his generic feel to the video. Lady Ice fell into last place with the influencers not feeling sure on her genre but also, the judges feeling that her video could maybe be more expansive in terms of visuals and representation of the city.

Following on from this, the group are now in the final stretch of the competition. Next week, they will feature on Kenny Allstar’s radio show on BBC Radio 1Xtra to do a performance. The group will be put to the test even more by Krept & Konan and DJ Target so they can decide which rapper they will be signing.

Watch the latest episode of The Rap Game UK on the BBC iPlayer.

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