When thugs cry: Arissa the rapper

Arissa_lTonight marks the return of one of the most memorable Real World casts since those first "seven strangers." That’s right PopWatchers — I’m talking about Las Vegas. During my freshman year of college, the first round of Real World: Las Vegas was like an extra class (only I never skipped it). When Trishelle had that pregnancy scare, I was there, scared right along with her, because like Frank said, if she and Steven were to have a baby it would be gorgeous, but since that neither of its would-be parents were the brightest crayons in the box, it had a strong chance of being "dumb as rocks." (I just noticed that my last sentence rhymes, which is oh so fitting — you’ll find out why in just a moment.) I seconded that emotion. And so many others! I called Alton and Irulan right from the beginning. And I constantly told Brynn to get over herself.

But as much as I’d like to say that the Las Vegas cast and I go way back, I have made the unfortunate discovery that they’re not the people I thought they were. Alton and Irulan are no longer together. Trishelle didn’t go away. And Brynn is now a brunette!

But the most radically revamped roommate is Arissa. Exhibit A, ladies and gentlemen: I give you Arissa Hill… the rapper And before I go any further, let me just warn you. That link is not for the fainthearted or easily offended. It isn’t for the technologically challenged either — you have to use the scroll-down menu to get to the goods (and by "goods," I mean music that is not very, well… good.)

My girl Arissa has a thing for hardcore rap, as well as a propensity to juxtapose religion and gangsta-ism. Her intro starts out with the Lord’s Prayer and ends with the lyric, "I say, ‘F— this.’" The next song, aptly titled "Gangsta," features the (sampled) hook: "I never said I was a gangsta, but I will do ya, but I will do ya./I never said I was a gangsta. But I will do ya. So hallelujah, So hallelujah."

Apparently, Arissa never got the memo that explicitly states "Thugs Don’t Cry!" In contrast, pretty much everyone (including Ms. Hill) cries on The Real World. When Frank referred to her as "black b—- of the house," I remember her most un-gangsta reaction. There was crying. And then she ran to Alton and told him. And as "Killa Cam" will tell you, gangstas don’t snitch on each other either.

I guess I’ve been pretty hard on her, so I’ll allow this: Arissa’s street cred is somewhat redeemed in "I Am" when she gives props to her origins with the cocky line "I hit it up in the west now the Real World is mine." Plug much?

Anyway, PopWatchers, I’d bust a rhyme of my own, but I’m just not that inspired. (Plus, I don’t want to freak out my parents.) What do you guys think? Is she the same ol’ Arissa? Or should she sooo be on that other MTV show — the one where you think you know, but you have no idea?

Comments (26 total) Add your comment
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  • Beginnings Chang

    Ms. Beginnings Chang’s ears will never recover from this – NEVER!

  • Question:

    Nice to see she’s finally owning up to being the “black b—h,” although she chose the worst way to do it; her rap skills are seriously lacking! She should sooo be on that horrible karaoke show instead…

  • Ron Mexico

    How drugged up does Arissa look in that picture? If she wasn’t black, I’d swear that was Vince Neil circa 1985.
    Just when I thought The Real World was dead in the water, they found a twist that will pull me back in.
    But one has to question how badly the lives of these seven strangers have gone if, at their ages, they still have the free time to participate in this reunion season.

  • DodoBird

    Seems like the only one doing anything worthwhile is Frank, who’s getting his MBA. He does say on his Myspace that he has a lot of free time, so that’s probably why he’s doing the reunion show. He’s bored!

  • mhunter

    Um, on the religion and rap part, that’s not her lyric. She’s borrowing a phrase from Outkast which appeared on their first album back in 1995. So apparently, she isn’t original, either.

  • fredric

    She’s no Heather B. All Glocks Down!

  • mel

    I like Aryssa. I always thought she had some depression going on or something, she seems like that person that never has it all together while everyone else around her does. And she’s really sad about it.
    After watching the 1st episode of the new RW Vegas, I totally feel like Irulan is being a big ole beyotch to her. If she forgave Alton (and moved on with her life) why cant she do the same with Aryssa. I cant believe she actually said “I dont give a F*^& about your feelings) seeing that she was obviously the outsider & that she was pretty close to breaking down.
    As for the rap, eh.

  • Rey

    this goes to show you that the real world should be cancelled. what was once a ground breaking experiment is now MTV’s version of softcore porn.

  • NineDaves

    whoever said that rap music was dead certainly hasn’t hear aryssa hill! barf.

  • Ron Mexico

    Not many rappers are original, mhunter. I mean, how many times did we really need someone else to rhyme party and bacardi?
    When Real World cast members start trying to rap hardcore, and when nerdy, white American Idol contestants start beat-boxing, I’d say rap is dead – or at least on its last leg.

  • Melburn

    One of her eyes was getting ready to close. She needs therapy. Drug use is not a solution to problems.

  • Dr. Pepper

    Who knows if shes does drugs or not…she looks more like she’s going for a smoldering look & trying to look sexy. Needless to say she failed miserably. All I know is, she’s a fake and a poser..She talked about changing since we’ve last seen her–and for a while I believed her little demure act–but when confronted, she showed that she was still the same old highly reactive “b**** of the house.” I’m sick of her already…again!

  • Scott M.

    I watched a bit of RWReunion last night since my wife is into it, and while someone said that she looks like she’s on drugs in the picture, she also looked like she was on drugs during the show… She was pasty and twitchy, her eyes even more sunken than they previously were, she seemed paranoid and didn’t want to go near the other people. She even said that for a few years she was making really bac choices. I hate to say this but she kind of looked like a crack ho.

  • Ron Mexico

    If Real World wants to get really interesting, they should throw all of the biggest jerks and freaks from all of the seasons in together.
    For example: Puck, Flora, Arissa, the black Jewish guy from the Seattle season, and that one really gross, dikey black girl with the short, dyed hair (she is on every RW/RR Challenge), Frankie from the San Diego season, and Ruthie from the Hawaii season.
    Seven a-holes picked to live in a house and slowly kill each other off over six weeks. Now THAT’S entertainment!

  • Hey Ron

    You’re talking about Aneesa! LoL! But why no Coral on the list? And if I were to pick someone from the RW San Diego cast, it would definitely Robin…Frankie’s got nothing on her!

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