High School Rapper Recap: Episode 2

Episode 2 – February 17, 2017

I heard that <Unpretty Rapstar 4> is currently working on casting, but the writers are going to have to bring their A game if they want to even come close to all the off camera controversy of <High School Rapper>.

I kind of feel bad that so many of the contestants are already getting hate, because they’re still just little kids, but then again, you reap what you sow, and it’s better to learn that lesson sooner than later. 

We pick up where we left off last week with Kim Dong-hyeon (MC Gree aka Kim Gura’s son). He’s from Pungmu High School – Year 3. We get a repeat of the clip where he says many of his peers hate him, so he came on this show to prove himself. He raps about how those who waste time hating his dad are the ones who truly lose, then he starts to flub his lyrics. He ends his rap with an apology, “I’m sorry.” Doh! You’re never supposed to apologize. Haven’t you heard of fake it till you make it?

Swings says, “If you end up passing today, don’t ever show that side of you again.” Mad Clown says, “You messed up, but you seemed more experience than the others.”

He gets 188 points which puts him in fifth place and he moves on to the next round. MC Gree says in his interview that he wasn’t completely satisfied with himself, but the audience and judges gave him another chance, so he wants to work harder and show everyone why he passed the regional preliminaries. 

Now it’s time for East Gyeonggi Province and West Seoul (my neighborhood!)  

The judges for East Gyeonggi Province are Yang Dong-geun, Deepflow, Giriboy, and Seo Chulgoo (Xitsuh). 

First up is is Kim Kang-woo from Uijeongbu High School – Year 3. He seems to have a lot of fans in the audience. Someone yells out, “So cute.” He looks like a mini version of Deepflow, and says he’s the boss of his high school’s hip hop club, Reverb.

In his pre-show interview, he says he was a fan of <Show Me the Money> and started rapping after watching it. The writers ask him to rap a bit. He messes up due to his nerves. He’s sweating tons. Then, in the waiting room right before the regional preliminaries begin, a writer asks him why he’s not practicing. Kim Kang-woo is like, “I am,” but it looks like he’s just hanging out with his friends. 

Back at the regional preliminaries, Kim Kang-woo says to the audience, “I don’t know if I’ll mess up or not, but thank you for listening, Please give me the beat.” He made a good beat choice and raps about how people look down on him for being young, and that money and fame aren’t everything. He has a good vocal tone.

Deepflow says, “I like your style, and you’re the kind of high school rapper I’ve been looking for. I gave you the highest score possible.” Yang Dong-geun says, “I was hoping you’d do well, and you made my top 3 list in character. I’ll look forward to you.”

He gets 253 points which is a record so far. (The highest scores in the other two regions were 220 points- Shin Sang-ik from West Gyeonggi Province and 222 points – Kim Seon-jae from East Seoul.) This of course means he’s in first place, and there are quite a few names on the leaderboard already which means that there were a lot of rappers who got edited out. 

Next up is Lee Kyeong-min aka Rudals from Bundang Management High School – Year 3. Rudals is good friends with MC Gree and was in the teaser for <High School Rapper>. It seems like he has a lot of fans in the audience. He raps against a trippy beat. His English is decent.

The raps about how he’s awesome and haters can suck it. 

Yang Dong-geun says, “I think the best in Korean is Yang Hong-won, but you’re worthy of battling him.” LOL at the shots of Yang Hong-won’s crew mates glaring. It’s funny because you can totally tell that they’re not actually glaring, it’s just mnet with their evil editing again, cutting in clips out of order. 

He gets ??? points which puts him in second place for now. 

We move on to West Seoul. The judges are Swings, Yang Dong-geun, Giriboy, and Seo Chulgoo.

There are a lot of kids wearing yellow uniforms in the audience. They’re all from Seoul Performing Arts High School.

There’s a montage of a few pre-show interviews of all the kids from famous arts schools. When asked about their dreams, quite a few say they want to be actors, artists, or idols, but there aren’t many dreaming of being rappers. 

The tops two schools are rivals Seoul Performing Arts High School and Hanlim Multi Art School. However, they’re not directly competing this episode since they’re from different regions of Seoul.

Next up is Moon Ji-hyo of Seoul Performing Arts High School – Year 1. The boys all cheer. Someone yells out from the audience, “You’re pretty.” She was in the <High School Rapper> teaser with the “Sha Sha Sha” line. The boys seem to really like her. Even Yang Hong-won tries to sneak a few looks at her in the waiting room. 

She has a good voice, but unfortunately forgets her lines pretty early on. She takes a while to recover and only gets the last bit in where she just repeats “1,2, ready to go, put your hands up.” Haha is like, “A lot of boys were looking forward to you, it’s too bad.” She gets eliminated. 

