Over the course of just two episodes Mnet’s hip-hop variety Show Me The Money went from auditions to joint performances between established rappers and lesser known aspirants. The third episode aired on July 6th with the first elimination of a rapper team. Returning to offer our comments on the show are Sangha of strangeseasons, Ranya of K-Underground Sweden and myself. A special thank you to Sangha this week for preparing the post in my absence!
Backstage Shots & Rehearsals
Sangha: “Abracadabra”! I love this song. I wonder if it will work without the group though, it was never meant to be a ‘rap’ song, after all. And the rookie rappers for Miryo are subpar, that beatbox guy especially.
Ranya: A dear friend was really kind to let me know some of the things Miryo said here. Miryo explains that even though she’s been a performer for ten years, people still only know her as the “BEG idol rapper” and that she hopes Show Me The Money will help people see a different side of her.
Anna: I’m a bit ashamed to say I used to be one of those people. I thought her casting for this show was really strange until they showed that Honey Family clip in the first episode. I didn’t really care for “Abracadabra” before Jaurim took it on for I Am A Singer, but I too am curious how to make it work with a rap focus.
Sangha: Disappointed that Miryo picked Ko Young Bin, I don’t think he will do her any good. But oh my god, Pia! I knew that the drummer Hyeseung was going to be on the show because he tweeted about it but I didn’t know that the whole band was going to be on it! And Shaun of The Koxx arranged it. Not sure if I like this performance though… it sounds messy. And is it just me or does all ‘idol’ songs that Pia cover sound the same? Pia’s part sounds identical to their I am the Best cover. (Ok Yohan looks amazing though, ah, I will never get over my Pia bias.) Ko Young Bin is really mediocre here, he has charisma but he’s off beat and his lyrics aren’t impressive at all. Miryo was good, but overall I’m not too impressed.
Anna: I was so excited when Ranya mentioned the Pia collaboration on Twitter, but actually watching it it’s not at all like what I had imagined. It does sound very messy. Like they’ve been trying to do too much without being able to really put it together. I had expected more from Shaun, but then we’ve seen The Koxx put on some pretty messy performances on Top Band too, so I suppose I shouldn’t be all that surprised. As for the actual rap part I found it a bit difficult to focus on because of everything else that was going on. I feel like they wasted what could’ve been an awesome collaboration.
Ranya: Though I didn’t really care for any of the rappers in Miryo’s crew, seeing them on stage makes me think that they definitely need to work more on delivery. I can pick out a few elements that I really enjoyed from this. I liked what they did with the chorus, especially when they added the “do you love her or do you wanna leave”, I loved that even though there was a lot lacking, they managed to really get the crowd going and show us a lot of energy, but I agree that the rap was really sloppy. Miryo has expressed her love for electronic rock since the release of her solo and I’m happy that she is so daring to go out of her element, maybe better luck next time?
Sangha: That’s a lot of money!
Anna: Indeed! The most we’ve seen before. I wonder what in particular with this performance made the audience so generous.
Ranya: I’m guessing the use of an “iconic” song made a bit different and Miryo really communicating with the crowd, but who can tell? Maybe the majority there were Everlastings…
Backstage Shots & Rehearsals
Sangha: Both of Double K’s rookie rappers are pretty good. Not sure which I like better from hearing so little from them so far… Take One’s attitude is fascinating though, he seems really confident in himself.
Anna: I think TakeOne more than anyone risk being seen as a sell out for auditioning this time. Though it doesn’t really mean anything to their talents, there’s something about TakeOne that makes him look better on that stage than Cho Kyu Yeon.
Ranya: I like both of the rappers. TakeOne has the advantage of already being a signed rapper with more experience and the editing of the show is very much in his favour, it’s not going to be hard to figure out who takes the stage.
Sangha: Not surprised that he picked Take One. I’m really digging the arrangement. And Ali is excellent! The little bit in the middle with Double K’s speed rap was really impressive as well. Take One doesn’t have that much stage presence though, surprisingly… It’s mostly Double K that really makes this stage great. Take One was kind of forgettable. Or maybe he wasn’t given much chance to shine.
