Netflix shared the first four episodes of its new hip-hop competition series, Rhythm + Flow, last night. The show is already being hailed by Time as “the best music competition in years” and all the big-name appearances will surely get viewers to tune in too. The main panel of judges consists of Chance the Rapper, T.I. and Cardi B, but the list of guest stars includes Killer Mike, Snoop Dogg, Anderson .Paak, Fat Joe and the late Nipsey Hussle.
Nipsey appears in the series premiere, when T.I. goes to Inglewood’s 1500 Sound Academy. Volume Ventures LLC – founded by James Fauntleroy, Larrance “Rance” Dopson and Twila True – started 1500 Sound Academy to provide aspiring artists with the tools to learn and produce music. Nip was a big supporter of the establishment and T.I. went to meet him there in order to find recruits for Rhythm + Flow.
In the episode, T.I. shares some kind words about his departed friend, outlining how Nip was always concerned with providing better resources for future generations. “In hip-hop, you never forget where you came from, no matter how big you get,” T.I. says. “That’s why I felt it was imperative to call upon somebody who made it his unwavering mission to give back to his community no matter what: my partner, the legendary Nipsey Hussle. Little did we know it would be one of the last times that we’d see each other. And his music, along with his message, will live on forever.”
Nipsey’s comments in the show also exhibit how he perceived things in the context of a larger picture. When asked about what caused him to gravitate towards hip hop, he told T.I.: “I bought into it. I know your story. I know what your success means ’cause I know what came before it.”
Episodes 5-7 of Rhythm + Flow will be released on Oct. 16 and Episodes 8-10 will follow on Oct. 23.