On Tuesdays at 11pm, tune in to the show that will remind you you’re living in the craziest century yet: HIP HOP SQUARES. Yes, that’s right. A spin on the once popular Hollywood Squares. You remember that show, right? It’s essentially tic-tac-toe (literal worst game ever) except in this version there’s a celebrity in each square. The celebrities get asked trivia questions and they can either give the right or wrong answer. The contestants must correctly agree or disagree with the celebrities in order to get the square.
Hip Hop Squares is ridiculous. It takes that concept and inserts hip hop stars (plus Vinny from The Jersey Shore) into the squares.
I was so taken aback when I saw this for the first time. Now I am more confused about the world than ever before. See, I had a pretty specific understanding of rap/hip-hop culture before watching this show. While the whole rap aesthetic has become crazy popular, I always understood it as still sitting on the margins of the mainstream. Well, specifically, it bothers me somewhat that Method Man takes centre square. Method Man?! He’s the equivalent to Whoopi Goldberg?!?! It’s so strange to me that rap culture—something that used to be so antiestablishment and oppositional—has become appropriated by this weird commercial game show culture.
So, my first thought was “man, Method Man is such a sell out”, but then I remembered that this happened: http://www.complex.com/music/
Method Man raps in a Sour Patch Kids commercial.
What the fuck, Method Man? I especially love how there’s a warning before the commercial saying “May contain content inappropriate for children”. In a kids’ candy commercial.
In addition to fogging up my happy memories of listening to Wu Tang, the show features another 90s hip-hop star who shouldn’t ever show his face on TV again: Biz Markie. He is a FUCKING WHALE. Have you guys seen Biz Markie lately? I mean I know he was always fat and strange, but now he’s fatter and stranger. And all of these rap stars are basically equated with Vinny from The Jersey Shore, who, obviously, is the hero of our generation. This is all so pathetic!
I guess there’s not much point to this except to say that I miss the days when people who opposed “the system” remained outside of it. I guess it’s just a case of classic cultural appropriation. The mainstream will eat up anything that stands in its way.
Am I a hipster jackass for being upset by this? Probably. But if pointing out the absurdity of contemporary Western culture is wrong, I don’t want to be right.