Anna: Did Double K not let TakeOne add any lyric to the song? Seems he did, but he just wasn’t credited in the beginning. And Ali! I’ve grown really fond of her through Immortal Song 2 and this is another stellar performance on her part. To me she’s the highlight of this performance, but maybe that’s just because of me not really haven gotten into hiphop again. Although I really, really like that part where Double K made everything go quiet and dark and then just did his thing. But then it could’ve been more effective if he’d trusted that part to TakeOne.
Anna: The money meter was running quite fast, making it up to 900,000 before the end of the song
Backstage Shots & Rehearsals
Anna: So this is where Silryuk ended up! I’m surprised he wasn’t picked up by whichever rapper he got off the stop for first. Has he lost it since his years of (relative) fame? And Hoony Hoon has been around since 1998? I can’t recall hearing of Unity before, but that music video seemed strangely familiar. Suddenly I find myself liking Hoony Hoon a lot more. Turns out he’s sorta close with Kim Jo Han.
“돌아와 줘” Performance
Sangha: This is such a mess, I had a frown on my face throughout the whole performance. I expected Hoony Hoon to be the underdog and surprise everyone but he’s actually not that good. He’s trying really hard, but he just sounds like he’s shouting his lines and it’s just not working for me… I liked Seo Young Ho much better during this performance.
Anna: And he actually goes with the song from his Unity days! Interesting choice. And picking Seo Young Ho over Silryuk? I wonder whether it’s from a sense of competition with Silryuk or because he really thought Seo Young Ho to be better. I don’t know who So Young is, but after hearing Ali So Young’s contribution to this sounds very ordinary and quite dated. Part of that could be the song, of course.
Anna: We didn’t get to see the money meter move over 250,000. Was it really that bad?
Backstage Shots & Rehearsals
Sangha: Lee Byung Ryong is crying again, what is new.
Anna: Looks like 45RPM aren’t all that keen on cleaning their studio themselves.
“즐거운 생활” Performance
Sangha: What! 45RPM’s choice is a surprise, for sure… I was certain that they would pick Lee Byung Ryong. How ironic is the editing here, by the way?! The song is so upbeat and cheerful, and you have shots of Lee Byung Ryong sobbing… This was a fun stage, the breakdancing kids were a nice touch. Wasn’t anything mind-blowing though.
Anna: This is just too embarrassing for Lee Byung Ryong. I still don’t know what he was thinking, trying to somehow get back into 45RPM through a TV show rather than just attempting to sort out whatever was behind him leaving in the first place outside of the public. Sangha is so right about the editing. The song is fun and all, the kids are super cute, but the many shots of Lee Byung Ryong makes it difficult to watch.
Sangha: That isn’t much at all! That’s not even half of what MC Sniper/Double K got… I expected them to get more.
Anna: I imagine all that scratching being quite the turnoff for some. Still I’m surprised by the low score.
Backstage Shots & Rehearsals
Sangha: Really not sure who Verbal Jint will pick, they are just so different and will bring different things to the performance… I think either way it will be interesting to see.
Anna: Gamja sounded a lot softer than Cheeta, but he messed up a bit on camera.
“좋아 보여” Performance
Sangha: I love this song but the chorus really makes this song what it is, which could be a good thing but also a bad thing. In this case it worked for Verbal Jint, this was a fantastic performance. Cheeta is so adorable and I really like her voice. She also has a great stage presence and seems confident on stage. I’m really liking this combination!
Anna: Verbal Jint plays the piano himself even on stage! Very atypical for any rapper, I’d thought. And Sanchez of Phantom sings in place of The Black Skirts. I agree the chorus is usually what makes the song, but it works quite well with Sanchez’ more soul style performance too. There’s this sharp edge to Cheeta’s voice that doesn’t really work for me, but I can agree she’s doing a great job on stage. I have a feeling we’ll get to see much more of her outside of this show later.
