Netflix has announced it will host a new hip hop competition series called Rhythm + Flow.
The new competition is set to debut on the streaming service in 2019. The show will feature Chance the Rapper, Cardi B, and T.I. as judges.
Netflix says the three judges will be on a “search for the next breakout hip hop star,” with 10 one-hour episodes initially slated. Auditions for the show are being held in Atlanta, Chicago, and New York, with calls going out in all three cities. Contestants are required to be at least 18 years old.
John Legend is producing Rhythm + Flow, alongside other executive producers Jeff Gaspin, Jesse Collins, Nikki Boella, Jeff Pollack, Mike Jackson and Ty Stiklorius. John Legend brings his Get Lifted Film Co. into the fold, with Jesse Collins Entertainment and Gaspin Media also integrally involved.
For Netflix, the move represents a bigger dive into reality TV and competition shows, with music a nice intro.
Cardi B, Chance, and T.I. are the main judges for the show, but Netflix says more industry veterans will join at a later date. All three rappers will also serve as executive producers.
Beyond that, it looks like Netflix is aiming to bring lots of star power to the series, with the aim of boosting visibility. Whether Rhythm + Flow can become hip hop’s answer to American Idol or The Voice is unclear, though it’s worth noting that both of those shows are mostly focused on singing and pop covers.
Both shows are also notorious for failing to convert winners into bonafide superstars, outside of a few exceptions like Kelly Clarkson. Regardless, winners will undoubtedly enjoy more options than before, with labels, producers, and even streaming platforms (i.e., Spotify) potentially swooping in as potential partners.
Additionally, there’s also the possibility that rap and hip hop fans respond differently to the concept. All will become known starting next year.