Two weeks ago Mnet started broadcasting hip-hop survival show Show Me The Money, where established rappers team up with lesser known names for joint performances. We had a look and offered our comments on the auditions and are now back with comments on the episode that aired on June 29th.
In addition to myself the Show Me The Money commentary panel consists of Ranya of K-Underground Sweden and Sangha of strangeseasons. If you know a thing or two about Korean hip-hop and want in as well, let me know!
The rappers that passed the auditions in the first episode get on a bus. All the main rappers on the show have their own bus stop around Hongdae, where those that want to be part of that rapper’s crew will get off.
Double K Station
Eight people get off the bus for Double K. Kim Tae Kyoon (TakeOne) and Cho Kyu Yeon are selected to be part of Double K’s crew.
Anna: I’m surprised so many would get off the bus for him, but I suppose that’s because I’m still out of touch with the Korean hip-hop scene. I must say I really like how they’re using the real name of the rappers instead of any alias. Makes it seem a little less biased.
Ranya: Since he is a name that has collaborated with so many of the more mainstream hip hop acts, I’m not surprised why some would see the appeal of being a part of his crew. On an unrelated note: TABLO LOOKS AMAZING!
Sangha: I really like this format of the contestants choosing the rappers they want to collaborate with. Actually, it’s pretty brilliant… gives the contestants more choices in really showing their best, as they would know who will help them really show their skills. Sets this show apart from other “audition” program on the get-go… but then I suppose this is not a typical audition program.
MC Sniper Station
Three people get off the bus for MC Sniper. Kwon Hyuk Woo and Song Seung Min are selected to be part of MC Sniper’s crew.
Anna: Oops, seems like Kim Yong Hwan is re-using parts of his old rap and that’s not popular.
Ranya: It’s so cute how Seung Min got that girl’s number! Stupid of Yong Hwan to me re-using lines in front of the guy who has heard them before, it gave off a vibe of being uncreative and I wouldn’t want that in my crew either.
Sangha: Kim Yong Hwan really got on my nerves. I heard that he is claiming that the PD made him do it though, he had a huge rant-out about the show and the contracts on his twitter. But… you should know when they ask you to do things, it’ll probably end up on the show. And let’s be real, he set himself up during last week’s episode. If he didn’t want to be branded as the ‘diss’ guy he probably shouldn’t have done that tasteless diss last week.
Nobody gets off the bus for Joosuc.
Anna: I like that blinged Luigi shirt he’s got hanging in his studio. But how embarrassing! Nobody got off the bus for him! Apparently others find him scary?
Ranya: I love how I kept thinking that Joosuc gave me a Mighty Mouth vibe and then they showed Mighty Mouth talking about him in that segment. I feel so sorry for him that nobody got off at his station! Poor thing’s face when the elevator doors opened and they were empty, oh how awkward…
Sangha: It seems like majority of the contestants aren’t familiar with him, or think that his career has been on the low, but Joosuc looks determined and I would love to see him surprise everyone.
Two people get off the bus for Miryo.
Anna: Why didn’t we get to see more of this?
Ranya: Why did almost everyone but Miryo get a small segment? What the heck?
Two people get off the bus for Garion. Seo Sung Jo (Illtong) is selected to be part of Garion’s crew.
Anna: Somebody had to pick Illtong up.
Ranya: So they can chose how many they want to select too? Nice.
Verbal Jint Station
Kim Gi Chul (Gamja) gets off the bus for Verbal Jint.
Anna: I’m a bit surprised actually. I had thought that since Gamja has been working so much with Rimi and teamed up with a girl for the pair audition last week he’d go with Miryo, but perhaps he wants to try something new now? But even though it’s just him Verbal Jint has him try out for the part. I kinda like that. And I love that Verbal Jint plays the piano. I never thought of him that way before, but he’s actually kinda hot…
Sangha: I think it was a smart move on Gamja’s part to pick Verbal Jint (although he probably didn’t put much thought into it when he got off the bus). Picking Miryo would have been just an extension of what he’s done with Rimi, and what he really need to do through this show is break away from that image of “Rimi & Gamja” and find footing as a solo rapper. I think Verbal Jint will be really good for him because I can see Verbal Jint pushing Gamja to realize his true potential… We already see a bit of that here when he asks Gamja to compose a poem.