Anna: I’d expected more after that, but it wasn’t as showy as some of the earlier performances.
Sangha: 1) MC Sniper 2) Verbal Jint 3) Garion 4) Double K 5) Miryo 6) Joosuc 7) 45RPM 8) Hoony Hoon
Other than my top and bottom pick I couldn’t decide who came in what place, so I tried to come up with a criteria of sorts when I was compiling my list. I’ll probably use these guidelines for my future picks too. I looked at: 1) the quality of the overall performance (arrangement, vocal featurings, etc.) 2) the rap performance by the pro rappers (their lyrics, stage presence, sound) 3) the rap performance by the rookie rappers and 4) the chemistry between the pro and the rookie rappers. Other than my first pick, all the stages were lacking in one criteria or another. The 8th place goes to Hoony Hoon as his performance was just awful. In 7th place is 45RPM because their performance was really forgettable and did the rookie rapper even rap? I can’t remember although I watched it at least three times. Joosuc is in 6th place as the arrangement wasn’t too hot and I wasn’t a big fan of Joosuc’s rap, although Kim Jung Hoon was fantastic. Miryo was admirable for experimenting with the sound and collaborating with artists I am fan of (Pia!!!), but the overall quality of the performance wasn’t spectacular and the rookie rapper was pretty terrible. Double K’s stage was good, Double K was good, Take One was good but there was zero chemistry between Double K and Take One. Actually, Double K seemed like he was too busy showing off his skills to realize that this show is not just about him. Garion comes in 3rd as everything was perfect about their stage except Illtong who seemed a bit shaky. Verbal Jint was close to being my number 1 pick, but once again I would’ve liked to see more interaction between him and Cheeta. My top pick for this round is MC Sniper, because damn, that stage was perfect. The arrangement was flawless (with Yiruma and a whole string ensemble in tow), MC Sniper was fantastic, Kwon Hyuk Woo was simply phenomenal, and you could really tell that MC Sniper cared a lot about showcasing the rookie rapper’s talents as well because I think Kwon Hyuk Woo got a lot more lines and time to shine than some of the other rookies. And they had a great dynamic on stage.
Anna: 1) MC Sniper, 2) Double K, 3) Verbal Jint, 4) Garion, 5) Hoony Hoon, 6) 45RPM, 7) Miryo 8) Joosuc
I still don’t feel qualified to judge rap, so I’ve based my ranking primarily on how I experienced the performances. As such both top and bottom were easy picks, MC Sniper for exceeding all of my expectations last week and Joosuc for being so much worse than I’d thought he would be. Double K and Verbal Jint was a close call, but in the end Double K’s performance was more memorable both because of Ali and that part where it was just him. Miryo got to be second from the bottom since the arrangement was quite awful, especially considering all the potential lost. The middle three were more difficult to place. Garion too had a piano, which is something of a plus for me, and this time that got to trumph weird 90’s nostalgia, even though I had no reason to be fond of that particular song. And 45RPM while fun didn’t really do much besides making Lee Byung Ryong cry.
First place: Double K
Sangha: somehow I’m not surprised, Double K seems to have a huge fanbase and it was a decent stage. I just hope I get to see him give more chance to Take One, because like I said, this isn’t just about him.
Anna: I don’t mind this at all. I too hope we’ll get to see TakeOne get more space next time.
Eliminated: Hoony Hoon (second last: Joosuc)
Sangha: As expected, as Hoony Hoon’s stage was awful. Not sad to see him go either, just sorry for him because he was so determined to show what he got (it just wasn’t much…). I was becoming nervous when they were announcing who would be eliminated though, because I really like Kim Jung Hoon and I didn’t want to see him leave so early! Hopefully Joosuc will step up his game in the next round.
Anna: I couldn’t get what more besides the scores affects the outcome. Being the first to get eliminated sucks and even more so for Hoony Hoon that’ll leave the show the no name rapper he entered it as.