By Bethonie Butler
May 30, 2007 at 12:00 PM EDT

Tonight marks the return of one of the most memorable Real World casts since those first “seven strangers.” That’s right PopWatchers — I’m talking about Las Vegas. During my freshman year of college, the first round of Real World: Las Vegas was like an extra class (only I never skipped it). When Trishelle had that pregnancy scare, I was there, scared right along with her, because like Frank said, if she and Steven were to have a baby it would be gorgeous, but since that neither of its would-be parents were the brightest crayons in the box, it had a strong chance of being “dumb as rocks.” (I just noticed that my last sentence rhymes, which is oh so fitting — you’ll find out why in just a moment.) I seconded that emotion. And so many others! I called Alton and Irulan right from the beginning. And I constantly told Brynn to get over herself.

But as much as I’d like to say that the Las Vegas cast and I go way back, I have made the unfortunate discovery that they’re not the people I thought they were. Alton and Irulan are no longer together. Trishelle didn’t go away. And Brynn is now a brunette!

But the most radically revamped roommate is Arissa. Exhibit A, ladies and gentlemen: I give you Arissa Hill… the rapper And before I go any further, let me just warn you. That link is not for the fainthearted or easily offended. It isn’t for the technologically challenged either — you have to use the scroll-down menu to get to the goods (and by “goods,” I mean music that is not very, well… good.)

My girl Arissa has a thing for hardcore rap, as well as a propensity to juxtapose religion and gangsta-ism. Her intro starts out with the Lord’s Prayer and ends with the lyric, “I say, ‘F— this.'” The next song, aptly titled “Gangsta,” features the (sampled) hook: “I never said I was a gangsta, but I will do ya, but I will do ya./I never said I was a gangsta. But I will do ya. So hallelujah, So hallelujah.”

Apparently, Arissa never got the memo that explicitly states “Thugs Don’t Cry!” In contrast, pretty much everyone (including Ms. Hill) cries on The Real World. When Frank referred to her as “black b—- of the house,” I remember her most un-gangsta reaction. There was crying. And then she ran to Alton and told him. And as “Killa Cam” will tell you, gangstas don’t snitch on each other either.

I guess I’ve been pretty hard on her, so I’ll allow this: Arissa’s street cred is somewhat redeemed in “I Am” when she gives props to her origins with the cocky line “I hit it up in the west now the Real World is mine.” Plug much?

Anyway, PopWatchers, I’d bust a rhyme of my own, but I’m just not that inspired. (Plus, I don’t want to freak out my parents.) What do you guys think? Is she the same ol’ Arissa? Or should she sooo be on that other MTV show — the one where you think you know, but you have no idea?