Since the first rhymes flowed in the parks of the South Bronx, most of rap's major emcees, have been African American. A few successful white MC's like The Beastie Boys and Eminem have reached the top of the hip hop world. But for the most part, the rap game has been an unforgiving field for melanin-deficient MC's.

But now, 20 years after the Beasties first exercised their "License to Ill," VH1 and ego trip have stepped in to search for the next great "white rapper" in ego trip's The (White) Rapper Show premiering January 8 at 10:30 pm. Additional new episodes will air every Monday at 10:00pm.

Set in the birthplace of hip hop, the South Bronx, and hosted by white rap legend Michael "MC Serch" Berrin (of the group 3rd Bass) and producing legend Prince Paul, ego trip's The (White) Rapper Show will put 10 contestants from all over America through challenges that will test their musical "cred," knowledge of hip hop culture, and their ideas about race. Along the way, hip hop pioneers, such as Grandmaster Flash, Kurtis Blow, and Fat Joe will be brought in to school and critique our eager rappin' competitors.

The competition won't be easy. The run-down South Bronx tenement that they'll be bunking in, "Tha White House," is a far cry from the standard reality show mansion. But hip hop is about survival; about economics and class and race. And our 10 contestants will be faced with a variety of tasks that will reflect each of these facets of the culture.

From freestyle battles in Detroit's famed St. Andrews Hall to cutting a club record with super producer Just Blaze to answering questions about life in the 'hood, these 10 hopefuls will be immersed in the culture they claim to love. But do they have the knowledge, talent and ability to, as MC Serch says, lead the culture? Or will they bleed the culture? ego trip's The (White) Rapper Show on VH1 will leave only one man (or woman) standing alone ... victorious in the original hood of hip hop and $100,000 richer.