WE tv wants in on the hip hop hullabaloo — and it’s bankrolling Growing Up Hip Hop to see if it can cash in. Hip hop’s power is hardly new, but it’s major TV penetration is. Lee Daniels’ Empire owned the airwaves in its inaugural season last year and 50 Cent’s Power was even better, by many critics’ lights.
Both these dramas smartly featured cross-generational power and conflict — almost Shakespearean in some cases. And Growing Up Hip Hop will do the same, but in reality TV format. Damon Dash, Rev. Run, and Russell Simmons are just a few of the hip hop icons whose kids are following in their giant footsteps, carving out their own identities. It should be intriguing to watch, for example, young Egypt Criss, daughter of not one but two superstars. (Watch her Twitter followers grow.) Egypt has Pepa of Salt-N-Pepa for a mom and Treach from Naughty by Nature for pops. That’s pedigree, but Pepa isn’t sure the biz is right for Egypt. Egypt will test the waters.