Caught by surprise by Tokyo’s lack of wifi, our commentary series of Mnet’s hip-hop variety Show Me The Money had to take an unscheduled break. The final episode has already aired, but today we’re talking about the seventh episode, aired on August 3rd. With five crews still in competition this was the semi final and the theme was Friday night. In addition to myself the commentary panel consists of Youngmi of Reset, Sangha of strangeseasons and Ranya of K-Underground Sweden.
New Rapper Teams
Anna: Last time the most popular rookie rapper got to go first to pick the pro rapper to work with next, this time the most popular pro rapper gets to go first to pick his rookie rapper. I kinda like how we never know exactly how the new teams will be put together beforehand.
Joosuc picks Kwon Hyuk Woo
Anna: I sort of thought he’d go back to Kim Jung Hoon, but perhaps that’d be too embarrassing. This will be an interesting pairing to see on stage.
Sangha: Wise, seeing how crazy popular Kwon Hyuk Woo has become over the course of the show…
Youngmi: Okay so it’s the rookies turn to choose their favorite pro rapper. And the most popular one is Joosuc? Am I missing something here?
Double K picks TakeOne
Anna: Going back to the old formulae. They did look very good together and the audience approved, but Double K really needs to give TakeOne some more room to show his skills this time.
Youngmi: Double K really likes working with TakeOne.
MC Sniper picks Lee Jae Hoon
Anna: Kim Jung Hoon was looking so eager to get picked by him, but instead MC Sniper goes for the most questionable of the rookie rappers? Did he say he picked him because of the sad feeling Lee Jae Hoon emits?
Sangha: I was hoping that MC Sniper would pick Kim Jung Hoon! That could’ve been really interesting.
Garion pick Kim Jung Hoon
Anna: They’ve already worked with Illtong and it didn’t turn out too well, so considering the remaining choices this wasn’t much of a surprise. But what, Kim Jung Hoon goes to sulk afterwards? Not cool
Youngmi: It seems like everyone who’s worked with Garion feels this overwhelming amount of pressure. I mean okay they’re hip hop legends but they’re nice guys! Nothing to be scared of Jung Hoon!
45RPM end up with Illtong
Anna: It’s what Illtong wanted and 45RPM don’t seem too beat down by the outcome either. Great! I’m really curious to see how they with their fun and energetic style will accommodate Illtong’s slower style of rap.
Sangha: This is unexpected! I feel like they’re so different style-wise… Interesting..
Youngmi: I think 45RPM are the perfect group to bring out Illtong’s strengths! Although their styles of rap are different Illtong needs to lighten up a little!
Rookie Rapper 30 Second Raps
For the semi final, the rookie rappers all get 30 seconds on stage after which the audience will vote for a favorite. Whoever scores best will get to pick start order first for the team.
Anna: I really like that the rookie rappers get a chance to show themselves to the audience on their own. Although considering that some of the audience members were shown to favor rookie rappers ahead of entering the studio there may be some bias voting anyway.
Anna: Perhaps not much of a surprise, but he’s doing really good! I’m liking this a lot.
Sangha: Ehhh. Not feeling this so much.
Anna: The girls are screaming for Illtong! We didn’t get to see all that much of him, but he did a decent enough job. Great to get to see Illtong do his style of rap rather than rushing through something to fit an arrangement not fit for him.
Sangha: I liked this! Although he needs to be more confident when he’s starting…
Kim Jung Hoon
Anna: Even more screams for Kim Jung Hoon. He’s looking good. Seems to be doing well too, though I didn’t really like the handover much myself.
Sangha: Ahhh, fantastic. I really love his style, it’s just so great.
Lee Jae Hoon
Anna: Oh, so he doesn’t need a beat? Kinda brave. But there’s something about his voice today that isn’t very nice to listen to. Did he get a cold? Overall it felt more like he was just some random guy trying to talk pretending to be a rapper rather than an actual rapper showing off his skills. Too much shouting.
Sangha: I agree, I always feel like he’s trying too hard when he’s rapping.
Kwon Hyuk Woo
Anna: I think I’m hearing the girls scream louder than for any of the other rookies. He did it well enough to deserve it.
