Between freestyles and battles, The New School, Netflix’s telethon for rap


“You give him 100 thousand. », rapper Shay asks fellow Niska, referring to the young man who just rapped in front of her. In a tight dress, sitting between Marseilles SCH and Paris Niska, the Belgian artist thinks aloud when it comes to choosing. Shay is a judge on the Netflix series Strip Dancer, New school. “100k” is €100,000, an amount that will be won by one of the twenty-five contestants in this rap-only telenert. “Hollywood Budget”, my SCH.

This is not the first time that rap actors participate in this kind of show “Find a new nugget.” Former record company bosses have already served as sworn members, such as Benjamin ChulvanijusPop stars », on the M6 ​​road in 2007 JoeyStarr paralyzes young people on a similar show to France O, Talent Street, in 2015 However, this is the first time that the established and hackneyed format of telecrochet has been completely devoted to rap.

From the second episode, Netflix bypasses the first difficulty (understanding the freestyle texts) and systematically subtitles all the candidates. The three jurors, real stars representing the French-speaking Poles of rap (Paris, Marseille and Brussels), got into the game perfectly.

A difficult test

SCH, which almost everyone calls “S”, is very educational. Niska uses her crazy energy to calm down her fellow students, while Shay, a self-proclaimed “Pretty Bitch,” adds just the right amount of spice to keep it from being boring. They’re looking for young rappers, “set” (read “determined”), as they say, who will know how to overcome their stress, must “view”, because, says Niska, “It’s not enough to rap well anymore.”

In the first two episodes, the judges listen to each candidate in their town, who come to read texts against them and their friends. It is difficult, especially when Marseille is surrounded by other local stars: Jul, Soso Maness, L’Algérino, first of all at the Stade-Vélodrome, in a luxury villa or with the manager of the Soprano.

Niska remains in Evry, surrounded by her friends. A difficult test for the young candidate Leys (22), who does not break down. Niska warns: “You know, it’s hard for a rapper, it’s a shark environment, very masculine” – but chooses her anyway. In Brussels, Shay says she wants to go up [son] an army of beautiful warriors”.

Also listen Is rap music listened to in France?

The concept can quickly turn on its wheels, but the competing young rappers save the program with their freshness, their fury to win these famous “100 thousand. STLR, 25, return does not arise at all “to drag pallets, to carry boxes of tomatoes”. It is not shot as 8 miles (2002), Curtis Hanson’s film about American rapper Eminem, but the theme remains the same.

New school, series produced by Black Dynamite (Mon, 2022, 8 × 40 min.). Series 1-4 on 9 June, 5-7 on 16 June and the final on 23 June.

Hubert Gildon

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