*Correction from my last recap, 109 (not 108) contestants will be participating in this round of solo performances
At the start we get to see the entirety of Mino and Woo Tae Woon’s initial auditions and the results…
– Mino is approved by Zico and Tae Woon is given a chain by San E.
– Now we’re on to the next round. Each contestant raps for 60 seconds with an instrumental track and as long as there’s one team that hasn’t given them a ‘Fail’ they pass to the next round. When all the teams press ‘Fail’ the contestant is dramatically surrounded by flames and the stage is lowered. As each contestant is called up, the rest wait anxiously.
-That awkward moment when you can’t tell if Tablo is being sarcastic or not…
San E responded to this comment with laughter so I’m still unsure.
– First up is Jaewon or One from the group 1Punch. That dazzling smile doe. Because of the editing I can’t tell if this comment is in reference to One or not but Tablo says that luck will only be enough to carry someone to the third round of auditions. Loco who seemed to have doubts about One before is soon to be impressed, along with the rest of the judges. One’s lyrics and flow were great and he receives an All Pass! San E and Zico both say they want him on their team and Tablo tells One he has a lot of potential.
One has a quiet but confident swagger and his performance seemed natural and effortless. I have high hopes for him moving forward.
– The next contestant shown is flower boy Kim Min Jae. Jay Park says that being on the show and pursuing rap may not be good for his image as a rookie actor but Tablo says that it’s good that he’s brave. While his delivery wasn’t bad, in my opinion Kim Min Jae’s lyrics weren’t strong enough and I think compared to the rest of the more experienced rappers he’d have a difficult time. In the end…
Tablo says he wants Kim Min Jae to continue rapping and Jay Park said he was good but had no charm. Kim Min Jae was upset, but he wasn’t the only one upset about his elimination:
– The next contestant shown is Black Nut. LOL at all of the judges’ reactions as he appears on stage. Oh my…I don’t even know where to begin with this kid. His lyrics were hilarious and clever and he probably had one of the most entertaining auditions. Black Nut expressed a desire to do well on SMTM this season but in his last verse he says it doesn’t matter because the winner will be Song Minho anyway. The shade. Verbal Jint’s face here is priceless:
– Black Nut receives an All Pass from the judges. Zico shares he was concerned over Black Nut referencing the beef between B-Free from Hilite and San E, potentially awkward because Paloalto is present as a judge this season. (For those who don’t know, B-Free dissed San E in a song and calls him a ‘rap loser’ and Black Nut uses this same term to refer to San E in his performance). San E says he responded to B-Free with a diss about his song ‘Hot Summer’, but we also learn that Gray from AOMG produced the song and was also offended. Black Nut single-handedly makes everyone uncomfortable…well almost everyone:
Tablo (with YG and thus un-involved) laughs at all the tension and states that Black Nut has a knack for making others uncomfortable.
– Two high school contestants in uniform are shown being swiftly eliminated and we are left wondering if there will be a Yook Ji Dam equivalent this season. 17-year old student Yang Hong Won is the next young rapper to try to prove himself.
Cue a shot of Jay Park yawning and the other contestants in the waiting room distracted or napping. But then! Yang Hong Won starts to rap and everyone on the judging panel is amazed. The evolution of Jay Park’s face from the beginning to the end of this kid’s performance capture my emotions perfectly:
Yang Hong Won seems shocked as well as he receives an All Pass from the judges and much applause from the other contestants downstairs.
– Next up is highly anticipated underground rapper Basick, member of Jiggy Fellaz crew, who’s been active since 2008. Zico says he started rapping after hearing Basick’s mixtape. The other contestants applaud as he takes the stage and the pressure is on. Basick hasn’t been active for a while now and explains that he became the head of his family and felt he needed to get a job at a company because it would be more stable. He has already turned in his resignation letter and even if things don’t go well on SMTM he’s determined to pursue music again.