Next up is Kim Yoon-ho from Sungsil High School – Year 2. He wants to show his bright energy and his dance moves. It’s a bit silly, like a fish wiggling on land, but the audience likes it. He sounds a bit nervous, but has a cute rap. He raps, “I’m a bright light. I’m going to open a new era. Even though people put down my dream, you can’t put me down.”

Yang Dong-geun says, “I felt you enjoying yourself. I liked that.” He gets 248 points which puts him at first place. Wow! I was not expecting that.

Jeon Hyun-tae from Daesung High School – Year 3 is next. He says he has some trauma from Seo Chulgoo. He got rejected 14 times by a girl he really likes, but her ideal type is Seo Chulgoo. Haha calls for a freestyle battle between the two. The topic is “Success” OMG! Jeon Hyun-tae is so nerdy, but it’s working for him so far. His freestyle is pretty good, but Seo Chulgoo just crushes him calling him a pervert. It’s such a good burn in Korean because Hyun-tae’s name sounds like pervert in Korean (byung-tae).

Jeon Hyun-tae forgets his lyrics and then freestyles, “I messed up, so this is what I’ll have to do, peace out.” Swings looks angry, “I want you to take this a bit more seriously.” Giriboy counters, “I think you are serious, but you forgot the lyrics, so I gave you a low score.” Seo Chulgoo says, “People are not trees, so if you’ve been rejected 14 times, move on to someone else.”

*Note: there’s a saying in Korean that goes, “There is no tree that won’t fall if you chop it 10 times.”

He gets 93 points. Jeon Hyun-tae is eliminated. Jeon Hyun-tae says he’s not giving up on the girl though.

Next up is the highly anticipated Mark from Seoul Performing Arts High School – Year 2. He’s from NCT who won the 2016 MAMA Rookie award. Flashback to earlier that day. When he arrives outside the building, everyone stares at him, asking “Isn’t that Mark?”

A writer suddenly asks the contestants in the waiting room, “Do you recognize any of the rappers here?” Everyone yells out “Yang Hong-won.” The writer then asks, “Who knows Young B (Yang Hong-won) raise your hand?” Almost everyone raises their hands. Then the writer asks, “Who doesn’t know him, raise your hand?” Mark is the only one to raise his hand. Mark says, “In the waiting room, the atmosphere changed, and I realized I have to do this properly.” 

It’s back to the regional audition. Mark says, “Hello, I’m from Seoul Performing Arts High School – Year 2. I did <High school Rapper> because I wanted to do the kind of high school rap that I wouldn’t have another chance at.”

He’s does a clean rap, but seems to lack something? He lacks style. Maybe my expectations were too high. 

After his rap, Haha notes, “You won the Rookie Award at 2016 Mama for NCT.”

Mark replies, “I didn’t mention NCT in my introduction because I’m Mark from Seoul Performing Arts High School. This is <High School Rapper> and I want to be an equal high school student.”

Swings says in English, “I listened to your rap. You don’t have any rhymes bro.”

Deepflow says, “I think you need more composure, I could tell you were nervous.” He’s ranked sixth. Mark says in his interview, “I’m glad I didn’t make any mistakes, but I don’t think I showed my skills properly. I want to show them properly next time.”

I’m a bit skeptical. The problem with idol rappers isn’t that they lack talent. It’s that they’re too busy with their idol schedules to prepare properly for the competition. That’s why so many idol rappers on <Show Me the Money> get cut even though they sound so good on music shows.

The famous Yang Hong-won (Young B) is up next from Shindongsin Middle Information Industry High School – Year 3. He was on <Show Me the Money 4> and got an “all pass” back then. Everyone thinks he’s good and will win. He says he came here to prove himself. Swings says, “I heard about you, so I looked you up and watched four clips, and realized you are an item (to watch out for). I’m going to stand and watch. I’m not going to judge you, I’m just going to enjoy the music.”

Commercial break. Pft.

We then head back to East Gyeonggi Province. 

It’s 19 year old Lee Soo-rin (Luda) from Seongnam City. There are tons of cheers from the audience. The judges are smiling too. He’s from Dickids Crew along with Yang Hong-won. They’re the hottest teen rap crew, and it looks like at least three people from Dickids are competing (Lee Soo-rin aka Luda, Yang Ho-won aka Young B, and Yoon Byung-ho aka Bully Da Ba$tard) In the waiting room, kids shake hands with him saying they’re fans. 

Lee Soo-rin says in his interview, “There are lots of high school students here, but no real rappers.” Yoon Byung-ho seems to have the same cocky attitude. 

Lee Soo-rin (Luda) says, “We are the best teen rappers. In 2017, right now, we have the coolest kids. I can guarantee it. You guys only know Yang Ho-won, but we came out to show you more.”

