Flavor Flav wears gold grill and chain wearing a black and red hat on the red carpet; Ray J tilts his shades and looks over then and smiles; Coolio wears a green hat and sunglasses on stage.
Source: Gregg DeGuire/Getty Images; Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images; Daniel Boczarski/Getty Images

When Rap Meets Reality: Hip-Hop Artists Who Achieved Reality TV Superstardom

Artists are known to diversify their skills and that is exactly what the rappers and R&B stars on this list did during their stints on reality TV!


Dec. 12 2023, Published 1:49 p.m. ET

Discover Proudly Amplifies Diverse Voices

Any savvy businessman (or woman) knows that versatility is one of the stepping stones to massive success and career longevity – and the rap game has witnessed a remarkable number of artists use their natural gifts outside of hip-hop.

Whether acting from a script or playing a flute, these celebs have shown that they can do it all — including reality TV! Here is a list of some of the hip-hop and R&B artists-turned-reality TV stars who went off-script.

August Alsina

august alsina
Source: Joseph Okpako/WireImage

August Alsina performs live on stage at Indigo at The O2 Arena in London, England.

Known for his soulful voice and memorable hooks, August Alsina made a compelling appearance on the reboot of The Surreal Life. In a conversation with The Grio, August opened up about his decision to join the show and stated that his friend had convinced him to join the cast.

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“My boy who told me about it was like, ‘Man I used to love that show, I think you should do it!’ And he was actually the determining factor for me," August said.

"I went to go look at some of the old seasons and I flipped through a couple of episodes and I was like, ‘OK, this could be cool!'”

Flavor Flav

Hip-hop heads worldwide know that Flavor Flav is golden for the culture. As a founding member of the iconic rap group Public Enemy, Flavor Flav brought his larger-than-life personality and eye-watering jewelry to the small screen with Flavor of Love.

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Slim Thug

slim thug reality tv
Source: Marcus Ingram/Getty Images

Slim Thug attends the 713 Day & National French Fry Day at Checkers restaurant in Houston, Texas.

Slim Thug, who is also a heavyweight in the Southern rap scene, found himself on the reality TV stage with the release of College Hill: Celebrity Edition.

On the show, the Houston native shares the screen with other memorable names in pop culture like Big Freedia and Nene Leakes, among others. The show definitely has a fascinating mix of drama, comedy, and intrigue.

Da Brat

Da Brat is So So Def royalty. But she's not just known for her contribution to rap culture, she's also a beloved reality TV personality. She stars on the hit shows Brat Loves Judy — which sheds light on her personal life as well as her journey to motherhood – and Growing Up Hip-Hop.

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Coolio is no stranger to Reality TV. In fact, he has appeared on two major reality TV shows — Coolio's Rules and Celebrity Big Brother 6.

In Coolio's Rules, fans get a first-hand look at Coolio, the family man, father, and authority figure. The show peeled back the layers of his life as a regular dad as opposed to a celebrity.

On Celebrity Big Brother 6, he held his own and impressively, finished in third place.

Ray J

ray j
Source: Momodu Mansaray/FilmMagic

Ray J attends the 2023 BET Soul Train Awards.

Ray J is as versatile as they come. Name one side hustle and you can bet that Ray J has already done it.

In addition to making songs and appearing in movies, Ray J also starred in the Love and Hip Hop franchise, where fans got to experience his hilarious personality beyond the red carpets — not to mention his numerous love affairs.

All in all, Ray J is one of reality TV's finest, and for good reason, too.

The author’s content and opinions have not been pre-reviewed, approved or endorsed by Discover.

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