A segment originally featured on Jimmy Fallon shows (The Tonight Show and Late Night) is now a full-fledged 10 episode show hosted by Grammy winning rapper/actor LL Cool J .The Lip Sync Battle debuts on Spike TV, Thursday, April 2at 10pm(est). LL Cool J also serves as one of the producers of the show, which features celebrities (mostly those of color) going head-to-head, lip-syncing a song of their choice.
You are guaranteed to bust your gut watching boxing champ Mike Tyson performing Salt-n-Pepa’s classic “Push It” in a throwback 80’s jacket and leggings. Oscar® winners and collaborators Common and John Legend become competitors, Empire cast mates Taraji P. Henson and Terrence Howard(in a Rick James wig) make you appreciate all things “Lyon & ’em,” while Queen Latifah adds to various reasons why R&B and hip-hop music is the fabric of a worldwide multi-cultural movement. The show also features celebrities such as Jennifer Lopez, Terry Crews and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. The fact that Jimmy Fallon is a hip-hop head probably had a hand in his convincing the “suits” at Spike TV to move in a more urban direction and market to an urban audience.
The battle has long been a presence in hip-hop, as far back as the late 70’s through the golden age of hip-hop to the present day. We can easily recall those epic battles between LL Cool J and Kool Mo Dee, Lil Kim and Foxy Brown or Nas and Jay-Z. In a recent press release, LL Cool J said, “Like the rest of the world, I’m a big fan of these battles, but this show is going to bring it to a whole new level.” If in fact this is the case, the Lip Sync Battle will last far beyond the ten episodes taped in January.Complete with a Jheri Curl, Common channels a 1980’s Lionel Richie while John Legend brings a 1990’s MC Hammer.
LL Cool J joins a short list of hip-hop artists to host a Spike TV show: Common is currently the host on the furniture-building competition, Framework.