Anyone who has watched Show Me The Money before or read anything about the show online knows that it doesn’t take much for a season to begin to devolve into a hot mess. With all of the drama and controversy, from editing woes to out-of-line contestants, there’s a lot I could cover here. I decided to jump this post off with a couple of gems from the #smtm4 treasure trove on Tumblr that encapsulate my thoughts/feelings on the show:
Whew. That was cathartic. Now let’s get into it.
Episode 4 began with a ‘revival round’ for the eliminated contestants from the 1-v-1 battles. 4 rappers are selected by the judges to get a second chance: Lil Boi, Jooheon, BewhY and One. A coin flip determines the pairings – One vs. Jooheon and Lil Boi vs BewhY.
One and Jooheon can’t agree on one beat so they choose separate ones. One brought it (and sounded a lot better than Jooheon in my opinion) and passes. The choice between Lil Boi and BewhY is much harder for the judges. They both performed so well Papa Sean said he felt like he was watching the semi finals or finals of the show. Lil Boi comes out on top.
As mentioned in my last recap, the main event this episode is the cypher battle and many contestants expected Seo Chul Goo to do well and the freestyle rapper himself was looking forward to it.
San E asks special guest Snoop Dogg what he’s looking for and he says “originality”. The rappers will have no control over choice of beats and the round will last 10 minutes with any contestant who doesn’t participate being automatically eliminated.
I don’t know what to make of this:
The cypher was messy and got heated but for many of the rappers the format was unfamiliar and the rules were unclear, which is possibly what Mnet is apologizing for. Snoop Dogg is a major Western music figure so perhaps there was some embarrassment but I feel that Snoop low key enjoyed the craziness. Anyhow..
The mic passes from Innovator to New Champ who starts rapping right in front of Snoop Dogg but then the other rappers, in an attempt to stay near the mic, end up following him off stage. This goes on long enough for viewers to start wondering if any of the producers are going to say anything and then Zico finally tells the contestants to move back.
Microdot gets a chance to shine next and the fight for the mic only gets worse. The producers stop the music and try to intervene and the whole time Microdot keeps going, laying down some verses in English and Snoop is eating it up.
It seems like the producers have no control and anything goes but then Snoop suggests that the rappers stick to 8-12 bars and then pass the mic to someone else. “It’s not how much you say, it’s what you say.”
Super B, Black Nut and then One take a turn and the atmosphere is calmer. If I didn’t think Black Nut was such an awful, sketchy individual I could almost be proud of him in this round. As far as One’s ‘그냥 흑인’ (roughly translated ‘just a black person’) comment goes, I don’t think the subtitles helped his case and what he said didn’t bother me personally. I think he could’ve used better wording but was ultimately just expressing his confidence and lack of nerves in front of Snoop Dogg.
Ja Mezz, wearer of bucket hats and track suits, is right at home in the cypher and Snoop appreciated his style.
The producers must bring order once again and tell the contestants to let people finish before grabbing the mic.
Tae Woon gets his moment and does really well. Zico shares that he believes his brother sounded the best in this round.
Choi Yuri is the only female contestant at this point in the competition and has a really hard time trying to get a hold of the mic during the cypher. When she finally does get to rap she is flustered and makes a ton of mistakes, finally passing the mic to Mino.
Snoop says he sees something in Mino and tells him that he was dope and Mino is full of speechless gratitude.
The allotted 10 minutes come to an end but the producers realize 11 whole rappers haven’t gone yet, including early favorites Lil Boi and Basick. Since only 4 are supposed to be eliminated, 5 additional minutes are allotted for the remaining contestants.
Basick is one of my personal favorites among the contestants and I thought he killed it. Lil Boi does a great job too.
In a fateful moment, instead of going ahead and taking his turn, Seo Chul Goo passes the mic to the 17-year-old rapper. When it comes to Seo Chul Goo again the beat awkwardly stops in the middle of his rapping. A lot of the contestants comment on what a shame it is that Seo Chul Goo gave up the mic during the cypher as Snoop and the producers make their decisions.
In snippets of the judging, we hear Snoop select Lil Boi as a standout and comment that he really liked Seo Chul Goo before he “got nice”.
The four contestants eliminated are Choi Yuri, Anjake (sp?), Jin Sung and Seo Chul Goo. The other contestants are shocked by the freestyle rapper’s exit but I think he should have been more aggressive.
Cue a huge fan boy session as the contestants get the opportunity to greet Snoop Dogg and take lots of selfies.
Next, the producer teams prepare for their performances. The team whose performance comes in 1st place with the most contestant votes will get to have their choice of 4 rappers but those contestants may choose to reject the selection.
Loco and Jay Park are the most confident in their stage and Tablo claims Team YG had no time to prepare having returned at the time of filming from the Epik High U.S. tour days before. The producers make some of their choices known early and Tablo jokes, “If you don’t think you can make it to AOMG…if you come here, we will treat you well” LOL
The tables have turned and now its time for the contestants to judge the producers who have evaluated them thus far. But VJ isn’t worried:
As each team prepares back stage, Team AOMG is getting side-eye because of their props and the posse they brought with them. “Please overlook all those things and judge based on rap” – Zico.
There is a studio audience in attendance for the mini concert and the contestants watch from a balcony.
Team Brand New Music is first up with Vasco and CJamm making appearances for the performance.
Team Zico and Paloalto are up next. They emphasized they would perform on their own with no guests (although I believe Babylon was there to sing for Good Times). They end their performance with ‘My Team’ by B-Free which gets them a few shady looks from the other producers at first (which could be editing tricks) but all the judges end up jamming in the end.
Team Tablo and Jinusean take the stage third. YES to this Tablo x Hyukoh creation ‘Airbag’ they performed. I’m so pumped for HIGHGRND I don’t know what to do. B.I. and Bobby join their stage as well.
Last but not least we have Team AOMG with Gray, Ugly Duck, a bunch of AOMG homies and back up dancers to boot.
The performances end and now it’s time for the contestants to vote for their favorite performance.
The voting takes place and the producers start selling themselves and throwing shade:
Finally the results are in and…
With 18 out of 24 contestant votes, Zico and Paloalto snag 1st place!
As they begin to make selections however things aren’t easy. They pick Lil Boi but he rejects the offer, then One, who accepts. Super B rejects an offer and Zico is starting to get pissed. Hanhae rejects his offer as well but then Ja Mezz accepts. Mino accepts (“With this team, I’ll win”) and last but not least Andup accepts making four.
In 2nd place with 3 out of the remaining 6 votes is AOMG. Jay complains that he isn’t that happy with the results but is reminded by Tablo that AOMG got the same number of votes as Team YG and Team Brand New Music combined haha dang
In third place with 2 votes is San E and VJ and in 4th place with 1 vote is Team YG.
Next week the rest of the contestants will get to choose their producer teams. Check back here for another recap as always (I will try to post it in a more timely manner this week).
Thanks for reading!