In The Rap Game episode “Swag Symphony” music producer Jermaine Dupri has arranged to have his five young rappers perform with 60 musicians from the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra (ASO). The orchestra has a long prestigious history. Igor Stravinsky conducted the ASO for two of his works in 1955; Aaron Copland conducted in 1968. The ASO performed at the 1977 inaugural concert for president-elect Jimmy Carter; won four Grammy Awards in 1986 for its recording of Berlioz Requiem, and performed at the opening ceremony of the 1996 Summer Olympics with composer John Williams, among other notable milestones.
To help the kids get ready, to teach them how to use their voices as instruments, Dupri brings in celebrity drummer Tony Royster Jr. He used to be Jay-Z’s drummer (see video below), and now he’s on tour with Katy Perry’s Witness: The Tour; Sep 2017-August 2018. Rehearsals with the kids don’t go well. Based on the clip below, they’re not ready. “Everyone is struggling,” says Street Bud’s mom. Royster warns the kids, “Stay out of your head.” Dupri says worriedly, “If one kid messes up, a domino effect is gonna happen.” That said, Dupri begs the kids, “Please don’t mess up!” The Rap Game airs Fridays at 10pm on Lifetime.