Houston MC Cornbreadd, frontman for vicious rap-rockers Tha Fucking Transmissions, is one of those people you call with a couple of simple questions and wind up on the phone with for 20 minutes. That's hardly a bad thing; he's as congenial a person as you'll ever want to meet, but he always tells it like it is. Rocks Off rang him up Thursday afternoon to discuss making it to the finals of 50 Cent's MTV reality show Tha Money & Tha Power, which airs tonight at 9 p.m. A watch party, with Cornbreadd in the house, starts at 8:30 p.m. tonight at Boondocks, 1417 Westheimer.
Rocks Off: Obviously you don't want to give anything away, but tell people a couple of things they can expect from the episode tonight.
Cornbreadd: You'll see Houston's very own Cornbreadd try to compete in his last episode for his chance at this $100,000 from MTV and 50 Cent. Win or lose, I'm in a very small group of people from Houston who made it to the finals of their reality shows.
RO: You and the girl [designer Chloe Dao] from Project Runway, right?
CB: Uh-huh, me and the girl from Project Runway, and I want to say a couple from The Amazing Race.
RO: Oh, that's right.
CB: We may be missing one, but as far as Houston competitors making it to the finals, there's very few. Tonight's episode is gonna culminate with an insult contest arranged by 50 Cent, and the winner will walk away with $100,000 in investment money. The loser will walk away with publicity that he or she could only imagine.
The whole season was great, but when you have 14 people on the show, it's hard to pay attention to all 14. What you see is as everybody leaves the show, the show starts revolving around me. Once you get up to episode four or five, it's like, "Yo, what does Cornbreadd think?"
RO: So regardless whether you wind up winning, you're kind of the breakout character on the show?
CB: Oh yeah, it's pretty obvious. There's even times when I'm not even the boss of a challenge and when 50 announces who won the challenge, he tells me. It's like, "Why are you announcing the win to me and not the boss?" It's because he knew I did all the work. Then what you find is when I get on the show, the team that I'm on suffers loss after loss after loss, and it comes up.
50 approaches me and goes, "You know, Cornbreadd, did you come on this show to hide in the background, because you haven't been boss yet?" I told him, "No, it wasn't my time yet. I didn't feel like it." Plus, in my head, I felt like if the people on the show are so weak, I felt like they had to prove themselves to me first, because I knew I was strong. The first time I become boss, my team wins and I don't suffer a loss for the rest of the season.
RO: I haven't seen the show yet, but reading about it on the Internet, the prevailing opinion seems to be it's kind of a train wreck. Why do you think people would say that?
CB: I think what happened was MTV was suffering ratings problems, and when our show came out it wasn't marketed at all. They didn't know how to market this gritty, urban reality show, and to be honest, our show was like the first Apprentice-like venture to ever be done to involve a rich hip-hop dude and challenges set around the streets.
What you have is MTV coming off the Paris Hilton stuff. MTV didn't know how to reach the urban America this show was mostly likely [intended] for, so when the show came out there was no marketing and we had to compete with Christmas and Thanksgiving. Also, MTV has a new head of programming now. So in the midst of getting our show on the air, programming says, "In this Obama generation, we want uplifting stuff on TV."
I didn't really believe that, because they were looking forward to showing their new shows, which are Bromance and Double Shot at Love with the bisexual twins. I'm like, "This doesn't seem uplifting, this just seems like hardcore porn." But the new shows did terrible numbers. It seems like our show garnered more ratings than their Hills spinoff and their Bromance show with Brody Jenner.
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They said those shows were going to save the day, but it turns out our show had better ratings. There was talk the show was canceled and all that, but the show was never canceled.
RO: They just kind of buried you?
CB: We got buried, but the point is, when I go out to L.A., when I went out to New York, when I'm walking on Hollywood Boulevard, when I'm in Houston, people are like, "Yo! You're Cornbreadd! I remember you - you're fuckin' crazy, dude!" So something did work. Anyone who watches the show, they're gonna say, "Cornbreadd, Cornbreadd, Cornbreadd."
Don't forget the double D.