– Basick receives an All Pass! It was so clear in his performance that he’s highly skilled. He had Tablo dancing, Loco on his feet and even Papa Sean was standing by the time he finished.
– Cue steady stream of eliminations and Tablo saying he doesn’t like it when contestants ad-lib before rapping by saying ‘Show Me the Money’. He claims that he will automatically Fail any contestant that does that from now on. Cue many clips of contestants doing just that and Tablo staying true to his word to the amusement of some of the other judges. I told ya’ll, Team YG is playing no games.
– Jung Sang Soo from season 3 of the show auditions and receives a ‘Fail’ from every one. I love the way Tablo points to San E and San E cracks up the minute ‘Show Me the Money’ left Sang Soo’s lips:
– Next we have Jooheon from idol group Monsta X who is ready to show that being an “idol rapper” has nothing to do with his ability. I have to say I was impressed with his mixtape collab track ‘No No’ with Black Nut so I was excited to see his performance. He raps to the instrumental track of ‘No No’ which I thought was a really wise choice. Earlier on the show Tablo shared that he believes the selection of the track is a part of what shows the rapper’s skill.
Jooheon performs well and receives an All Pass from the judges! He’s really good and I think he’ll do well if he doesn’t let the underground vs. idol tension get to his head.
– Yano and Kidoh from Topp Dogg are shown being eliminated and rapper Andup is smug as more idols fail.
– Ravi is next and says his goal is to receive an All Pass. But then he starts rapping and unfortunately is all over the place. His rapping isn’t bad but he has no regard for the beat and as he nears the end of his audition he has already received 3 out of 4 fails. Ultimately Ravi is eliminated.
– Andup, active as an underground rapper since 2010, is next. He talks less about himself and more about his annoyance toward idol rappers whom he views as arrogant and says he thinks their intention when appearing on SMTM has to do with knowing that they’ll get more screen time compared to other contestants. He’s probably not wrong in some aspects but his fixation on idol rappers makes him sound like a hater. I hoped that his performance would back up all of his smack talk.
But before we get to see Andup’s performance, Loco asks him if there’s a specific idol rapper that bothers him the most. Why stir the pot Loco, why? Andup responds that it’s rapper Vernon and says he doesn’t understand why he passed the second round.
– Cut to Vernon‘s audition earlier. San E, once again with the compliments…
San E please stop. He knows, okay?
Vernon says he’s here to have fun and basically says he thought that being on the show would be good promo for Seventeen, which only adds fuel to Andup’s fire. Vernon begins to rap and the judges begin to fail him one by one. I wasn’t impressed with Vernon’s lyrics or delivery to be honest. With 5 seconds left on the clock the only team left is San E and Verbal Jint. I’m not exactly sure what’s going through their minds:
That concentration though. Verbal Jint remains an enigma. In the end he and San E pass Vernon and there is much shock and confusion on the faces of some of the contestants and even the other judges. Vernon leaves without being given any feedback and Papa Sean says the judges are becoming too generous haha
Back to Andup‘s audition. Zico agrees that Vernon shouldn’t have passed. Andup basically says that he believes that only people who truly want to do hip hop should appear on the program. He receives a bit of a reprimand from Tablo who makes this statement: “But what’s really ironic is that rather than those people that just do hip hop some of the people who are called ‘idol rappers’ rap better”. Andup keeps talking but Tablo gently shuts him down by saying “Before you have hostility towards idol rappers, to sharpen your skills in order to overshadow those idol rappers, I think that’s the first thing you should do.”
Paloalto (who hasn’t said much at all up til this point), calls Andup out for his loud practicing below the stage earlier:
Andup’s lyrics were clever and his talent is acknowledged by all of the judges as he receives an All Pass. Vernon humbly declares he will prepare well for the 3rd round and Tablo expresses a desire to see him and Andup go head to head.
– Next we have Microdot, formerly part of duo AllBlack at age 13 with his long time friend Dok2. Microdot is adorable and I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to take his swag seriously but I was pleasantly surprised! He gets Tablo moving with his performance, which has proven to be a good sign. Microdot moves forward with an ‘All Pass’ from the judges.
