Check out our exclusive summary of Show Me the Money 5 – Episode 1 … Spoilers ahead!
The fifth season of Show Me the Money is probably the biggest one yet, with approximately 9,000 contestants in the first round of auditions held on two different continents (Seoul, South Korea and Los Angeles, California).
The first featured contestant is a familiar one: Angdreville Crew member Seo Chul Goo returns to Show Me the Money after he was eliminated last season during the Guerilla Cypher Mission featuring American rapper Snoop Dogg. Check out our translated interview article to see why he was eliminated and left the show. He rapped his verse for KUSH, who then asked him to do a freestyle. Seo Chul Goo, given his extensive experience, easily freestyles with the given topic of “2:30 am”. Seo Chul Goo qualifies for Round 2.
The next contestant, Yang Hong Won is a high-school student who also appeared on the Guerrilla Cypher Mission on Show Me the Money 4. He was also judged by KUSH, who is thoroughly impressed by his rapping. Yang Hong Won qualifies for Round 2.
The next segment features Team Dok2 and The Quiett. The initial warm welcoming of Dok2 and The Quiett onto the contestant floor quickly dissipates as The Quiett begins judging. One contest after another, The Quiett eliminates if he is not impressed within the first few seconds of rapping. At one point, The Quiett drops 50 contestants in 3 minutes. He argues that “3 minutes was plenty of time [to make a judgement call]… all it takes is the first 5 seconds.”
His concise judging strategy provokes a contestant as he [literally] spits a freestyle diss verse at The Quiett for dropping him in 3 seconds.
Contestants continue to be eliminated until he stops at Kim Hyo-eun, who seems to be the first rapper qualified to the second round by The Quiett. Kim Hyo-eun qualifies for Round 2.
On the flip-side, Illionaire co-CEO Dok2 seems to have a soft spot for young contestants who remind him of himself when he first started to rap as a kid. Even after the young contestants mess up their verse, Dok2 encourages them to try again.
The next contestant in the spotlight is Bizniz, a veteran hiphop artist who has returned to the scene after a brief hiatus. The contestant expresses his concern, “to be honest, I hoped that I was judged by anyone other than Dok2.” The viewer soon learns that Bizniz and Dok2, who are 18 years apart, go way back during the underground days when the scene was much smaller back then. Bizniz dropped his first album in 2002 under a team called Infinite Flow with artist nuck (member of Soul Dive). Infinite Flow won the “New Artist of the Year” award over MC Sniper and Leessang, but eventually disbanded thereafter. Producer Mad Clown states that he was a “huge fan of I.F.” and KUSH “looked up to Bizniz.” Simon Dominic mentions that he collaborated on a track with Bizniz titled “Hip Hop For Respect” (also featuring Dok2) which can be viewed below:
Bizniz was motivated to participate after seeing his ex-group mate nuck (Soul Dive) win the second season of Show Me the Money. Given his years of hiphop experience, it came to no surprise that the golden necklace is passed on from Dok2. Bizniz qualifies for Round 2. Check out the track ‘Why Am I Here (ft. Dead’P)’ to listen to the full verse Bizniz uses for Round 1:
The next segment featured the “Cypher Battle” event hosted by Angdreville member and SMTM3 contestant Olltii. The scene focused on the battle between rappers Bad Homie and 존재인 (pronounced John Jane). The two battled for first place at the SRS 2015 Championship.
Despite the confidence that Bad Homie brought onto the contestant floor, Producer KUSH eliminates him before he could finish his verse. On the flip-side, John Jane (???) passes with ease. John Jane qualifies for Round 2.
The next segment focuses on Producer Simon Dominic, who previously dissed Show Me the Money, stating that he will never accept the invitation to be featured on the show because he “doesn’t need the show to make money.” Simon Dominic stands his ground on the latter statement, as he is able to “live well and eat well to his standards.” He concludes by stating that he isn’t too concerned about the criticism about participating on Show Me the Money 5.
As Simon Dominic begins to judge, he passionately provides constructive feedback to each contestant. The AOMG artist states that he “only needs to listen to the first 3 seconds [of rapping] to assess their rap skill.” He continues on, “When I first started hiphop, I remember being nervous before going on stage or before rapping in front of my seniors. Due to these reasons, I found myself to empathize with a lot of the nervous contestants.” Dok2 comments, “I’ve never seen anyone judge like Simon Dominic. The Quiett and I listen [to the contestants] quietly.”
