In episode 8, the remaining contestants and producer teams have reached the second round of stage performances. Here’s how they work:
The team BrandNew producers are the first to choose their first place rapper from the diss battle. They end up choosing the rapper they believed gave the ‘most stable’ performance:
Now we get to see YG’s decision for first place rapper (who will be competing against Basick).
Super B seems to be the favorite for selection following his showing at the diss battle.
However, Innovator is chosen by the producers for the the performance mission. “A strategic move” according to Papa Sean. As it turns out, back in 2009, Innovator and Basick were both members of hip hop crew Jiggy Fellaz and created a group ‘Double Trouble’ together. Tablo believes Innovator’s performance will be strong because he will go against a former teammate.
Innovator makes it clear that he no longer wants to be in Basick’s shadow and wants do his own thing now.
Basick says he wouldn’t have been on SMTM if things had gone well for him back in his Double Trouble days. Basick will be performing an old Jiggy Fellaz song ‘GXNZI’ (Ganzi).
As he prepares for his performance, Basick is still struggling with lyrical mistakes. I’m not sure if it’s nerves or what but he doesn’t seem ready. Microdot says he wonders if things would have been different if he or Black Nut had been chosen.
San E gives Basick a bit of a stern talking to, asking him if he’s underestimating YG.
The show cuts to Team BrandNew watching Innovator rehearse. YG has brought in singer Lee Hi to perform. It looks like Innovator will be performing a slower, ballad-style rap and Verbal Jint makes a hilarious comment that it’s his style and he could do it better.
Innovator’s rehearsal goes well and he feels good about it and Basick looks like he’s losing confidence.
Sean says he was touched by Innovator’s lyrics. Basick begins to rehearse as Team YG watches. Tablo doesn’t think that the ‘hard core’ performance style Basick is going for fits him.
Basick is confident he’ll get a better reaction from the audience than Innovator as long as Innovator doesn’t cry LOL
Finally it’s time for their performances. Basick goes first.
The editing makes it hard to tell but Basick has a bit of a weak start and seems to kind of fall a part a little bit. The audience is pretty dead and there’s no energy…once again, Mino’s face sums up my feelings exactly:
Despite the rough start, Basick’s performance (and the audience) revives halfway through.
It’s interesting to compare this performance to those in the last round where the contestants performed with the producers. This time each rapper has to hold his own and even though Basick is popular (and one of my early favorites) the beginning of his performance left me doubting whether he has the charisma to captivate an audience.
The MC talks to Basick after his performance and asks him how he thought he did and he immediately mentions messing up his lyrics…San E immediately tells Microdot and Black Nut to never say they messed up even if they do.
Now it’s Innovator’s turn. He will be performing More Than a TV Star featuring Lee Hi.
Innovator has prepared sincere, heartfelt lyrics and delivers an inspiring, feel-good performance. It is clear he has moved the audience but his performance is drastically different from the one Basick gave. Incredible, Tablo and Super B look on proudly from backstage.
So cute haha
In my opinion Innovator was awesome and I agree with Tablo here:
At the end of rapping, Basick makes an awkward attempt at a speech that comes off a little corny.
So who will it be? The MC announces that all of the audience votes are in.
Team YG is extremely confident and even Basick says he thinks Innovator has won. Haha San E’s face here is gold (“Boy, be quiet…”)
Jay Park says that Basick was able to deliver a performance that was more exciting, which shouldn’t be left out as a factor in the audience’s decision.
Will Jay’s words prove to be prophetic? Basick and Innovator stand on stage staring at a display that will show one of their names. The winner is revealed but only the contestants can see the screen so the audience and their teammates back stage only have their faces to judge from at first.
Innovator gestures to give Basick a hug which immediately makes me think Basick won but then someone backstage points out that Innovator has a smirk on his face that makes it seem like he won. Basick returns to the dressing room and he looks pressed
Innovator returns to his dressing room and Team YG greets him excitedly but then he announces that he lost and they’re completely shocked. Tablo tells Innovator straight up that he did better than Basick.
Basick quietly says that he won and his teammates react with surprise.
Basick doesn’t look he believes it either.
Next we get to see how Microdot and Black Nut prepare for the performance that will determine their fate. Microdot wants to give a hype performance (per usual) but Black Nut says he wants to use this performance as an opportunity to tell his story.
They need to come to an agreement because the producers will only make one beat. It is clear that Microdot wants the mic badly.
Black Nut prepares more quietly but as performance day gets closer both contestants practice hard. San E takes them to the store to reward them and says he’ll buy them anything they want. Basick tags along.
So cute haha I keep forgetting he’s a dad.
San E says he believes Black Nut has improved slowly since shedding his glasses but he is still not perfect. Back at rehearsal on stage, Black Nut watches nervously as Microdot practices.