Sangha: Crowd loves him! Well-deserved, he is such a cutie with such a nice flow. I’m really digging the beats here.
Youngmi: Kwon Hyuk Woo is the obvious favorite. I think we all know who’s going to end up winning this whole thing.
1. Kwon Hyuk Woo
2. Kim Jung Hoon
4. Lee Jae Hoon
Anna: I’m more surprised at not finding Lee Jae Hoon in the bottom than anything else, but I suppose getting the audience involved in his rap worked in his favor. TakeOne seems to be taking the bottom placement hard, to the point of crying. That was a very distasteful cap he’s wearing though. All my sympathies out the window.
Youngmi: I don’t know if it’s just the editing of the show but TakeOne is always crying!
Anna: MC Sniper seems concerned with Lee Jae Hoon’s rap lyrics. But again with the shouting, Lee Jae Hoon? Was he always annoying like this or is it just that I haven’t seen him for a while? Lee Jae Hoon is all sweaty after practicing the song together with MC Sniper, but with all that jumping who can blame him. MC Sniper is not feeling well at the day of performance.
Youngmi: MC Sniper is trying hard to help Lee Jae Hoon which I appreciate a lot. He’s trying really hard actually and it’s definitely taking a toll on his body. MC Sniper is not looking too good at all.
Performance – “Champion” (Psy cover)
Anna: A bit of “Eye of the Tiger” before heading onto the song’s usual “Axel F” intro. That’s just overdoing it, but the audience seems to approve. Lee Jae Hoon actually kinda looks like Psy with the new hairdo and outfit. And there’s Broken Valentine’s Van shouting with them on stage.
Sangha: I kinda like this! It’s really fun. MC Sniper sounds awesome, although I just can’t bring myself to like Lee Jae Hoon. He did exceptionally well here, though!
Youngmi: This performance is incredibly energetic but that’s all I can get from it. Just a lot of shouting and jumping around. MC Sniper didn’t sound his best either.
Anna: Much more than I would’ve given them, but they did do very well enticing the crowd. Good job!
Anna: A Dok2 cover? It’s sort of what I had hoped to see from the show when I got started– showing off more of what Korea’s hiphop-scene has to offer–but I soon became very comfortable with the K-pop covers and now that’s actually what I’d prefer to see. “훔쳐” even had Double K featured to begin with so it feels like he’s getting lazy. I like seeing Double K and TakeOne walking the streets of Hongdae together, getting recognized on the street, before getting on stage for the Illionaire 2012 Tour.
Sangha: If they were going to do a cover of a hip-hop song I would rather see them cover a song that’s consider a ‘classic’ or something older… Not like I knew this song before or anything, but I do know that Dok2 is pretty big at the mo’, correct?
Performance: “훔쳐” + “비스듬히 걸쳐” + “Blah Blah Blah” (Dok2 covers)
Anna: Starting to rap already before getting on stage is pretty nice. And then Dok2 comes out from the DJ booth in the middle of the stage. Far too many lasers at work on the stage there. Double K has been unusually generous in letting his rookie rapper get some actual rap time. And wow! Double K can rap really, really fast.
Sangha: Not digging this at all. And how is this relevant to the given theme of “Friday Night”?
Youngmi: Well, I liked how Double K went back to his roots. There weren’t any unnecessary things that distracted from the performance. They just rapped confidently which is something I thought was lacking from Double K. Ahh and the Dok2 feature! Awesome.
Money: ₩ ?
Anna: They seem quite satisfied with the outcome. We could see the money meter go up to 800,000 just before they quit. For MC Sniper it was 750,000 so chances are Double K did even better.
Anna: I’m glad to learn Garion are so well respected in the Korean hip-hop community. Kim Jung Hoon finds Garion scary and seem uneasy. They should be such a perfect pairing, but obviously they’re not. Hopefully it won’t be too noticeable on stage. Kim Jung Hoon runs to complain to Joosuc.
