Kara DioGuardi

Kara discusses the rap challenge and how the competition differs from real-life.

on Jun 20, 20110

When I first heard that the contestants would have to rap for their hook challenge, I thought to myself. . .WEIRD.

I don't really see any of them writing hit rap songs for a living. But if you think about it, many of today's big rappers like Lil Wayne and T.I. are responsible for huge pop songs. I also think this generation of songwriters has been influenced by rap as it has become more mainstream -- that's why the songs today are so conceptual. Rap has definitely influenced storytelling in modern day mainstream music. However, it was a bit strange (and funny) to see Johnny and Jackie's rap moves :)

Breaking out of your comfort zone is a useful exercise in writing and in life. Ultimately I thought the contestants did a good job, but Jackie's song failed because it lacked any real truth; it was unrelatable. I think you can be funny but still deep and universal. She needed to tell us why she wanted to be a "Super Duper Rapper" and her motivation should have come from a real life experience. The other two songs were rooted in emotion and truth and that's why they excelled. I also loved the melody of "Walk Through Walls" (that was Scotty's) and thought incorporating opera was a brilliant move.

It was tough to watch some of the contestants bash each other on this episode. I don't like to see people cry or have their character attacked. When we filmed the episode, Jewel and I had no idea what was really happening behind the scenes. These types of actions definitely color and affect your perception of a person. I am glad I was unaware at the time as I probably would have been swayed toward and against certain contestants. This is the part of the show that does not emulate real life -- if people don't get along, they just don't work together again. The contestants should take a lesson from Jes and Johnny, it seems a love-fest produces a better result.


Kara great show but last night I really felt that some of the judges (not u) got caught up in the ability to sing and forgot it was about the lyrics. Ultimately these people will not be the ones singing this song and I thing slowing the judges are forgetting this. Except you of course :)