After Black Nut rehearses, the producers have mixed feelings. Paloalto thought Black Nut was better, San E is unsure who did better and Tablo says that while Microdot was more energetic he believes Black Nut is more likely to get votes. Both contestants know that soon one of them will be eliminated but the atmosphere between them is friendly.
According to Black Nut, he and Microdot have become quite close throughout the competition and San E says they have supported and encouraged each other well which is what will make their decision even harder.
Verbal Jint says it was really hard for them to make a choice.
Who is chosen?? After cutting to the stage and to the audience waiting in anticipation, we see that Black Nut was handed the mic. Verbal Jint says that just the day before he was thinking of choosing Microdot because of his great energy but in the end Black Nut has hidden talent.
Black Nut will deliver a performance that communicates to all the haters that he deserves to have made it this far.
I think that somewhere along the way Black Nut has emerged as the underdog. He’s awkward and crass but for some reason there’s something in him that I think people in the audience identified with. He says and does some problematic things but I think that people like how raw he is, the way he collapsed before delivering his last verse, exlaiming “This is so f***ing hard”. Even Mino is impressed with the last bit of Black Nut’s lyrics:
Black Nut is proud of himself but we will see how his performance stands up to Team YG’s.
Now it’s time for the YG producers to decide who will be performing on stage – Super B or Incredible?
We see that during the recording session, Super B does well and clearly has Tablo’s approval while Incredible seems to be having a harder time.
Super B says he’s confident that if it comes down to skill that he can receive the mic, as long as he doesn’t slip because he’s too cocky. Incredible seems to be under a lot pressure. He looks on as Super B performs. Super B’s energy may be a little too much and Tablo tells him to take it down a notch haha
The contestants and producers on the other team discuss how different the song is from Incredible’s usual style and Incredible admits it’s not what he’s used to.
Tablo and Jinusean allow Incredible to have another rehearsal, hoping that he will get past the lyrical mistakes and do better the second time.
After Incredible’s second practice, Super B is less sure of whether he’ll be chosen. Tablo tells Incredible back stage that while he thought Super B was better at this style of song at first, now he believes that Incredible may be well suited to faster songs as well.
Until the end, Super B says he feels he may be chosen because Incredible still hasn’t memorized his lyrics. The producers have one more meeting and Tablo is re-evaluating things.
Incredible is chosen to perform with the producers and the faces of the other producer teams are priceless. Everyone seemed to be sure Super B had it in the bag.
Maybe it’s because Incredible is older but I felt like the whole performance had an OG feel to it. I think that he fit better with Tablo and Jinusean on stage. The YG producers and Super B performing together would have been interesting to watch play out. In the end, I felt like the producers picked Incredible because they liked his more steady style.
Verbal Jint said he thought it was cool of Team YG to disregard the trend of doing more hype, hardcore performances.
Team YG and Team Brand New stand on stage and await the results. We already know the outcome of the first battle between Basick and Innovator so now the MC prepares to announce the voting outcome for Black Nut vs. Incredible.
Team Brand New comes out on top. Verbal Jint said he feels strange feeling happy because Basick won despite making mistakes. Now we will find out which rapper will be automatically eliminated from Team YG based on how much performance money was earned. Innovator is pleased with his performance no matter what happens and Incredible says he’s not confident at all.
The results are revealed and Incredible is headed home.
Now we get to see which team will be completely eliminated based on Mino and Lil Boi’s performances – will it be the end for Team ZiPal or for Team AOMG?
The difference between Mino and Lil Boi has come down to 125,000 won or 5 votes. It’s ridiculously close…
Mino emerges as the winner and Team AOMG is no more. Loco says he’s happy because he had fun until now and Lil Boi doesn’t seem to have any regrets.
Now there are four rappers left: Innovator, Mino, Basick and Black Nut.
Since Team Brand New has two rappers still in the game, they can decide who will compete in the matches. They can have Basick and Black Nut compete with each other, ensuring at least one of their spots in the finals.
What decision did Team BrandNew make?
They put Black Nut in the 2nd performance space and Basick in the 4th slot. Mino expresses a desire to go against Basick because he and Lil Boi have been said to be the best rappers in the competition.
There is shock on Innovator’s face as Team Brand New reveals where they have placed Mino.
Well, well, well, it looks like we have two intense battles ahead of us in the next episode.
The finals showdown between Mino and Black Nut and final battle between (former) friends Innovator and Basick. Check back here for the next recap!
Check out all the music videos that have been released for the tracks from this episode and the last.
Moneyflow – Song Mino, Zico, Paloalto
On It + Bo$$ – Lil Boi, Loco, Jay Park
GXNZI – Basick (feat. Vasco)
More Than A TV Star – Innovator (feat. Lee Hi)
M.I.L.E. (Make It Look Easy) – Black Nut, Verbal Jint, San E
Oppa’s Car – Incredible, Tablo, Jinusean