Sangha: Aw, it’s cute to see how Kim Jung Hoon and Joosuc gets along though…
Youngmi: I like this spot they did for Garion. They deserve all the respect and praise! Anyways, back to the show I really like this song choice and I know exactly what theme they’re going to go with! I’m excited for it but worried for Kim Jung Hoon who looks extremely uncomfortable around people who are not named Joosuc. I think I can understand his loyalty because Joosuc allowed Jung Hoon to crash at his place since he had no place to stay during the course of the competition. It’s just frustrating to see him not live up to his full potential. Stop bothering Joosuc and Hyuk Woo and practice with Garion!
Performance: “오늘 같은 밤” (Lee Kwang Cho cover)
Anna: Garion have again taken help from Soul Steady Rockers’ Jun Beck for the arrangement. Naachal sings? The “Mas Que Nada” parts gives a really summery feel to this arrangement. Venus Kim contributes her vocals. But where is Kim Jung Hoon? Garion are usually far more generous to their rookies. After hearing Venus Kim sing the refrain a second time everything gets dark and there he is! Nice entrance, albeit fairly late. He still doesn’t look a hundred percent, but even so manages to lift the entire performance with his part.
Sangha: I really like this arrangement! It just screams summer. Although I felt like Kim Jung Hoon’s getup seemed a bit out of place. What was up with that suit? They all sound amazing though!
Youngmi: MC Meta just kills in this song. It not only screams summer but I really get that chill Friday night party vibe as opposed to downing drinks at the club vibe. I was very surprised that Jung Hoon came out so late in an attire that didn’t seem to match the theme at all. It was random once he entered but things seemed to even out once they were all together.
Money: ₩ 1,350,000
Anna: I thought this was the weakest performance we’ve seen from Garion so far, although I’d like to see them remain in the competition so I’m glad the audience thought differently.
Anna: Illtong dancing with 45 RPM!!! I can hardly stop laughing. He looks so cute and awkward at the same time.
Youngmi: Omg they’re so adorable! I just love how fun and lighthearted 45RPM are! Illtong seems to be picking up on the laughs too and that’s just great to see! I’ve never seen him so happy and confident! Oh and side note, Lee Hyun Bae of 45RPM is DJ DOC’s Lee Ha Neul’s little brother! Sayyy what??? This song choice definitely makes sense!
Performance: “One Night” (DJ DOC cover)
Anna: Illtong gets to go first and does it well. Much credit to 45RPM for picking a song that suits Illtongs style instead of putting him to shame like all other pro-rappers prior. Of course part of it could also be that Illtong has finally gained the confidence necessary to actually pull it off. And there is DJ DOC’s own Kim Chang Ryul to sing the refrain! Popping crew Level 6 show up midway, putting on some moves to the sound of “Billie Jean”. And they’re shooting the audience with water guns, with some audience members equipped to retaliate. 45RPM are all about fun performances.
Sangha: Oh my god! Never in my life did I expect to see Illtong so comfortable with doing something so silly. They all seem to have so much fun, that’s so great.
Youngmi: Oh my god! The wigs! The choreography! Original DJ DOC member Kim Chang Ryul singing the chorus! This is too much! I knew 45RPM had the ability to bring out something special in Illtong. I wish the two could’ve met sooner!
Money: ₩ ?
Anna: The audience seemed to really enjoy this performance, but it wouldn’t be the first time 45RPM did something fun and entertaining on this show without seeing the return. We did see the money meter go up to 400,000 during the performance though, so at least it should be better than their lowest score.
Anna: Yes!!! “Like This” has been one of my favorite summer songs and since Joosuc and Kwon Hyuk Woo seemed to be getting along so well backstage this may well become my favorite performance from Joosuc. But a samulnori arrangement? All of a sudden I’m back to doubting Joosuc. Seems rehearsals weren’t all that smooth either. Even at the final rehearsal Kwon Hyuk Woo messes up the end of his rap.
Sangha: Oh god, I hate this song. It’s such a lazy song… and I don’t know how they’re going to work in samulnori into this either, don’t think it goes with the song at all. It just seems like they’re throwing it in there because they don’t know what the hell to do with the arrangement.
Youngmi: Bringing in the samulnori team seems like an interesting move. Especially with such a fast paced song. Joosuc mentions how he got the idea of including them very last minute which is worrisome. And speaking of last minute we see Kwon Hyuk Woo messing up during rehearsals too! Eek!
