Pretty much every competitor on Rhythm + Flow has a baseline of competence. ... Its famous judges speak eloquently and passionately. ... Overall, Rhythm + Flow is an essential watch, offering catchy vibrancy for the hip-hop heads, and incisive representations for everyone.
Its compromise is weekly blocks of a clutch of episodes, moving us from stage to stage. For the most part, that works just fine. Viewers may not be able to vote for their favourites to stay, but this reinvention of the talent show wheel is so convincing I am happy to take such decisions as simply signs of the future.
Cardi B is reliably splashy and delightful, in both her ensembles and turn of phrase — though she’s also the most comfortable expressing her apathy for many of the contestants’ performances. While there are some absolutely memorable competitors among the bunch, like the stylish Londynn B and the Chicago-based Sasha Go Hard, a lot of the talent just blends into the background. ... While the ways in which “Rhythm + Flow” differentiates itself from its musical competition predecessors are minor, they are enough to render the series [memorable].
Irresistible, even as the rap competition recycles American Idol’s clichés. ... Cardi is the show’s most reliable entertainment. Her flamboyant outfits and voices—she’s lately loved affecting a mafia-don mumble—liven up the first two episodes. But she’s also Rhythm + Flow’s voice of reason, verging on cynicism. ... The other judges also come off as constructed characters who embody specific reads on what’s good and bad hip-hop.
While Chance and, to a lesser extent, T.I. also offer solid advice, Cardi brings the charm and the punchlines, lending a party vibe to every shot she’s in. Varied episode formats sometimes yields clunkily paced hours; my eyes glazed over during the cypher round, in which all 30 contestants perform and get critiqued. But for the most part the show works because—on top of recruiting a more distinguished panel of judges than any of its broadcast competitors—it captures what makes hip-hop unique.
By the time the show’s narrowed its contestants down to the music video and sampling stages, they get more of an opportunity to showcase their own sounds, personal histories and creativity. ... Cardi B is a perfect reality show judge. ... Chance and T.I. have solid advice, and yet neither demonstrates the eye for branding or what makes a star that Cardi does. Watching her calibrate that invaluable sense in real time beyond her offscreen social media presence is one of the series’ most compelling strengths.
This show has been a joy to watch because of how completely different is it from other competition shows. It's not just about talent, it's about putting contestants into situations and scenarios that artists experience every day. I love each of the challenges and I love the way it is shown as more of a docuseries. I also love the judges and how differently they approach the critique the give. Hope theres a season 2!