Producer GRAY is portrayed as the “handsome producer” of Korean hiphop and R&B. The Quiett supports this statement, stating that he “follows him on Instagram” but clarifies that he doesn’t go as far as liking GRAY’s photos. Female contestants are at a loss for words when judged by GRAY:
The next contestant up is Ha Joo-yeon, also known as Baby J of the female group Jewelry who are known for their hit track ‘One More Time’:
After 14 years of activity, Jewelry disbanded and Ha Joo-yeon went on musical hiatus. After a few years of working part-time, she hopes to return to music, with Show Me the Money 5 being the first medium to continue that aspiration. Unfortunately, the contestant forgets her lyrics more than once (due to nervousness), and is eliminated by GRAY.
Here are some interesting fashion ideas by contestants:
Next up is G2 of Paloalto’s hiphop label HI-LITE Records. Many of the Producers consider him a potential candidate to win this season. As a rising “super rookie” of the Korean hiphop scene, he is praised for his presence on stage. G2 begins rapping his verse in front of GRAY, but forgets his line near the begining. Despite this, GRAY gives him the golden necklace, which causes a sense of confusion from the rest of the contestants who watched G2. G2 is qualified for Round 2.
The contestants become very nervous after finding out that GILL will be their judge. Many forget their lyrics, and some even forfeit prior to their first attempt due to GILL’s intimidating presence. GILL asks Mad Clown, “Do I look scary?” to which his team partner replies with “Don’t you look at yourself in the mirror everyday?” We find out that GILL uses the phrase “That won’t do! That won’t do!” when the contestant does not meet his standards to qualify for round 2.
Producer Mad Clown appears to be more sympathetic towards the contestants, such as when they forget their lyrics. Mad Clown states, “Forgetting their lyrics is not my deciding factor for pass/fail.” Gill calls him out on it, “Isn’t it important that they don’t forget their lyrics?” Mad Clown replies, “I personally forget my lyrics all the time…” The Quiett attests to this, “Back when I was under the same label with Mad Clown called Soul Company, he was known to forget his lyrics all the time. When he was able to perform without forgetting his lyrics, we as a label poked fun at him by giving him a certificate for “successfully remembering his lyrics during performance.” Mad Clown posts on his Instagram, “I’ll give you another chance if you forget your lyrics. #ShowMeTheMoney5”:
The next contestant up is female rapper Ash-B who previously appeared on Unpretty Rapstar 2. During this show, Mad Clown criticized her for her inability to deliver her lyrics. Ash-B appears nervous, but gains confidence as she starts rapping. Ash-B is qualified for Round 2.
Next up is Jin Doggae (Kim Jung-hoon), who previously won second place next to Loco on the first season of Show Me the Money. He is well known for his unique rap flow/style, where the flow of the words are slurred as if intoxicated, but at the same time delivered effectively. However, he is eliminated by GRAY. Simon Dominic comments, “It is difficult for us as judges to pass a contestant who has been on the show already that does not show improvement.” GRAY adds, “It’s unfortunate to drop him, but we have to judge fairly.”
Following Jin Doggae’s elimination, Just Music artist CJAMM is put in the spotlight. The Show Me the Money 3 semi-finalist (lost to IRON) returns to the show, but is certainly not welcomed with wide arms open. Contestants question his reappearance on the show as CJAMM is no longer considered a rookie to the hiphop scene. Throughout the scenes, CJAMM looks very comfortable. Despite Gill’s attempt to stay unbiased (as he admits to watching CJAMM on Show Me the Money 3), the Producer is impressed with CJAMM and happily passes the golden necklace. CJAMM is qualified to Round 2.
Female contestant Giant Pink previously encountered her judge Simon Dominic 3 years ago, wherein she asked for his feedback on her rapping skills. According to the artist, he wasn’t entirely impressed. Her main concern was that she might get the same feedback by Simon Dominc on Show Me the Money. However, Simon Dominic is impressed with her verses and passes the golden necklace to her. Giant Pink comments, “My previous experience with Simon Dominic was traumatic… it feels like heavy weights are lifted from my shoulders.” Giant Pink is qualified to Round 2.
