This is Hot 97 Recap: Worth the Watch?
Everyone’s on a reality show these days – from wannabees to top-notch talent and fallen stars, so it was only a matter of time before New York’s original Hip-Hop & R&B station Hot 97 signed on to do one as well.
The first episode starts off with Old Man Ebro, the station’s program director, walking in to a meeting with a camera crew and announcing that he’s signed the group up to be on a VH1 reality show. It’s not clear whether this is staged or not since a) the crew seems “TV shocked” – some of them object no one seems genuinely pissed; and b) They may not strut around in designer duds and drag queen makeup but everyone appears pretty camera ready for a group that has no idea they’re about to be taped.
Ebro sells This is Hot 97 as not your typical reality show, but rather an “unscripted comedy” – which seems like a great angle. There are no forced fights or sexual tension among co-workers/friends as we usually see on a reality show, but despite lacking these “winning” reality show elements the workplace camaraderie with friendly peer competition is enough to make the show entertaining.
What are these mini “competitions”? Hot 97 veterans Angie Martinez and Funk Master Flex compete to see who’s more popular in the digital era. While Angie counts more Twitter followers, Flex stays ever present on the social media scene with the help of a few nameless interns. Hot 97’s Hip-Hop journalist Miss Info believes she’ll be more of a breakout star on the show than Morning Show duo Cipha Sounds and Rosenberg, while the latter seem to be exaggerating their personalities for the cameras.
Yes there are celebrity appearances and a bit of bragging about each star’s achievements but this is to be expected at one of the nation’s top radio stations. So far it looks like we’ll see lots of the behind the scenes playful banter but there are no signs of real rivalries or insecure women chatting behind each other’s backs. In this regard, This is Hot 97 is comparable to Keeping up with the Kardashians overemphasizing some of the personalities and situations but generally still keeping it real.