Show Me The Money 4 – Episode 1 Recap

SMTM4 has the potential to be really good so far and I figured I’d do a recap to review what went down in the first episode. If you want a tl;dr version, you ain’t gonna find it here but HipHopKR has a fantastic one. There are some promising contestants this season and I’m 100% here for all of the shade being thrown on this show. So without further ado…(links to episode 1 at the end of the recap)

First off, we have our producer teams.

Team YG: Jinusean and Tablo

Team Brand New Music: Verbal Jint and San E

Team AOMG (or Spiderman Team?): Loco and Jay Park

Team Hulk : Paloalto and Zico


– The opening shots of the audition line were ridiculous. I had no idea that many people (7,000 total) auditioned for the show.


– The atmosphere for the 1st round of auditions seems so nerve-wracking and chaotic, with all the contestants practicing their verses and waiting for the producers to come out and evaluate their skills.

– I thought I’d give the judges superlatives because why not.
Loco takes the prize for ‘Best Effort to Keep a Straight Face’

Tablo and Jay Park take the cake for ‘Most Polite’
Sean – ‘Most Highly Anticipated’ and simultaneously ‘Most Cold-Blooded’

Paloalto – Most Hated

Zico – ‘Most Scary’ (but in denial about it)
San E – ‘Most Energetic’
Verbal Jint – ‘Most Mysterious’

Jinu – I had no idea what to give him so he wins for ‘Most Normal’ so far

– *Cue clips of people dissing idol rappers and then a steady stream of idol rappers being eliminated*

I can’t with these Mnet producers. Did Ravi really wink that many times? Would someone tell him to stop??

I was a little underwhelmed by his performance and so was this guy…


…but Loco seemed to like what he heard and Ravi is put through to the second round.

– Rhythm Power’s Geegooin is given a chain by Tablo but HangZoo’s lines were less impressive so Tablo lets him go

*Can I speak to the cameramen for a moment? Are these SUPER close-ups really necessary??*


– Tablo – “Sean-hyung’s image, it’s like he’ll hug you even if you mess up your lyrics”. AHAHAHA and then Sean while judging just walks away coldly. He’s a straight up G. Jinu – “You thought he was a donation angel” LOL

– Team Tablo is playing no games this season.

BeWhy earns a chain from Papa Sean

– Not this lion growl for P-Type though.. He trained CL and Minzy from 2ne1 and boasts to having 15 years of rap experience under his belt. I’d hate to be the one to judge him. Even the other contestants feel weird auditioning alongside him. He comes out the gate saying he came to criticize, and the producers don’t yet know hip hop. SHOTS FIRED.

The task to evaluate P-type’s skills falls to Tablo. Yikes…
I have to admit P-Type’s performance is impressive…he spit fire


– Fun fact: Crucial Star is given the title of “Hip Hop scene’s ‘eomchina’ – short version for the term for mother’s friend’s son (or ‘well off perfect man’). Crucial Star denies this, sharing that his dad is a famous artist and his mom/siblings are artists as well. But he found painting boring so pursued rap instead. God is good.

– Crucial Star was confident but ultimately forgot his lyrics. It was hard to watch but he’s still my fave. Hang in their Park Se Yoon 😥 He asks for a second chance and is coolly denied by Tablo who tells him it wouldn’t be fair to give him a second go at it while everyone else has only had one. Tablo does tell him he likes his music a lot (so do I Tablo, so do I).

crucial star

– NOT this close up of Vernon though. Why is this boy speaking in English? We meet Kim Min Jae reading his script in line. He’s going to be one busy guy. Out of the flower boy trio, if I have to choose, I’m rooting for Jaewon.

How do the three fare?

-Jaewon delivers a swaggy performance and Jay Park passes him.

– San E judges Kim Min Jae and Vernon. His first words for Kim Min Jae: “Your face is really cute-looking”…*rolls eyes* San E, please. Both rappers do well and are passed through to the next round.

– There’s a highlight of the strong showing of female rappers on the last season of SMTM (*cue shots of women in the audition line and audio clip of Britney and Iggy singing Pretty Girls*). For a while it seems the ladies are being eliminated left and right. I had hope for Jiyeon (former Glam leader) who poured her heart into those lines but San E reluctantly cuts her in the end. Female rapper Kasper (close friend of rapper Kisum from Unpretty Rapstar) gains a chain from Tablo (and all kinds of wide-eyed attention from the male contestants around her).


– Tablo on Zico/Paloalto duo – “It’s a combination that doesn’t paint any kind of picture”. Well then.

Owen Kim is unfazed by Paloalto’s harsh demeanor and earns a chain (he was eliminated in the third round last season). For some reason I sensed from the get-go that he was Paloalto’s kind of guy (especially considering the makeup of the Hilite Records crew).


Black Nut is back (first appearing on season 2) and he’s a nut indeed, a straight up loose canon. Where did Just Music find this kid…San E sums up everyone’s thoughts – “He’s really crazy”.


Whatever you say Black Nut, whatever you say.

– Free style champ Seo Chul Gu is passed by San E

-OMG this halmuni Choi Byung Ju, thank goodness San E judged her. I usually can’t tolerate his corniness but it was appropriate here.

– *Cut to stream of contestants so hilarious they make the judges laugh*

– Verbal Jint is slowly becoming my favorite producer

– Mad love for the Taco hyung who appeared with his food truck to save the hungry contestants (and shout out to the audio editors at Mnet, I haven’t heard Party Up by DMX in YEARS)


-*Cut to contingent of song writers and producers from different entertainment companies*, one of them being rapper Innovator from FNC who passes to the second round. Got7 Jackson’s Dok2 impersonation is what really makes this segment worth watching


-*Cut to contingent of rappers who were eliminated at some point last season, among them New Champ, Jung Sang Soo, Ja Mezz and SMTM3 contestant Yook Ji Dam’s rap teacher Heo in Chang. Oh no…Jung Sang Soo (who will forever be remembered for notoriously using the n-word). How old is this guy anyway…San E has him promise he’ll perform differently from last season and then gives him a chain.

Heo In Chang faces Paloalto who passes him! I was impressed with his lyrics and I know Paloalto respects lyrical depth so no surprise here.

– There’s a feature for Mino (of course), who expresses a desire to shed his idol image. He’ll have a hard time trying to come out from under the shadow cast by YG and Bobby but he seems prepared to face any hate from other contestants. Mino was nervous to face Zico, whom he says knows his “pros and cons” well. Man the pressure…why must the producers do this to us…we’re made to wait for episode 2 to see what his fate is.


– Tablo says the term “idol rapper” doesn’t mean much and San E said it doesn’t matter much, its all about whether someone is skilled or not. Woo Tae Woon (who wants to shed the title of ‘Zico’s hyung’) faces San E…we’re also left with a cliff hanger for his results.

– In the end, out of the 7,000 people that started, 108 rappers make the cut and are on to the second round. The second round will consist of each contestant rapping solo before the judges for 60 seconds.

Episode 1 with English Subs (pt. 1 and pt. 2). Thanks Nahae Kim!

2 thoughts on “Show Me The Money 4 – Episode 1 Recap

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