‘Unpretty Rapstar‘ time!
Honestly? Not much happened in terms of drama, and that was probably for the best. The remaining members just choose opponents and had the stage performance. The concept was ‘Real Me’.
Cheetah Vs. Jimin
This has exposed a problem that I think rappers like Jimin, Kisum, and Yuk Ji Dam have: They just don’t have the database of subject matter available to them to rap about, as evidenced by a lot of superficial lyrics from the trio over the course of the show (Yuk Ji Dam has clever zingers, but not the deeper lyrics). Not to say they don’t or didn’t have difficulties, but you’re a lot more likely to have been through some shit when you’re outside of the insulated idol world or high school or whatever, and Cheetah rapping about her near-death experience and coma is just something that’s not really possible for Jimin to overcome. Combine storytelling about something very personal with Cheetah’s ability and it’s not something anybody can beat.
For Jimin, she gave it her best shot, and by that I mean she made a quality club song. Also, good choice with Iron, but also bad choice with Iron because he showed her up on her own track. In any case, this is the type of performance that could have people saying she’s much improved if she wasn’t given wins from the start. On one hand, this has no depth to it for something that’s supposed to be about revealing the real you, but on the other hand, she really showcased her ability to spit in this performance and that she has improved her sound and flow over time.
The winner wasn’t revealed in this episode, but there’s no way Jimin should win this because it was still an insanely superficial track that didn’t fit the concept no matter how exciting it may have been. Maybe if Jimin instead came with a track about the perils of idol life or celebrity or something to that effect she could compete, but there’s just too much risk for an idol in a group approaching the top tier to reveal that or take that kind of risk, so she went the safe route and deserves to lose handily as a result. Anybody saying otherwise simply didn’t get the subject matter at hand.
Jessi Vs. Jolly V
I liked the start of Jolly V‘s track because I thought it really fits her style of rapping and voice. It’s the laid back image where she flows smooth and has quality lyrics, and that’s her sweet spot. Her vibe is really that Snoop Dogg-esque shit with a chill flow, so whenever she tries to play hype man like Jessi, it just doesn’t end well. Anything above her normal flow quickly becomes yelling, and then she starts to slur/mesh words together as the rhythm gets faster. I dunno, I think cause it’s live she thinks she has to go out and do something, but she should just stand there and try to make it with her rap like Cheetah, because everything else she’s doing just takes away from what could actually be (and still was, really) a solid track. Lyrically, she’s far far far better than Jessi, so I really think she should’ve just let the lyrics speak. It’s like … based on content I felt like she shouldn’t have lost, but when too much of your rapping sounds like you’re not riding the beat but are reciting or yelling poetry off a tablet, it’s a bit distracting.
Jessi is a performer, man. I give her credit for that. Like, she’s difficult for anybody to beat in this scenario with an audience. If I heard just the two songs, I would pick Jolly V. But for a live, Jessi commands everybody’s attention even if half her already mediocre lyrics are in English and a lot of her flow involves yelling shit out. Plus, she has the added ability to sing the hook herself acapella. But I dunno, this is a rap competition, and the rapping just isn’t that good, especially when she has the material to make an excellent ‘Real Me’ song, lyrically speaking.
More than anything, the score reflects two things:
1) People just don’t like Jolly V much at all. Maybe it’s the personality or a lack of charm or something, but getting impressions from people in Korea, they just don’t seem to like her, cause there’s no way the gap was this big.
2) It shows that the impression of hip-hop in Korea for a lot of people is that the more aggressive, more masculine, and more powerful a rapper is, the better or more “authentic” hip-hop the rap is. This attitude isn’t something that’s new or anything — it’s said all the time in interviews and you can see the trend of what sells to the public — but having most of the judges and contestants throughout the show say and confirm that view of hip-hop throughout the competition is a lot more telling than if it was just the public believing something. Point being, Jessi is who she is, and nobody will accuse of her being fake, but in terms of being a rapper? Yeah, she’s all aggressive, powerful swag to hide a lack of actual skills, and she’s rewarded for this because that best matches the image of rappers in Korea.
Basically … uh … I thought Jolly V was probably better … and so was Jimin.
Kisum Vs. Yuk Ji Dam
Not shown yet, but this should be interesting.
– This happened:
– In that same vein, I think I was wrong on what was happening in the preview for this episode. I thought San E was talking about voting in terms of to vote people back in because Tymee was back on the show all of a sudden, but it was just a rating for those still there. Thus, I have no idea what Tymee and Lil Cham are doing performing, much less labeling it as part of the semi-finals.
Basically, I dunno, it’s Mnet.