Ranya: Next to Miryo, Verbal Jint needs an award for best faces. I’m surprised more people didn’t pick Verbal! It seems like a lot of these rappers tend to lean toward someone they think might be fun instead of someone that might crack down on them a bit harder. Not really suprised that Gamja didn’t pick Miryo, even though he worked with Rimi, Miryo isn’t really the same style of hip hop as her.
Three people get off the bus for 45RPM. Lee Byoung Ryong is selected to be part of 45RPM’s crew.
Anna: Oh my, Lee Byoung Ryong is auditioning to get back into 45RPM?
Sangha: I totally saw this coming, haha.
Ranya: I had a feeling…
Hoony Hoon Station
Nobody gets off the bus for Hoony Hoon.
Anna: Seems the aspiring rappers are unfamiliar with him too. Why didn’t the other two that got off for 45RPM make the tactical decision to stay on the bus when they noticed Lee Byoung Ryong getting off there, I wonder.
Sangha: I can see Hoony Hoon being the dark horse of the show. He didn’t come into the show with much credentials and people have been questioning his appearance on the show. It’s tragic that he was known more as a beatboxer when he was originally a rapper… I can’t wait until he shows his talents with the stages.
Second Bus Round
The people that didn’t get into a crew at their first stop get to hop on the bus again and find a new stop. Three people are shown getting off the bus for Hoony Hoon. Four people are shown getting off the bus for Joosuc. Kim Eun Young (Cheeta) is selected to be part of Verbal Jint’s crew. In the end eight teams have formed with three people each, except Garion that are four.
Anna: I would’ve wanted the show to be more clear about who is in what crew, with names and such instead of just photos… I’m sorry to see Toy Brown go, but I’m sure we’ll get to see more of her in some other show later. Can I also say I love all of these cuts from Hongdae?
Sangha: This show is so brutal! Only 15 minutes into the 2nd episode and we’re down to 16 contestants already. And after the 16 contestants are picked, they get the news that only one contestant will be able to go on the stage! That will narrow it down to 8 contestants. What?!
Ranya: Ouch, being somebody’s second choice? gotta sting.
Miryo: “거울” (Mr. Tyfoon)
Anna: I like this, giving the rappers a chance to show their own style to the viewers of the show before we get to see the (hopefully) more elaborate stages they’ve got planned for the actual show. Would’ve wanted to see Miryo do something with more of a direct relation to her own accomplishments in the rapper field though.
Sangha: Same, it was good but I would’ve prefered her to rap original stuff.
Ranya: This isn’t exactly a cover. Miryo collaborated on the song “Mirror” with Mr. Tyfoon quite some time back, it’s even one of my favourite go to tracks when I want to hear Miryo showcase her true rapper talents. The part she raps is actually the part she does in the song too.
Anna: Another reason why it’s so nice to have you on the panel! Thank you ^^
Anna: like it, but all the YG stuff I’m not really into.
Sangha: 45RPM is such a fun, energetic group, love it!
Ranya: It’ll be great fun seeing them in full action!
MC Sniper: “봄이여 오라”
Anna: So I wasn’t all wrong about him being on the pop side! Not really for me though.
Sangha: Like I said in the last commentary, not the biggest fan of MC Sniper’s rap…
Anna: Oh, I really like the flute thing they’ve got going in the background. They sound great together. Maybe Garion is what I should try to listen to instead of 45RPM.
Sangha: Impressive! As can be expected from the veterans.
Ranya: Totally got swept up and started banging my head to this. Great.
Anna: To me there wasn’t really anything outstanding about his rap. I kinda see why people wouldn’t get off there.
Sangha: I think the rappers are also agreeing that Joosuc hasn’t been so hot in recent times. On another note, I was taken aback when MC Sniper called Joosuc “hyung”! I totally thought MC Sniper was one of the oldest here.
Ranya: Yup, still gives me a Mighty Mouth vibe…
Hoony Hoon: “붐치와우”
Anna: He seems like a funny guy. And for some reason, though I was sure I hadn’t heard of him before his songs seems the most familiar to me.
Sangha: Ouch, the other rappers making fun of Hoony Hoon! Joosuc even says that Hoony Hoon will probably not place better than 6th place. Not sure yet if I like his style, but like the rappers on the show (and the audience), I haven’t seen too much from him, so we’ll see how he fares later on. He seems really determined though.
