In the center of attention this time stand Olltii, Junoflo, and Wonjae Woo, but we won’t miss out on the other great performances.
Note: Only a few artists’ lyrics were selected as there is unfortunately not enough time for all of them. They were chosen from the videos available on Mnet’s official YouTube channel of which some are edited, shortened versions of the performances as seen in the episode and others unedited videos showing complete performances.
What was the Random Cypher all about? Easy rules: a beat plays, whoever wants to rap grabs the mic and raps whatever they want. Goal: to impress the judges. Necessary skill set: a library of self-written verses that impress and go with the currently playing beat.
This might sound easy but the smaller a rapper’s library, the less chance to impress or find something that matches the beat. The bigger the library, the more difficult the choice and the higher the chance that they could get their verse wrong. This challenges had its perils but everyone mastered it well at this stage where mostly talented contestants still remained in the game.
Now the interesting aspect here is, what did everyone rap about?
Olltii was the very first contestant to grab the mic, not even worrying about the beat. While he rapped freestyle, it was clear from the smoothness of his lyrics and the accompanying performance that he had been thinking the verse through in his head priorly, probably from the moment they received the mission, which is probably the reason why he went first; so he would not forget the lyrics.
Here he has the chance to rap anything he wants, and Olltii sure has a lot of dope verses in his repertoire, yet he decides to take a risk and freestyle. Hats off to that courage! Here is his verse:
I can’t be bothered to write a verse so I’m just freestyling
Well, this is all I need to kick all the MCs
down the slope, what I spit meets the expectations
Rappers get angry because of me
벌스 쓰기 귀찮아서 그냥 프리스타일로
뭐 이 정도만 해도 MC들 다 비탈로
보내버리는 래퍼 기대 충족하게 나는 spit해
래퍼들은 나 때문에 핏대 올라가
I’m a young generation like ZICO, DEAN
My rap is so well __ like __
All those rappers here look cute to me
Instead of practicing rap they do something else, “Nico Nico Ni”
I’m a young generation like 지코, 딘
내 랩은 너무 잘 __ 마치 __
여기 수많은 래퍼들 내 보기엔 귀요미
랩 연습 대신 딴 거 해 니코니코니
ayo 주노플로우 빨리 도망가는 게 좋아
난 너를 잡는 추노플로우
면도는 면도하다가 베이고 빅원?
small size라고 내가 랩 하면 비기스몰즈
I can do this well without writing a verse
I’m like Show Me The Money’s Jeong Hyeong-don
cause I’m gettin’ bigger
Get out of the way, everyone!
나 벌스 안 써도 뭐 이 정도는
할 수 있다고 쇼미더머니 정형돈이라고
말할 수 있다고 왜냐면 난 gettin’ bigger
다른 사람들 전부 다 비켜
As you can see and hear, he has the rhymes, the flow, the punchlines, and the best about this is that the content of his lyrics actually matches the situation he was in at that moment. He was the only contestant addressing other contestants and actually rapping about the here and now. Though to be fair, this was probably the most natural way for Olltii to respond to the challenge, given that freestyling and battling is what he does so often. It is clever of him to use those skills as an advantage to impress the judges.
However, this being freestyle just thought up on the spot, the quality is not as great as everyone else’s, you have to admit that the myunDo pun is rather lame. So it is quite possible that a judge would not be able to understand why anyone would take that risk there instead of delivering quality lyrics of a verse that had already been written and practiced.
Anyway, applause to Olltii for taking the risk and entertaining us all with his freestyle skills, ZICO and DEAN sure looked like they received his “love call.”
There he stands in this Random Cypher mission, Junoflo, having decided on a verse in order to go next, but then this contestant before him starts freestyling, impressively, and even attacks him with a punchline. Bam!
Most people would get intimidated by this, taken aback thinking, “I’ll rap later after all” or end up messing up their lyrics or even worse deciding to freestyle to get back at the guy but embarrassing themselves.
However, Junoflo is not most people. He does not lose his cool, no he actually smiles and gives a shout-out to Olltii praising him for his verse, then he goes on to rap his own verse so phenomenally as if Olltii had never happened. And look at these punchlines:
My future is dazzling, bright even at night
내 미래는 눈부셔, 밤마저도 환해
I’m so fly, these days the airport is my second home
The flapping of my wings cause a hurricane, butterfly effect
The result is already obvious but challenge [me anyway] else I’d be lonely
I’m driving a Porsche Carerra, 119 backwards
I’m so fly 요즘 내 두 번째 집은 공항
내 날갯짓은 일으킨 hurricane 나비 효과
결과는 뻔하지만 외로우니 도전해라
난 119 뒤집어서 타는 Porsche Carrera
Wait hold up 나를 이해 못한다고 하는 그들이 외치는 발음이 나보다 나빠 That’s funny dawg
2등은 못해 그건 첫번째로 지는 거지
Hands down. Like Dok2 noted, Junoflo was right in his element with that West Coast beat.
While most contestants bragged or rapped about money and their ambitions, Wonjae Woo’s lyrics were deep, as usual, making you double check whether you’re still watching Show Me The Money or a philosophy slam.
That’s right, y’all divide everything in right and wrong
__ The motive for the crimes cannot be seen
That’s how it is in basically all books
I’m sensitive to the margin, if it’s basically all then it is all
그래 너희들 죄다 흑 백으로 구별해
__ 범행 동기 이유는 눈밖에
모든 책 안에 100이면 100
이윤엔 민감해 내가 백이면 백인 거지
but what if it’s black and white?
I know my mood, who is he to interfere?