Lee Soo-rin asks for the beat. Ooooh he’s good. This is the first rapper I’ve seen in the past two episodes that I’ve felt was a good rapper and not just a good high school rapper. He has a lot of style and his writing is really witty. He raps about working for the money and how life is a gamble.

After his rap, Lee Soo-rin says to the audience, “If Yoon Byung-ho and I aren’t first and second, then there’s something wrong with your sense of hearing.” Giriboy agrees. 

He gets third place with 242 points. He is not happy about that. Yoon Byung-ho is angry on behalf of his crewmate. Lee Soo-rin tells the audience, “Go make an appointment at the hospital.”

There are just two contestants left in East Gyeonggi Province.

Choi Ha-min is an 18 year old from Seongnam City. He’s originally from Jeonju City and quit school so that he could come up to the big city and put everything on the line for music. We get a clip of him eating with his family at a restaurant. His dad talks about the time he ran away to Daegu City because his parents wouldn’t let him drop out of school. His father says he did well in school ever since elementary school, so he wanted him to pursue academics, but Ha-min was too stubborn about his music. His parents are worried about him living on his own since that means he doesn’t eat well. Mom wants to live with him since he’s still young. Choi Ha-min starts to cry, but at least his parents are supportive. He wants to make his parents proud. 

Choi Ha-min asks for the beat. He’s really good. Almost as talented as Lee Soo-rin (Luda), but he’s the only one so far to have written a genuinely emotional rap. Everyone else tried to be cool, but his song is really heartfelt. I think he’s going to get first place. I like this guy, he’s much more humble, and because he went right after a cocky guy, the audience probably feels for him even more. 

Seo Chulgoo says, “Thank you for coming on this show. More importantly than the rapping, you’re good at music.” Mad Clown says, “I think you’re very musically sensitive.” 

He gets 274 points! WOW! I’m so happy for him. He seems like such a good kid. 

The final contestant for East Gyeonggi Province is Yoon Byung-ho (Bully Da Ba$tard) from Dickids Crew. He’s a 17 year old from Icheon City. Yoon Byung-ho, “I’m from Dickids and I’m the best rapper in Korea.” In his preshow interview he says he came on the show because Yang Hong-won hyung told him to. So arrogant.

Yoon Byung-ho, “Give me the beat.” He’s good and spits lyrics fast, but he’s going after a really emotional song and talking about how cool he is after a heartfelt song doesn’t usually turn out well.

Deepflow says, “I think you are a cool rapper.”

Seo Chul-goo says, “You used the stage the most effectively.”

He gets third place with points. He shakes his head. Yoon Byung-ho says, “Its a scratch on my pride.”

The nine finalists for Eastern Gyeonggi Province are

  1. Choi Ha-min – 274 points
  2. Kim Kang-woo – 253 points
  3. Yoon Byung-ho – ??? points
  4. Hwang Hyun-woo – 2 points
  5. Lee Soo-rin – 242 points
  6. Choi Seok-hyun – 240 points
  7. Kim Ha-eun – 228 points
  8. Choi Shin-hyeon – 224 points
  9. Kim Mi-jeong – 218 points

The judges are asked if there was anyone they thought should have made it in the regional top nine. A few judges mention Lee Kyung-min (Ruduls).

Back to Young B. Haha says he seems like he was interested in Moon Ji-hyo. He defends himself saying he thought her rap was cute. Haha is asks, “You’re interested in her, yes or no?” He replies, “Yes,” and gives a thumbs up.  Haha then asks Moon Ji-hyo, “Do you have any interest, yes or no?” She gives a thumbs up. 

Young B says in his interview, “I would be embarrassed if I wasn’t the protagonist of <High School Rapper> I came here to be the protagonist.”

Then there’s another commercial break? OMG mnet.

Finally, we get to hear his rap. His lyrics are hot. “You idiots think dreams are only dreamt at night.”

Yang Dong-geun says, “I wanted to stand up too.” Giriboy says, “You’re on a different level from the other contestants.” Swings adds, “I stood up to put pressure on you, but I’m glad to see you didn’t get nervous. You’re already a pro.” Deepflow says, “I think you’re a better fit for me than Swings. Think about it.”

His score is 283. That’s record. It’s looks like it’s super important to act humble in front of the audience. Yang Ho-won is just as cocky as his teammates, but he only acts that way behind the scenes.

The nine finalists for West Seoul are

  1. Yang Hong-won – 283 points
  2. Kim Yoon-ho – 248 points
  3. ???
  4. Park Hwi-chan – 233 points
  5. ???
  6. Mark – ??? points
  7. ???
  8. ???
  9. ???

I’m really looking forward to Dickids Crew. The rappers in episode two were leagues better than the ones in episode one. 

Next week: The final two regions Gwangju & Jeolla Province and Busan & Gyeongsang Province as well as mentor battles. 

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