‘This Is Hot 97′ Season 1, Episode 1 Recap: Panties Stay On, Kanye West Shows Up
'This Is Hot 97,' VH1’s inside look at New York’s legendary hip-hop radio station, debuted Monday (March 24) online, days before its original TV airing. Does the show impress? Is it full of drama and ratchet activities? Let’s jump on it.
Things kick off with head honcho, Ebro, Hot 97's program director, who surprises the staff -- Angie Martinez, Cipha Sounds, Peter Rosenberg, Laura Stylez, Miss Info, and Funkmaster Flex -- when he strolls into a meeting with cameras in tow. They're seemingly annoyed they weren't given prior notice. Hair and makeup? Will this be a trashy reality show? We’re lead to believe that no one knew the show was even happening and that everyone is surprised. That's TV for you.
All this is going on while Cipha Sounds is sitting at the head of the table clutching Ritz crackers like it’s the first day after Lent. Miss Info’s reaction to being told the show is for VH1 is the first one-liner of the night and let’s us all know that the Hot 97 ladies are classing the joint up all the way, “I’m wearing panties all the time,” she explains.
As the meeting turns into a brainstorming session of how to make the show great, names for top interviews are thrown in the gauntlet: Justin Timberlake, Rihanna, Drake and Jay-Z. When it’s implied that Angie should ask Hov to make an appearance because she’s known him the longest, the eye rolls begin. “I don’t make him to do stupid things like this,” she says, insisting that is one of the reasons they are good friends. Seriously, Angie is the blueprint.
Cut to Peter Rosenberg and Cipha Sounds. The dynamic duo plan to hijack the show. Thank God for Miss Info though, she walks in on their scheme and calls them the “rap Teletubbies." Rosenberg even calls her the "Perez Hilton of Hip-Hop," one of the more offensive things you can say to a co-worker. Before Miss Info leaves, she basically sums up Cipha and Rosenberg by telling the camera crew that “watching them is like sniffing glue.” How can you not love her?
Now we get to Funkmaster Flex, who's hanging around the office hallway. Can you imagine working with Flex hanging over your cubicle? Bombs dropping and echoes of "you're finished" will be heard non-stop. Anyway, Angie shows up with the cameras, to which Flex is surprised, but the radio veteran shares that if he’d been at the meeting he would know what’s up. Well, Flex shares with us that he holds himself to a certain level of expertise and doesn’t go to meetings. Angie ends up schooling him when she says she has 200,000 more Twitter followers than him. After she leaves, Flex asks someone at a desk, “What are you looking at?” It’s like watching from the eyes of an intern.
Later on, Alex Cameron, Ebro’s boss, seems pretty annoyed that she didn’t even know the show was happening. Believable? We'll let you be the judge. According to her, the show has to be “f----ing amazing” and they need to get Drake, Jay Z and Rihanna to make appearances -- you know, because those are the only urban artists that exist. “This show cannot be bad,” she demands. We hear you, Alex.
The cameras now group what is most likely the trinity that is an intern’s nightmare: Funkmaster Flex, Cipha Sounds and Peter Rosenberg in one room. These guys are jewels, seriously. There’s a discussion about turntables and how holy they are only behind mom and “wifey.” Thankfully, this dies super fast and we move on to the first celebrity appearance: Maino, who's supported by his entourage. The Brooklyn, N.Y., rapper has a brief exchange with Ebro about how to up the show's ratings, which involves two girls in leather cat suits fighting over him. This segment is the opposite of deliverance.
We finally get a glimpse of Laura Stylez when the "rap Teletubbies" begin to haze her because she’s new to the morning show. We find out she loves Indian and Mexican food, leading Cipha to throw out a hilarious response. "Hates America," he announces as he takes notes on a piece of paper. The guys end up leaving the room, and it's apparent they have a very short attention span. How does she deal with them before the sun even rises?
Macklemore is the second celebrity cameo of the premiere episode. What? They couldn’t get Kendrick Lamar? The hip-hop think pieces are going to flood our Twitter timeline next week. There’s a scripted schtick going on about Ebro asking Macklemore about ideas of big stars who can help out the new reality show and mention of his Best Rap Album Grammy.
Finally, more Angie Martinez. The new motto: Angie time is the best time. Cipha and Rosenberg bring the camera to Angie’s studio to interview her about all “the rappers you’ve dated that have come through here.” Swift Angie reaction: “Why would you say that? You’re done. Please go, you’re done. You’re done in here.” She then instructs the cameras to stay with her. Did we mention this is all happening as she’s getting a manicure? Cuticles and "rap Teletubbies," be gone!
The third and final celebrity appearance is Kanye West. What does he talk about? Fashion. My man really is not about this hip-hop thing anymore, huh? Now get this. We watch Ebro try to get the MC on the show while we’re watching the show. This is so confusing. Kanye says, “I don’t do television.” Oh, so, 'This Is Hot 97' isn’t so much a reality show as it is a giant sketch. We can get with this as long as we get more Angie Martinez.
With not many questions left to ponder, this wraps up Episode 1 of 'This Is Hot 97.' The rest of the season is set to feature appearances from Mack Wilds, Rick Ross, Mike Tyson and even a Funkmaster Flex action figure. The Boombox is here for you with all of the recaps, so join us for Episode 2 next week.