Once again my mood is determined by the number of pills, man
Once more, the number of pills calls the shots on my mood
근데 흑백이면 어쩔래
내 기분은 내가 알지 걘 뭔데 끼어 왜
다시 내 기분은 알약 개수로 정해 맨
함 더 내 기분은 알약 개수가 지배해
So, shadows are caused by light
However, I came into existance thanks to __ breath
In return, misfortune exists because there is happiness
Because the two coexist, people are forever incomplete
넘어가서 그림자는 빛이 있기에 생기는 거
그런데 나는 __ 입김 덕에 생겨난겨
돌아가서 불행은 행복이 있기에 존재하고
그 둘이 공존하기 땜에 인간은 평생 불완전
I’m like that, incomplete and instable
I keep on locking myself in, writing lyrics again
Right now I’m like that, I’ve been living happy and unhappy
Mom, your son’s like that, both happy and sad every day
나 그래 불완전 또 불안정
내가 나를 계속해서 가둬 또 가사 써
지금 그래 행복하고 불행하지 나는 살았어
엄마 아들이 그래 매일 희비가 엇갈려
In the first two paragraphs Wonjae plays on the homonym ‘백’ (baek) which means ‘white’ but is also used in the meaning of ‘a hundred’ in the idiom ‘백이면 백’ (baegimyeon baek) meaning ‘most’ or ‘basically all’.
Once again he mentions his medication and goes on to philosophize about opposites that can only exist together. It is clear that Wonjae is spending a lot of time thinking about the human condition and society and it is great to hear someone rapping about such universal and essential topics.
We most certainly appreciate him and his rap, but the question is, so far we have not heard any punchlines by him. We know that he can cuss (thanks Mnet) but will he be able to hold his ground if a battle mission takes place? Let’s cross our fingers hoping he’ll conjure up a few high-class, philosophical disses when the time comes.
And everyone else?
As previously mentioned, most contestants used this mission to brag, rapping about fakes and copycats and about the money and fame they want to gain. Intriguing was how different everyone’s performances were despite the common topic.
Woodie Gochild simply replayed his highly repetitive, unsubstantial lyrics with a lot of funny English in it but, yes, it was great! Sleepy did not have the best puns but he made perfect use of his voice, alternating near whispering and shouting in order to create a storyline-like progress with a climax that made the producers cheer loudly. Ryno made use of that technique as well, adding this punchline on top of it: “No matter what I rap about, if the lies are left out, any track [I rap on] is awesome” (This might need some thinking; he’s saying he only speaks the truth.)
KillaGramz meanwhile scored tons with his peculiar voice and entertaining lyrics like: “Spit out the gum in your mouth you arrogant prick”
Extremely skillful and experienced rappers like Nucksal (performed his verse off Don Mills’ ‘Ye I Need‘), Ja Mezz (rapped his verse off ‘비단옷 RMX1‘), JJK (‘Give & Take’), and P-type (‘Naked‘) delivered with perfect pronunciation and expert use of vowels and consonants to create alliterations. Each verse a feast to listen to. BLACK NINE had it going in this compartment as well but because of the censoring there was regrettably little left of his rap.
The opposite of these established rappers’ clear pronunciation and delivery was Asol with her slurry rapping. She connected the words as if she was speaking French, pronounced the capital ‘ㄹ’ as ‘l’ instead of ‘r’ (saying “lapper” instead of “rapper”) and the ‘ㅍ’ (p) in ‘팬’ (pan, fan) as an actual ‘f’ (the Korean language does not have an ‘f’ so ‘p’ is used in its stead), and she used the trendy English pronunciation for words like ‘댓글러’ (daek-keul-leo, people who write comments), saying it in two syllables instead of three. Since the whole thing was deliberate and well-placed though, it made her rap sound really cool and effortless. On the downside it was hard to understand for anyone not used to that kind of pronunciation and a potential subject of criticism for judges who prioritize a good delivery.
In comes myunDo with his feel good, happy vibes of his track ‘Brand New Day (새로운 아침)‘, greeting the morning sun and not showing any sign of being under pressure as the last contestant to rap in his group. Having had enough time to get used to the beat, he flows and grooves with it, oh, so fine.
By the way, remember myunDo’s punchline about the moon? Jay Moon used a similar one this week off his 2016 track ‘Ease Remix‘ and aside from the fact that he used it first, it namely fits him better as well: “Teenagers say they want to become stars / But I’m the moon, the one and only boy u get dat”
“This is like a place where I play with my friends, my playground,” raps everyone’s darling Woochan Jo. As a matter of fact, his pronunciation was lacking and his rhymes were not very creative (he used an identical rhyme, rhyming “리스펙” (riseupek, respect) with “스펙” (seupek, specs)). However, he scores with the self-confidence and vigor only a young boy like him can have and his skills are greatly impressive for someone his age. Yet it should be safe to say that his bonus with the judges will wear off at one point, but if he hangs in there until he gets judged by the audience, the story could go differently. We shall see.
Now have some punchlines and other curiosities:
- I haven’t even started yet but they’re already falling for me
- But I really hate my haters, like yellow dust
Hash Swan raps about all the things he spends money on, then goes on to brag (lyrics off CHANGMO’s ‘One More Rollie’):
My slimmed down wallet suffers from the yo-yo effect again
Hanhae raps his verse off Yezi’s ‘함부로 해줘‘ which includes this line:
You will profit from my words even if you’re asleep while listening
Young B was one of the few who did not brag or rap about money:
These problems are no biggie so I wanna do it like the earth
He also spit these unusual lines:
- Mom, don’t wake me up, I won’t be a different person in a few years just because I’m late [today]
- I’ll tell you one thing, actually there is no love, just like [in] the love songs we sing
Last but not least, Double K took out the d-word
(it’s censored but anyone can be a good lip-reader in a crucial situation like this):
I raise raise the game, raise its size like my d*ck is hard