Second HI-LITE Records contestant Reddy is known for his fashion sense and stylistic rap flow. The artist comments, “I’m thankful when people call me cool, but I am even more appreciative if I am complimented on my music.” The artist raps in front of Simon Dominic. Reddy is qualified to Round 2.
The next segment features doppelgängers of MC Gree, LOCO and actor Hong Jong-Hyun. The first two are eliminated by GILL and The Quiett (respectively). However, contestant A-Tom (of Topp Dogg) impresses Zion.T with his rap flow. A-TOM is qualified to Round 2.
Next up is Sanchez (also known as Fassnakuh), who is currently under the music label Brand New Music and group Phantom with fellow artist Hanhae (contestant on last season of the show). He is also the older brother of Microdot, who also competed on Show Me the Money 4. Although he is known well as a talented vocalist, he originally started his music career as a rapper (under the name Fassnakuh). Dok2 comments, “Sanchez was very good… even better than Microdot.” Sanchez is qualified by Dok2 to proceed to Round 2.
The next contestant #Gun (Sharp Gun) is surprised by a special visitor who came to support him: MINO (of WINNER), the YG artist that placed second on Show Me the Money 4. #Gun states that the two are cousins, and he is known as “MINO’s cousin.” He expresses the good and bad of this relationship: they have a special brotherly relationship, however he is often hidden beneath MINO as an artist. #Gun decided to compete this year after being inspired by MINO’s performance of ‘Fear (겁) (ft. Taeyang)’ from season 4. #Gun raps for Producer Zion.T, who is impressed with the acappella performance and sends him to the next round. #Gun is qualified to Round 2.
The next contestant is a familiar face who gained popularity through the last season of Show Me the Money: BewhY. He showed great potential on the last season, but fell off to Microdot during the 1 vs. 1 battle. Dok2 (jokingly) comments, “Microdot should have fell off instead..” BewhY comments that Show Me the Money is a great medium for talented artists to become successful in the industry, which is the reason why he is back on this season. He is easily passed by Zion.T. BewhY is qualified to Round 2.
Another familiar face is put in the spotlight: ONE (competed on Show Me the Money 4). Following his success on Show Me the Money 4 (albeit eliminated before making to the top 8), ONE signed a contract under YG Entertainment.
Due to YG’s history with Show Me the Money (BOBBY winning first place on season 3 and MINO placing second on season 4), ONE admits that there is a lot of pressure into coming back to this show. ONE comments, “I am happy that I joined YG Entertainment, but it was tough because I didn’t join this label as a trainee or a full artist. I was in a situation where I had to get myself to 100% before being able to showcase my music. I had thoughts like “when will I ever be able to showcase my rap? Through this mental process, I’ve concluded that I will be able to do just that through Show Me the Money 5.”
ONE became nervous as he saw that Dok2 was his judge. After he finishes, Dok2 requests ONE to perform another rap before passing on the necklace to the contestant.
Ps. Some of you may wonder about the contestant who freaked out at Dok2. Long story short, he demanded Dok2 to answer why he gave the necklace to ONE but not to himself as he claimed to be better that him. Dok2 keeps his cool the entire awkward interaction where the contestant attempts to provoke him through verbal abuse. The contestants gets kicked off. The end!
The last contestant on this episode is comedian MC Minji (Jung Joonha of Infinite Challenge). The contestant admits that his decision to enter Show Me the Money was triggered by losing a bet with artist and comedian Ha Ha.
Despite people not wanting to take him seriously for pursuing as a contestant on Show Me the Money, he continued to practice and even had ZICO mentor him up until the day of the event. He comments, “When I first decided to challenge myself to enter the show, I was criticized by many people. But I appreciate the culture of hiphop. I gained interest in the scene when I emceed for a LOCO and GRAY concert.” As he rapped for Simon Dominic, the crowd cheered him on louder and louder, supporting his effort. Simon Dominic noted, “I was very surprised. His rap was powerful and full of sincerity, so it was a hard decision to make.” (note: Simon Dominic is likely inferring that his rap technique was lacking, but his passion and delivery outweighed the former).
EDIT: In the scene where Gill is tearing up at the end of the episode, the caption states “What is the meaning of Gill’s tears?” implying if he’s crying because MC Jimin received the necklace or if he was eliminated. Based on this information, we are not certain whether MC Minji is qualified to Round 2. Thanks to @thekimboi for point this out!
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