The Rap Game is a TV show which premiered on Lifetime on January 1, 2016. Music producer Jermaine Dupri is the executive producer of the show, together with Queen Latifah and Shakim Compere. The show's premise involves Dupri mentoring five aspiring rappers aged 12 to 16. The series portrays budding young artists navigating the highly competitive music industry. The contestants lived together in a house for approximately eight weeks. They undergo a series of challenges designed to test their lyrical skills, stage presence, and overall potential.
Each week, the contestants are ranked based on their performances. Their ultimate goal is to secure a recording contract with Dupri's label, So So Def Recordings. Guest mentors, including prominent figures in the rap and hip-hop industry, appear throughout the show. They typically provide guidance and inspiration to the contestants. Jeezy, Usher, T.I., Snoop Dogg, Ludacris, and Da Brat have appeared on the series.
The Rap Game has generally been praised for its authentic portrayal of the music industry's challenges. The show has also been lauded for providing a platform for young talent to shine while offering viewers a behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to succeed in hip-hop. One of its biggest successes is Latto. Jermaine Dupri recently gave his thoughts on Latto and responded to criticisms that he might have "dropped the ball" with the Atlanta raptress. The legendary producer said that he produced and put out Latto's first song, but she only caught mainstream attention after she changed her image and started making music for an adult audience. Besides Latto, the show has had five seasons and four other winners. Here is a rundown of what they are currently up to.
Latto (Season 1, 2016)
Miss Mulatto changed her stage name to just Mulatto following her win in 2016. She released her first mixtape, MulaMob, later that year. Her 2019 EP, Big Latto, caught the attention of RCA Records, leading to the "Big Energy" rapper securing her first record deal. The project included the single "Bitch From Da Souf," which went viral and was later remixed with features from fellow southern rappers Saweetie and Trina.
In 2020, Latto released her debut studio album, Queen of Da Souf, which charted at No. 44 on the Billboard 200. The project was generally met with positive critical reception. The album included notable tracks like "Muwop" featuring Gucci Mane and "On God." Latto's feature on the remix of Chloe x Halle's "Do It" also received significant airplay. She would stop using the name Mullato after criticism stemming from the derogative origins of the name.
Latto has amassed a billion streams on Spotify thanks to hit singles like "Big Energy," "Bitch From The Souf," and "Muwop." Her new single "Put It On Da Floor," with less than a month on YouTube, currently has 2.2 million views.
Mani Da Don(Season 2, 2016)
Mani wasted no time in capitalizing on his newfound fame after winning the second season of The Rap Game TV show. He founded his own label, Fly City Entertainment, and signed himself. He released his debut single, "You Thought," in 2016. The song showcases his lyrical prowess and upbeat style. The track received media attention and began Mani's journey in the commercial music landscape.
Mani released his official debut album in 2021 called Had a Talk Wit da Streets, And I Forgive You. "Meet da Rubberbandit$ (Ha Ha Ha)" and "Prada Mama" are his most streamed songs on Spotify. The former is his latest single from the South Central L.A. native. "They Know Me" is his most-viewed song on YouTube, with over 600,000 views. Mani has consistently delivered projects since The Rap Game gave him a platform. His latest single, "Brrkn & Heels," released two weeks ago, already has 20,000 views.
Nova (Season 3, 2017)
After winning Season 3 of The Rap Game TV show, Nova released his debut single, "Stay Over," which showcased his lyrical talent and unique rap style. Jermaine Dupri produces the song and features R&B crooner Jacquees. Spotify has listed one official album from the Pennsylvania native called The Quarantine. Nova released the project in 2020. It features songs like "Devastated," "Dream Catcher," and "Tales." Nova's most streamed songs on Spotify include "Look Out Below," "Go Harder," "Stay Over," and "Riding My Wave." All these singles have over 150,000 listens. Nova hasn't uploaded any new music on YouTube since The Quarantine album, but his most popular music video, "Save The Kid," has 1.4 million views.
Steet Bud (Season 4, 2018)
The Season 4 winner of The Rap Game is Street Bud, real name, Sen'Derrick Marks Jr. Steet Bud hails from Atlanta, Georgia. The rapper is the youngest TV show winner at just 13 years. In the wake of his triumph Street Bud released his debut single, "Run My Check Up," in 2018. The single helped the rapper launch his rap career.
Street Bud released his debut album Back 2 the Lab in 2020. The project included standout tracks like "Get It" and "No Cap." In 2020, Street Bud collaborated with popular rapper and mentor Quavo, from the hip-hop trio Migos, on the track "Open House." The song was well-received, further enhancing Street Bud's profile in the industry. "Open House" is currently his most successful single, earning over three million spins on Spotify.
Tyeler Reign (Season 5, 2019)
The fifth season of The Rap Game aired in 2019 and crowned Tyeler Reign as its winner. Tyeler is a rapper from Los Angeles, California. Tyeler's most popular single on Spotify is "I Promise." The song has over 150,000 streams. Her "Petty" lyric video on YouTube has over 230,000 views. Tyeler isn't as active with releasing projects as the other winners. Her official YouTube channel mostly consists of personal life content. Spotify has listed one EP from the rapper, including her popular "I Promise" single.