» TV / Interviews / Ego Trippin’

Ego Trippin’

White Rapper show producer and XXL Chief, Elliott Wilson.

Ego Trippin'

Elliott Wilson has too many damn jobs, seriously.  Wilson is currently the Editor in Chief of XXL Magazine, the Editorial Manager at Scratch Magazine and a member of the ego trip collective (E.T.H.N.I.C.). Ego Trip was the legendary magazine that spawned two books and several shows, the most recent is The (white) Rapper Show. The folks at ego trip produced the show, which is probably the most successful Hip-Hop themed reality show (Flavor of Love don’t count) ever. So we talked to “YN” (don’t ask) about the white rappers, his 70 jobs and his quest to control all Hip-Hop related media.

CraveOnline: How did you guys (ego trip) come up with this show?

Elliott Wilson: Definitely was Sacha (Jenkins) idea. We had dinner with a couple of executives (from VH1) and they asked what we wanted to do next. We started throwing around ideas and Sacha said, lets take 10 White rappers and put them in the Bronx and make them live there for thirty days. The challenge is how do you do a reality show that isn’t corny and that’s true to the culture. We looked at it as a challenge.

CraveOnline: How did you initially hook up with VH1?

Elliott Wilson: They got a copy of our second book, “The Big of Racism” and they reached out to us.

CraveOnline: How was the ego trip staff involved in “The (white) Rapper Show” after it was created?

Elliott Wilson: We were involved throughout the whole thing. First we had to make a pilot, we shot a pilot at the end of 05. We have a pilot with a whole different cast. Me and my partners are very hands on in terms of the casting and trying to inject our humor and the graphics. Brent Rollins is one of the members; he’s a designer. He’s very hands on with a lot of the visuals, designing the house (the white house).

CraveOnline: How much do I have to pay to see the original pilot?

Elliott Wilson: I hope what happens is that the show continues to do well and then we can put the series on DVD and that would be a great extra. We shot so much stuff, there’s a lot of stuff that didn’t make the final cut and some of it’s really good. I think if we did a DVD it would have a lot of good extras. We had a gay dude in the pilot and nobody knew he was gay; he’s like a MySpace celebrity.

CraveOnline: Is there going to be a season 2 of the show?

Elliott Wilson: It’s looking real good. We’re starting to get that feeling from the network and the executives. A lot of preliminary talks. It’s exciting; I think it’s gonna happen.

CraveOnline: How long did it take to shoot the show?

Elliott Wilson: A month in the South Bronx. A lot of post production. You sit in a room and it’s like The Truman Show and you watch all these different cameras and you try to see if they do something funny. I have a lot more respect for reality shows now seeing the work it takes to put it together. I definitely feel like we’re the best reality show ever made.

CraveOnline: Did you have anyone else in mind to host the show?

Elliott Wilson: Originally it was problematic because they were really hot on Carson Daly. Thankfully that talk got squashed. When we thought of [MC] Serch we knew he was the one; He delivered. Everybody’s looking for that Dick Clark ability, a host kind of guy. Big Tigger can’t do everything and Sway can’t do everything. They were a little skeptical but once they saw how well he did in the pilot; they love him now. He’s proven that he’s the only guy that could really do it.

CraveOnline: What ever happened to “the dildo”?

Elliott Wilson: The Dildo’s retired. I gotta get it from Persia. She said she might have thrown it away. I told her, you can’t through your dildo away; we need it for the archive. We gotta get some gloves and get someone to pick it up and put it in a case somewhere.

CraveOnline: Why is T(w)RS the greatest show ever made?

Elliott Wilson: Because it’s different. It takes a concept that you perceive out the gate as hot garbage. The shit sounds wack, but in the hands of ego trip it’s making something out of nothing. Taking what you would perceive as the worst thing in Television and the worst thing for the culture and making it the best thing for TV and the best thing for the culture. I love a challenge. That’s what I do at XXL like when they told me I couldn’t beat The Source. I like to win against the odds and win big and me and my partners are like that. It shows that we have a certain sensibility and a certain brand and we can execute that brand through Television. Hopefully that will lead to film and other avenues to express that brand.

CraveOnline: At this very moment, what is the specific and exact location of “The Biz Puppet”?

Elliott Wilson: [Laughs] Where’s the Biz Puppet? You know we put him in a suitcase, he’s always packed up. It’s like a ventriloquist box. So he’s got his legs over his head, he’s sleeping. I think he’s in the office, unless somebody stole him.

I also asked Elliott about how the ego trip crew came in to possession of the puppet which led in to a crazy story involving an ex girlfriend, Masta Ace’s management, a fight between Lil Dap and Jeru the Damaja, the decapitation of the Biz Puppet and a daring rescue by the ego trip crew.

CraveOnline: What’s next for the ego trip crew?

Elliott Wilson: There are talks but we haven’t really come up with the right idea and the money situation hasn’t been offered to really wow us. There’s five of us and we’re starving, lotta pies to split up. Lionel Richie and the Commodores man, we all gotta eat. We need big money to go back in to the book world.

CraveOnline: How is Byron (“Bol”) Crawford working out on XXL.com?

Elliott Wilson: Bol is the best. He’s a fool. He reminds me of me. He’s a bigger troublemaker than I am. He’s the next generation of troublemaker. I’m glad he’s on the team. His work at XXL has been astounding or outstanding, one of em.

CraveOnline: I heard SNL using one of his terms on the Weekend Update.

Elliott Wilson: Oh “weed carrier” yeah. He’s becoming really influential. He’s a talented dude.

CraveOnline: What’s next for XXL?

Elliott Wilson: My biggest challenge is to make XXLMag.com the best Hip-Hop site and take out SOHH.com and take out AllHipHop.com and beat them and become number one so I can be the undisputed Hip-Hop content provider of the planet Earth. I wanna rule the world Ahmad!