Now That Gucci Mane And Waka Flocka Flame Have One, Can Anyone Get A Reality TV Show?
Last week—just one week after telling a judge he wasn’t mentally fit to defend himself in a court of law and checking himself into a mental institution—Gooch set Twitter and Facebook pages ablaze with the news he’d taken himself to a tattoo parlor in Atlanta to get a ice cream cone (with three scoops!) tatted on the side of his face. “It’s a reminder to fans of how he chooses to live his life,” a spokeswoman for Gucci revealed shortly after his tattoo artist posted a photo of the rapper online. “Cool as ice. As in, ‘I’m so icy, I’ll make ya say, Brr.’”
The week before that, Waka Flocka found himself heating up the Web as well when he turned himself in to police in Georgia to respond to drug charges filed against him in mid-December after his home was raided and police allegedly found guns and drugs inside. Though he was eventually freed, Waka spent a night in jail and will have to answer to the charges in court sometime in the near future.
But the latest piece of news involving the two rappers might just be the most troubling. According to Gucci, the pair are set to star in an as-yet-untitled reality TV show sometime in the near future which will follow them in an attempt to showcase who they are when they’re not in the limelight. “We show everyday life, what we get into in studio and at our shows,” Gucci said late last week. “We just ordinary people with a crazy rock ‘n roll lifestyle. Because of the music we make, people think that’s what we do all the time, but we got a real family life…We do a lot of things for the community and we love each other.”
And this leaves us with two very important questions: Can anyone get their own reality show these days? And what does it say about today’s world when Gucci and Waka are up for one?
On the one hand, the show Gucci describes actually sound relatively interesting. Thanks to the legal issues Gooch has faced and the criticism Waka has received during his first year as a legitimate rap superstar, a look at their everyday lives could do a lot to help rap fans understand what goes into leading the life of a rapper. Putting their lives out there for the world to see would help tear down the curtain that exists between the rappers and consumers and would also allow them to show the world who they are rather than simply allowing the rap blogs to do it for them.
However, we can’t help but think this is not what a reality show about Gucci Mane and Waka Flocka is going to end up being. Delivering turkeys to the less fortunate at Thanksgiving and presents to needy kids at Christmas is nice, but that’s not what powers successful reality TV shows. Behind-the-scenes shots from live performances are cool, but they’re better suited for the bonus DVDs that come packaged with new CDs and mixtapes. And while we don’t doubt Gucci and Waka encounter some, er, “interesting” moments during their day-to-day lives, clips of them sitting around the studio making music isn’t going to inspire a network executive to pick up their show.
So, what will we be left with? If Gucci and Waka want a successful show, their show will need internal strife between the two, problems with concert promoters, more ridiculous trips to the tattoo parlor, gaggles of groupies and a bunch of other scandalous stuff that’ll have the Internet going nuts but won’t do much to help either of them shed the image they’re hoping to shed by doing a reality show in the first place. If it’s Trending Topics and Facebook statuses they’re going after, they’ll need to do more than just show us a different side of themselves. They’ll need to play up the preconceived notions people already have and essentially turn themselves into laughingstocks for the sake of decent ratings.
All of that is to say this: Gucci Mane and Waka Flocka don’t need a reality show. In fact, just about any rapper who says they want to do a reality show from now on needs to reconsider and think about what reality shows are really all about. Rappers claim to be real, but they go onto these shows and basically sell themselves short for a little extra shine. We can’t hate on them for doing it, but ideas like this Gucci/Waka show are a poor sign of the times we’re going through right now. Everyone wants to be a celebrity—and if they’re already a celebrity, they want to be an even bigger celebrity—and they’re turning to reality TV in order to try and obtain it.
We’re just as guilty as the next site of tuning in to reality TV—Jersey Shore! Basketball Wives! What Chilli Wants!—but we also realize that, at some point, enough needs to be enough. We seriously hope Gucci and Waka reconsider their decision to do a show. Because this is one headline we definitely don’t think they need right now.