Ranya: I feel a little sorry for Hoony Hoon! but he definitely seems to be the mood maker of the gang. Even though his performance was a bit noraebang, it was still a lot of fun.
Double K: “아이고 (But I Go)”
Sangha: Double K! This is really impressive. Although he uses an AR track you can hear him clearly and I like what I’m hearing.
Ranya: Haha I love how he looks the least “gangsta” there with his newsboy cap and is that lip gloss? Thought he did great even with the AR track, you hardly noticed it thanks to his rapping!
Verbal Jint: “약속해 약속해”
Anna: I have my bias for this show clear. I got to preview his new album and found it quite boring and very slow, but I really should give his older stuff a listen too.
Ranya: Oh Verbal, Verbal Verbal Verbal…. I tend to listen to his stuff mostly when I feel sad, but I don’t have a doubt that he’ll be able to bring some energetic or fierce stages.
Picking Starting Order
The rappers get to pull a name from a bag and add it to a board showing the starting order for performances on the real show. Garion go first and put MC Sniper as number one. MC Sniper puts Joosuc as number three. Joosuc puts Verbal Jint as number five. Verbal Jint puts Miryo as number four. Miryo puts Hoony Hoon as number seven. Hoony Hoon puts Double K as number six. Double K puts 45RPM as number eight, leaving Garion as number two.
Anna: This was a fun way of doing it! I wish I Am A Singer would implement a similar system
Sangha: Really curious on how the orders will impact the show. Would it be better to go early or later? I can see how going right in the middle would be good, but I also feel that if there are more prominent rappers near the beginning (i.e. Garion), it might not work out for the following artists. But I guess we’ll find out?
Ranya: I keep thinking of the usual singing show curse of, whoever goes first always loses. Will have to see how that works here.
Backstage Shots & Rehearsals
Anna: Even though I initially was eager to get the real show started this is nice, letting it all take its time and giving the viewers a chance to get to know the rookie rappers better. Only one member of the crew actually gets to go on stage and is seems Song Seung Min is the one that has to sit this one out.
Sangha: I’m sad to see Song Rapper go home, I liked him! And picking Kwon Hyuk Woo was a gamble for MC Sniper, Song Rapper seemed so much more confident during preparations. I’m beginning to like Kwon Hyuk Woo a lot though, so I’m not complaining… I really do think that he has something going for him (and he is so adorable!), and I would love to see him really shine during this show.
Ranya: I would have liked to see Song take the stage, he seemed like a real ball of energy during preparations, but I like them both so much that I’m still happy with the choice. Seems like the majority of the crowd is a lot younger than I thought would show up.
“Gloomy Sunday” Performance
Anna: So it seems MC Sniper has updated one of his old songs together with Kwon Hyuk Woo. And Yiruma is playing the piano onstage! Beautiful! This show already exceeds my expectations.With the band and strings and all this is like all of that ‘melody rap’ I listened to so much in the 90’s. Kwon Hyuk Woo is doing very well on his own, and they’re doing it very well together. Very nice performance.
Sangha: This blew me away! Coming in with some negative feelings about MC Sniper, I was completely won over with this stage. Flawless arrangement, loving the Yiruma appearance and the string arrangement. Great performance by MC Sniper. And Kwon is phenomenal here, I absolutely love his rap! And how amazing is the sound on this show? Mnet really did a fantastic job with the stage and the sound, I love it. It’s painful to see Song Rapper try so hard to not cry while watching the performance though.
Ranya: How the hell did he get Yiruma? What a great arrangement of “Gloomy Sunday” and MC Sniper seems to be mainstream enough for a lot of people to already root for him going in. Song Seung Min’s face made me so sad, but I have to give it to Kwon Hyuk Woo, blew me away. I feel like I’ll care more about the rookie rappers than the veterans here.
Anna: Without a point of reference is difficult to say whether this is a good score or not. I hope it’s good. They deserved it.
Sangha: Same here. I loved this performance, I hope they make it to the next round at least… I really want to see more of Kwon Hyuk Woo.
Backstage Shots & Rehearsals
Anna: Seems like they’ve been having some problems with the rookie rappers. We don’t get to see which one of Choi Dae Young and Illtong gets the blinged out mic until the performance starts.
