About a few days before the revived series wraps up its first season on the network, VH1 announced its decision to order an additional season of Hip Hop Squares. The decision stems from the show averaging healthy ratings, including the premiere episode attracting 3.2 million total viewers. It has ranked as the top non-sports cable show in its time period with persons 18-34 and VH1’s highest-rate new series in a year. The new edition of Hip Hop Squares is executive produced by Ice Cube and hosted by DeRay Davis. The show wraps up its first season tonight at 9:00pm and 9:30pm ET with rappers Fat Joe and French Montana squaring off (no pun intended) in the first episode and singing trios Bell Biv DeVoe and SWV compete against each other in the second.
The revamped version of the now Ice Cube-produced series is an impressive and welcome improvement compared to the MTV2 version. The new format – which invites an excellent array of hip-hop artists, actors, comedians, media moguls, producers and reality stars to fill the enlarged game board and to play the game for members of the studio audience – presents more provocative pop culture questions and a livelier, more relaxed, entertaining nightclub atmosphere, thanks to the additions of the XO Squad dance troupe and Biz Markie as the house DJ. As wild and unhinged as this version is, the show has been properly altered to ensure the competitors have a chance to win a healthy sum of money for their civilian partner without winning games by assigning each square a dollar value ranging from $100-$1,500 and the inclusion of the new three-in-a-row, Press Your Luck-styled bonus round which could double the contestant’s bank. Considering about 1.5 games are played per show, this was the change I loved the most. This allows the host, celebrities and contestants to play at their leisure without solely focusing on finishing as many games as possible before time expires. I will definitely be looking forward to the next season of Hip Hop Squares.