Circle Takes The Square: Casting The H-Town Version of Hip Hop Squares
News broke last week that MTV2, MTV's sister network nominally dedicated to actual music, is reviving the classic Hollywood Squares format as Hip Hop Squares, an over-the-top tic-tac-toe game featuring urban personalities including actor/comedian Nick Cannon; record producer DJ Khaled; rappers Fat Joe, Biz Markie and Ghostface Killah; and, uh, Bam Margera.
Why this is happening is pretty much anybody's guess, but hey, we'll be tuning in. The prospect of Ghostface giving answers to trivial true-or-false questions to be considered by youth-demographic contestants is a pretty irresistible draw.
Presumably, the lineup of stars will rotate, but so far no Houston artists have been announced. That's a shame, really, because our city boasts a pretty deep roster of engaging rap personalities capable of putting on one hell of a weird show.
Hip-hop fans have never turned their noses up at a knock-off of a knock-off, and one can't help but think that a chopped and screwed version of the show (H-Town Squares?) could quickly become required viewing on one local network or another. At my house, anyway.
Because, at heart, we're silly dreamers, Rocks Off has wasted the brain power necessary to come up with the ideal cast for a prospective H-Town Squares. Advanced warning, though: If this idea takes off, we're going to demand at least an executive-producer credit.
Center Square -- Chingo Bling: The center square is the glue that holds every episode of Hollywood Squares together. As even the stupidest five-year-old can tell you, that all-important center spot is the most valuable real estate in tic-tac-toe, and it's typically the first square chosen by your savvier game-show contestants.
That's why you need somebody with a quick wit and ineffable charm who never gets tired of talking manning the top spot. And who better than the Tamale Kingpin? Making people laugh has always been a big part of what Chingo does, and Lord knows he's never shied away from controversy. The Ghetto Vaquero is the only choice that makes sense.
Bottom Left Square -- Bushwick Bill: Any good episode of Hollywood Squares needs a wildcard, and there are none wilder than Houston's smallest rap icon. Bushwick has been a born-again Christian since 2006, but that probably shouldn't deter My20 or any other station desperate enough to air this program from installing metal detectors at the set's entrances. No firearms are to be in this Geto Boy's possession. A sawn-off baseball bat, maybe, if he shows up on time for rehearsals.
In order to ensure that we're getting Bill's optimum performance, though, corporate drug-testing policies are probably going to be a no-go. A few insurance papers may have to be forged.
Top Right Square -- Kirko Bangz: The original show wasn't called "Hollywood" Squares for nothing -- this production is supposed to have star power. There might not be a bigger rising star in H-Town at the moment than Kirko Bangz. Hell, one of the stars of MTV's Hip Hop Squares, Fat Joe, even tabbed Kirk for his latest joint, the "Another Round" remix that also features the likes of Mary J. Blige and Chris Brown. "Drank in My Cup" was that big.
Besides, we've got to have somebody to get the ladies interested in watching. Mr. Bangz is one of the few local rap stars who isn't painful to look at in HD.