Bobby Sullivan, a/k/a Sullee, a/k/a Young Heff, a/k/a Hingham’s great white hip-hop hope, is going places.
Like, literally going places. He left on Wednesday to head to the South Bronx, birthplace of the scratch, home to the Cold Crush Brothers and Kool Herc. He's gonna spend at least 10 weeks there, taking part in VH-1’s new reality TV contest, The White Rapper Show.
Yes, that's really what it’s called. Variety calls it a "comedic reality series that will test the rap skills and cultural know-how of 12 white contestants with dreams of hip-hop superstardom.... Contestants will live together in the South Bronx as a series of challenges test their music talent and ability to mesh with black culture."
It's gonna be hosted by MC Serch from 3rd Bass — a guy who knows a little something himself, about being a white dude from a privileged background breaking into the rap game.
The difference is that Serch's father was a stockbroker, not a former lieutenant of late Mob underboss Ilario Zannino.
But who knows? Maybe the wiseguy past of Sullee’s dad, Bob, who has expunged his Mafioso sins in the clink and now walks the straight and narrow running his son’s career and their Old South End record label, might just be his ace in the hole. After all, Bobby may have spent his formative years in one of the Bay State's most moneyed burbs, but he’s also got deep roots in the tumbledown streets of pre-gentrification South End.
"God willin', I'll win," said Sullee when reached by phone the other day. "I think our chances are excellent."
They haven't told him much about what the show entails, but he knows one thing. "What I've heard is that I’m the only guy from New England. I'm sure they're gonna be mixing us up, and I’m sure they'll sit me next to the New York Yankees fan."
He's not worried. The one thing that does have him concerned is that he’ll have to miss most of the Red Sox' second half. "They don't have NESN down there. I'm gonna have to check the computer every day," he says, before pausing. "Oh yeah, there's no computers either. I'm gonna have to read the paper every day! I'm gonna have to read the New York Post, which is gonna say 'Derek Jeter is amazing!' I'll be like, 'This is garbage,' and throw it in the trash."