Sangha: Garion tells both contestants that they are pretty much garbage. Ow. I can see Illtong stick through though, the editing has been so Illtong-central it’d be illogical if he didn’t make it onto the stage…
Anna: Another piano! A quick check on maniadb tells me they originally put this song on album featuring Nekuopsani, but Illtong is credited for lyrics so it shows they’re not just re-using old material. This is going pretty well, but it’s nothing I’m particularly excited about. I don’t think Illtong’s part matches as well as it should’ve.
Sangha: Garion is amazing, and the crowd loves it! Not the biggest fan of Illtong’s performance though. The lyrics are wonderful but the execution rack charisma and flow, he still seems shaky. I guess image-wise Illtong fits Garion pretty well, but if he wants to help their crew get on further he gotta do better than this.
Ranya: Illtong still seems a little unsure on stage? Garion was amazing, but Illtong kind of weighed them down, just a little.
Anna: We don’t get to see how much exactly, but it reached ₩1,000,000 already while they were performing. From their reactions it seems the score was high.
Backstage Shots & Rehearsals
Anna: They seem to have a bit of trouble getting the rap to flow as well. Kim Jung Hoon gets the mic in the end. Not very surprising considering how little we’ve seen of Ju Sung Won prior to this.
Sangha: Kim Jung Hoon seems uncertain right up until the stage… It’s making me antsy, he’s my favourite contestant so far (Kwon Hyuk Woo’s catching up fast, though!) and I want to see him be more confident!
Ranya: They do a number on us on the editing!
Performance: “정상을 향한 독주”
Anna: Nu Soul assists with vocals. It seems Joosuc has put some thought into the concept of this performance with the marching band outfits and marching band people dancing behind them, but there’s nothing about it to really make me interested. I actually like Nu Soul’s parts more than anything Joosuc or Kim Jung Hoon contributes with. Turns out I’ve actually heard this song before, but fortunately had been able to repress it. Following the fantastic 1999 대한민국 compilation there were two mediocre 2000 대한민국 compilations, and this song, then recorded by Joosuc and Ill Skillz, came from the one I disliked the most. From the slow ticking of the money meter it seems the audience dislikes this about as much as I do.
Sangha: Yeah, it looks like Joosuc put a lot of thought into the performance but I don’t think he utilized the concept to its fullest. Joosuc’s introduction is more interesting than the actual performance itself, which is never a good sign. Still, I love Kim Jung Hoon’s rap, and it’s so good to see him so confident on stage… Not the biggest fan of the performance but oh, Kim Jung Hoon!
Ranya: the beginning sounded so messy, I was ready to write it off, but then Kim Jung Hoon came on stage and I really started to dig it. That boy has amazing charisma on stage, I could feel several of the females in the audience becoming completely charmed by him by the end of the performance. I really like his voice more than anything, really.
Anna: I’m surprised they managed to get this much.
Ranya: Hopefylly Jung Hoon lives to see another week.
Sangha: I just want to add on a bit about how surprised I am by this show… Unlike Anna who came in thinking that this would be a hip-hop version of I Am A Singer, I came in thinking that it’d be more of an audition program, like a hip-hop version of Super Star K. So I was taken by surprise when I realized that discovering new talents was only half of the show’s concept. It’s a refreshing idea and definitely differentiates the show from other audition/survival programs out there at the moment. It’s all very fascinating, and Mnet’s editing is exciting and the sounds are fabulous, which all just adds onto the show’s merits. I’m really liking this show so far, probably even more than some of the other audition/survival programs I am watching at the moment…
Anna: It is very fascinating. I still think they could’ve shown more information on screen about who’s where and what happens to everybody, but the actual video editing is really good. And as Sangha pointed out in the beginning, the idea of letting the contestants pick which rapper’s crew they’d like to audition for like this is quite novel, and it’s something I wouldn’t mind seeing repeated elsewhere.
Ranya: First I want to give props to MNet who seems to have given this show a nice budget, the editing is nice and the stags impressive. Second, I love the format of this show, I love how we get the chance to fall in love with new names and actually not only root for our favourite rappers, but now develop feelings and start rooting for new rappers that we get to know on this show. Can’t wait for the next episode!