Performance: “Like This” (Wonder Girls cover)
Anna: Ok, I’ll admit that was a very effective intro. The money meter is up to 300,000 already as soon as the two rappers have introduced themselves on stage. Soulstar’s Lee Kyu Hoon provides some smooth vocals. I sort of wish they had tried to recreate the flashmob feeling of the “Like This” music video, but I like this anyway. And Kwon Hyuk Woo finally nailed it! And some samulnori dance before it all ends? Nice touch! Definitely my favorite performance tonight.
Sangha: Hm. Better than I expected it to turn out, but still not sure if I like the combination of this song and the samulnori aspects. I still feel like they’re clashing. But other than that, Joosuc and Kwon Hyuk Woo both did amazingly!
Youngmi: I thought the fusion of samulnori and “Like This” went well! Joosuc and MC Loco definitely brought all they had into the performance! It’s definitely crowd pleasing.
Money: ₩ 1,150,000
Anna: I honestly had expected them to get a lot more than this. Don’t know whether it’s the language barrier or my bias for the original song.
Anna: 1) Joosuc, 2) 45RPM, 3) MC Sniper, 4) Double K, 5) Garion
Sangha: 1) 45 RPM 2) Joosuc 3) MC Sniper 4) Garion 5) Double K
Youngmi: 1. 45RPM 2.) Joosuc 3) Garion 4) Double K 5) MC Sniper
First Place: Joosuc
Anna: Yes!! In spite of the relatively low score Joosuc and Kwon Hyuk Woo got the credit they deserved. But the actual ranking system confuses me more with every episode.
Sangha: I’m happy that Joosuc finally won! I like him a lot and every week he’d be in the bottom 2 I felt bad. Picking Kwon Hyuk Woo really worked out for him!
Youngmi: I feel like the crowd will vote for whatever team MC Loco is on. Things are starting to get incredibly predictable.
Garion vs MC Sniper
Anna: No!! My current favorites up against the guy most reliably offering great performances both at once? At least they’re not both eliminated. Poor Kim Jung Hoon has been up for elimination
every time possible.
Sangha: This is the worst! I love both Garion and Kim Jung Hoon, and I was beginning to really like MC Sniper as well… I’d be sad to see any of them go.
Youngmi: *prays that Garion stays*
Eliminated: MC Sniper
Anna: I’m sad to see him go, but Garion are more hip-hop so I’m glad they’re still in competition for the final. And between Kim Jung Hoon and Lee Jae Hoon I’d much rather see more of Kim Jung Hoon anyway. I’m starting to suspect that maybe the end result have more to do with the rookie rappers than the pro rappers. Has there been a clear statement yet what exactly determines the ranking of the crews?
Sangha: Really sad to see MC Sniper go because he has such tremendous energy on stage but glad that Garion and Kim Jung Hoon got to stay. Poor Kim Jung Hoon though, he’s been in the bottom two for all the rounds! As for the ranking of the crews, isn’t it completely decided on the voting at the end? That’s what I thought. Like the money scores are the actual money that they will get through the performances (and sorta like the audience reaction of the performance), and who gets to leave depends on the voting at the very end.
Anna: Aha, that explains it! I’ve been confused all this time and even tried to calculate how the two were weighted… The name of the show also makes a lot more sense now. Thanks, Sangha!
Youngmi: Ah MC Sniper did well during the course of the show. It was still pretty shocking to see such a professional rapper like him not make it to the final round.
Jisan Valley Special Mission
Anna: Turns out the remaining rappers will go to the Jisan Valley Rock Festival for a special mission. And because there will be foreigners they’ll have to take that into consideration. So that’s what the Show Me The Money performance at Jisan was about! Even though I was in the country at the time I failed to make it out there myself and it seems none of my friends that did go actually checked out the Show Me The Money stage.
Anna: Oh no. Why is it that I always get embarrassed seeing random foreigners on Korean TV? Suddenly I have a whole new reason to be glad I actually didn’t go. TakeOne has good English, but Kwon Hyuk Woo is a bit more awkward. And it seems the actual Show Me The Money slot on the Jisan schedule was performances with the pro-rappers. Perhaps we’ll see more of it from the final episode.