Rappers Who Starred In Their Own Reality TV Shows

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NEW YORK, NEW YORK - AUGUST 19: Flavor Flav attends as WEtv celebrates the premieres of Growing Up Hip Hop New York and Untold Stories of Hip Hop on August 19, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images for WEtv)
From the family-centered, to the absolutely chaotic.

Over the years, many rappers have made successful ventures into reality TV shows. There have been several reasons for the transitions, too. For some, it’s a chance to be more vulnerable with fans, and for others, a convenient cash grab or platform to fame. Many of these reality TV shows have offered a closer look at the lives of these rappers. Their families are often involved, and many exciting dynamics are revealed. 

As expected, not all shows are successful right off the bat. Moreover, those that score huge ratings have a familial touch to them. Reality TV is littered with many famous names, from legends in the game to newer acts in the industry. Furthermore, they have delivered some important pop culture moments and timeless memes. 

Rev Run - Run’s House

Run’s House is credited for paving the way for other rappers to break into Hip Hop related reality TV shows. The series focuses on the life and family of Joseph Simmons, popularly known as Rev Run. His fleet of talented kids, his brother Russell, and his wife Justine contributed to the show’s success. Run’s House was also noteworthy because it didn’t shy away from deeply emotional moments the family shared. 

The series ventured into the death of Simmons’ daughter Victoria, showcasing the family’s vulnerability. It also packed several hilarious and heartwarming moments for great TV content. Run’s House and its success greatly influenced other reality TV shows featuring rappers. The series ended in 2011 after six seasons.

Ice-T - Ice Loves Coco

Hip Hop veteran turned actor Ice-T was initially skeptical of welcoming cameras into his home. With the help of his wife, Coco, the pair delivered some fun reality TV moments. Ice Loves Coco offered viewers a softer side to the hard-hitting rapper. The series delved into the couple's personal moments, from dealing with Hurricane Sandy to the birth of Coco’s sister’s baby. Ice Loves Coco aired on E! for three seasons.

Ice-T famously revealed that he left reality TV to not overstay his welcome. The rapper and actor decided not to give the public deeper access to his family. Additionally, Ice and Coco had begun plans to star in their own talk show. However, these plans did not come to fruition. 

Nelly - Nellyville

One of many mainstream rappers to venture into reality TV shows is Nelly. The Grammy winner starred in his own show between 2014 and 2015. Nellyville, named after his acclaimed sophomore album, showed the Grammy winner in his element as a family man. Nelly took in his deceased sister’s children and created a loving, blended family. All their antics, highs, and lows were documented for two seasons and 21 episodes.

Snoop Dogg - Snoop Dogg’s Father Hood

Besides his career as a rap legend, Snoop Dogg has been known to be a lover of family. Snoop Dogg’s Father Hood brought his relationships with his wife and children to the forefront. Snoop and his family welcomed viewers into their loving and fun dynamic. The series also had a few notable guest stars, from David Beckham to John Cena and Keyshia Cole. 

There were several interesting plots in the series. Snoop let fans in to see how he prepared to host the 2007 MTV Europe Music Awards. He also educated his son Corde about sex, traveled around the globe, and even got his Man Cave reinvented. Like other reality TV shows featuring rappers, Snoop Dogg’s Father Hood showed a more delicate side to the icon. 

T.I. - T.I. & Tiny: The Family Hustle

T.I., his wife Tameka “Tiny" Harris, and their kids starred in The Family Hustle. Similar in style to Run’s House, The Family Hustle featured a large cast of the rapper’s children. The reality TV show also lasted much longer than most, with six seasons and 100 episodes. The Family Hustle had several hilarious moments but kept an emotional balance throughout. 

T.I. and Tiny’s relationship was a noteworthy highlight in the series. The matriarch of the Harris family held things down during low moments they faced. The Family Hustle also showcased the Harris children growing into their own as teenagers. The reality TV show was undoubtedly a hit for VH1.

Flavor Flav - Flavor of Love

Flavor of Love is responsible for introducing Tiffany “New York” Pollard to the world at large. While that is reason alone for its timelessness, the series offered so much more. Flavor Flav, veteran rapper and founding member of Public Enemy, was on a journey to find love. Several women vied for the legend’s hand, and that made for quality TV.

Flavor of Love is still culturally relevant today with many legendary catfights, disses, and a historic “Beyoncé” meme. While other rappers starred in family-based reality TV shows, this was much more chaotic and exciting. Flavor Flav famously refused to wed any of the girls on the show, too. Due to its popularity, it launched several spin-offs.

Various Rappers - Love & Hip Hop 

Love & Hip Hop is one of the most popular reality TV shows to house many famous rappers. Megastars like Cardi B have Love & Hip Hop as the platform that shot them to mainstream fame. Many other household names have also appeared in the reality TV show: Soulja Boy, Remy Ma, Joe Budden, Safaree Samuels, and many more.


About The Author
Demilade Phillips has been a Features Writer for HotNewHipHop since 2023. The self-proclaimed music fanatic deals with most things Hip Hop and R&B, while also covering film, television, and the entertainment industry at large. When he’s not working, the International Relations graduate is either binging anime, immersing himself in the underground EDM scene, or crafting up original pieces.