I realize this post is suuuuper late, so in light of that, I’ll keep this one short (which means no screenshots, sorry guys)!
In Episode 3, the remaining contestants faced off in 1-versus-1 battles. I expected the contestants to battle each other on the spot with freestyle raps to the same beat. Instead, the expectation was for the contestants to work together to collaborate on a performance in which they both spit verses and showcase their talent for the judges.
Each contestant that had his name pulled was able to select the rapper of his choice to go against in the 1-v-1 battle. Each contestant had a sticker to indicate his or her results from the previous round: ‘상’ (Good) – ALL PASS, ‘중’ (Fair) – Passed by 2-3 teams, and ‘하’ (Poor) – put through by 1 team.
The editing for this show is misleading per usual but here are the battles from episode 3 in the order shown:
Battle #1: Super B vs. Lee Eung Bum
Before the two start, Zico says: “I heard you guys didn’t share any information at all”. We see in the practice clips that Super B refused to practice with his partner, saying “It’s a competition” and that he didn’t choose his competitor to make a good performance. Ultimately, although Super B forgets part of his lyrics and the judges are disappointed with his performance compared to the round 2 auditions, Super B passes.
Battle #2: Incredible vs. Candle
Candle is a part of new Brand New Music artist duo Candle & Champagne. He and Incredible hit a few bumps in the road during their preparation, having difficulty agreeing on a beat. After the first vote, the judges put the contestants at a tie so they have to rap again. Candle was doing really well until he messed up his lyrics and in the end Incredible passes.
Battle #3: Black Nut vs. Ahn Soo Min
After all his talk about going against Song Minho, Black Nut ends up picking female contestant Ahn Soo Min because “she’s pretty”…he then proceeds to ask her for her number multiple times. He’s so creepy. The judges are unimpressed with the performance and Black Nut forgets his lyrics and starts to freestyle. After going a second round, Black Nut passes but Tablo tells him he should do something about his stage fright if wants to win (so that’s what the dark glasses are for).
Battle #4: Microdot vs. BeWhy
These two were my favorite pair to watch by far. Microdot chose BeWhy because he liked trap. The bromance was real as they prepared their performance and other contestants nearby complained that they were too loud. The judges were reluctant to separate the two but Microdot passes on to the next round.
Battle #5: Andup vs. Vernon
Vernon seemed to be ‘most wanted’ among the contestants when asked by the MC who they wanted to challenge. I don’t think Vernon was ready for this competition but Andup was really cocky which got annoying. Vernon did well but was a little off beat towards the end of his verse. San E said he thought watching the two was a waste of time and Papa Sean speaks up saying he didn’t want to bring either of them. The highly anticipated battle is a let down for the judges but they select Andup to move on to the next round.
Battle #6: Jooheon vs. Lee Hyun Joon
“I don’t like the way he wears his cap” – Jooheon on why he selected his opponent. Everyone has their reasons I suppose. The judges thought both rappers did well the first go around and they tie, forcing them to do a second round. I was frustrated with the editing because it made the performance hard to hear. In the second round the judges are really impressed with Lee Hyun Joon and he is chosen to pass to the next round.
– There are some highlights of a bunch of rappers being scolded for not bringing their A-game for the third round.
Battle #7: Hanhae vs. One
Nooooo both Hanhae and One received an All Pass and I really like them both. We have another bromance on our hands as the two are shown to have great chemistry as they prepared their performance. One said he’d like to meet Hanhae outside the competition because he listened to his opinions even though he was younger. So adorable. The judges are blown away and I liked both rappers’ lyrics. The ever stoic Verbal Jint was visibly impressed with One and Papa Sean complements his swagger but ultimately Hanhae passes. Zico assures One he wasn’t eliminated because he wasn’t good.
Battle #8: Seo Chul Goo vs. Heo In Chang
Well-known freestyle rapper Seo Chul Goo says he picked Heo In Chang because he thought he didn’t deserve to be there. Heo In Chang, who coached former contestant Yook Ji Dam, was eliminated in Season 2 and criticized this season for taking 30 seconds to warm up before starting his rap in round 2. Heo In Chang was another name called out often by other contestants and Seo Chul Goo entered their battle with confidence. The two had difficulty deciding on how to choose a beat because of their different styles. It was evident that Seo Chul Goo is used to cut throat street battles and his confidence served him well in this round. After the battle, Verbal speaks! He critiques Heo In Chang and says that 50% of the delivery is based on the lyrics and if the lyrics aren’t good its easy to miss them. Heo In Chang’s delivery wasn’t good in my opinion and his lyrics were…confusing…Seo Chul Goo passes this round.
Battle #9: Tae Woon vs. Lee Dong Hoon
I thought both rappers did well although Tae Woon needs to calm down with all the hand gestures. Jay Park also commented on how animated Tae Woon is compared to his brother Zico. Tae Woon passes and Tablo congratulates him but also tells him he needs to practice more. You can always depend on Tablo to deliver honest feedback. Zico agreed with Tablo and said he hopes his brother improves.
– Several battles in which both rappers were good enough to pass are quickly highlighted.
Battle #10: Mino vs. Yong Soo
Who told Mino to wear this baby blue sweatpants suit…anyhow all the contestants appeared nervous as Mino selected his opponent. He picks someone who received a higher rank in the 2nd round to go up against. Mino has received a lot of heat for his ‘OB/GYN’ lyric, for which he has apparently since apologized for. Paloalto applauded his comfort on the stage and Mino passes this round
Battle #11: Basick vs. Lil Boi
Another pairing that causes the judges to cry out in despair. These two were left to face each other after David Kim chose Owen Ovadoz when it was down to four contestants. Basick was determined to win from the beginning and Lil Boi seemed nervous. Their hook (‘Show Me the Money, why have you put us together”) expressed their frustration with having to compete against one another. They deliver a solid performance and Jinu even says he wants to purchase the track. Basick passes this round.
In the preview for episode 4, the contestants who passed the third round are called out and everyone is confused until San E announces that there will be a special guerrilla mission in which they will compete in a cypher and four people will be eliminated. Seo Chul Goo is all smiles and I expect him to do well. There is an announcement that there will be a special guest producer/judge for this round and as Snoop Dogg enters there are cheers and loud applause. Snoop Dogg says he is looking for originality, “I want you to be you”.
Within a 10 minute time frame the contestants will have to fight for the mic and take their chance to spit some verses. It will be interesting to see how this round plays out as it seems it will require some contestants to be more aggressive than they’re used to being. I also wonder how Snoop Dogg will be interpreting everything with what I assume are his minimal Korean skills. I guess he’ll do what all of us non-Korean K-hip hop fans do and judge the contestants based on their flow and rhythm.
Check back here for a recap of Episode 4! You can watch episode 3 here.