– Next we have P-Type who seems to make the judges nervous with his presence, and with good reason. P-Type has stated that he’s not here to simply compete with other contestants but teach SMTM and its producers a lesson as well. P-Type has a strong start but the unthinkable occurs as he stumbles over his lyrics. The judges faces say it all (please note that Verbal Enigma’s face remains the same hahaha)
The SMTM producers leave us with an unnecessary cliffhanger and our attention is focused on this contestant, one of many contestants with a “unique” (code for “black-inspired”) hairstyle.
Super B has participated in all three seasons previous but this is his first time making it to the second round. He wows the judges (Zico – “Your lyrics were written well and you rap really well too”) and receives an all pass!
– Next is Kasper, the first female rapper audition to be shown this round. She has an okay start but after receiving her first fail she becomes flustered and messes up her lyrics and eventually is given a ‘Fail’ by everyone. Sad times.
– Lil Boi of Geeks is next to perform. Jay Park says Lil Boi was the only contestant to give him goosebumps in the first round and Zico says that he is his favorite MC. No pressure, Lil Boi, no pressure. I’m not very familiar with Geeks or Lil Boi so I wasn’t sure what to expect but he definitely met Jay and Zico’s high expectations. He had a really solid performance and I think he’ll do really well. Jay Park does have one pointer for Lil Boi: to change his wardrobe…You gotta love Loco. “What am I going to do with this fool…”
– Next we see Woo Tae Woon (aka Zico’s hyung) and Loco bluntly states that he’s better looking than Zico. Woo Tae Woon’s performance definitely could have been better, perhaps nerves got to him. He receives a pass from each producer team except YG. Tablo tells him to work on his diction and pronunciation and Zico shares that his hyung didn’t sound as good as he usually does.
– Hanhae, originally meant to debut with Block B, is up next. He has what San E calls an “unexpected flow” and gains the approval of all the judges and receives an All Pass. Not only does he make Zico proud but he manages to get more than just a blank stare from Verbal Jint!
– Finally it’s Mino’s turn. He’s asked who’s team he’d like to be on and some of the judges start promoting themselves LOL
Yes that is Loco making a heart. I die. Mino says he’s worked with Zico before and he loves Hilite so it looks like Paloalto’s team wins. However, Loco’s thirst continues (“What about your second choice?”) and Jay Park has to get him to settle down. Jay Park says on camera that he’s not disappointed by Mino’s choice but I have my doubts. He’s the first to give Mino a Fail not far into his 60 seconds, but the rest of the judges pass Mino through to the next round. The lyrical strength, charisma and character were definitely all there.
– Black Nut – “As expected, Song Mino is awesome!”
– Last but not least, we return to P-Type’s audition. This whole sequence is so painfully awkward. I’m not sure why we were made to wait for this…the whole thing made me want to cover my face. Verbal Jint is the first to pull the trigger and the other judges reluctantly fail him as P-Type struggles to continue and even makes another mistake. I’m so glad I didn’t have to be in that room, I can’t imagine what the atmosphere was like after P-Type’s elimination.
The other contestants seem to be in disbelief. One contestant said he speculated that someone of P-Type’s status would have had a previous agreement with Mnet about how far he made it in the show but he was proven wrong.
I really wished the 2nd round hadn’t ended on that note but we do get to see a preview for the 3rd round in which 52 rappers will face each other in 1v1 battles. The contestants will be chosen at random and then have the opportunity to pick the opponent they’d like to challenge.
Everyone seems to want to battle Vernon, and lo and behold, Andup gets the first pick (Mnet you can’t tell me that wasn’t planned). Andup calls Vernon out of course, saying he chose him to embarrass him because he’s the most lacking out of all the contestants present. Vernon remains cool as a cucumber and we’re left to wait til next week to see how it all goes down. This is the kind of drama we’re all here for right?