Opinion on Idol Rappers and SMTM

It seems like it has become standard for idol rappers to try out for the MNET tv show Show Me The Money after Bobby from the yet-to-debut YG group iKON won last year. This year a large number of idols showed up to audition including Mino from Winner (the group that beat out iKON to debut), Kidoh and Yano from Topp Dogg, Ravi from VIXX and Lime from Hello Venus.

                Naturally, this has brought up the conflict between underground rappers and idol rappers yet again, with many people saying Show Me The Money was originally meant to be a platform for unknown rappers and not those with idol fame. I can definitely understand this in Mino’s case because he is already successful in his group and doesn’t necessarily need the promotion the show would give him. The other rappers, sans Ravi, are all from groups with way smaller fan bases and are still pretty unknown.

This year in order to pass the audition you were judged by judges including Jay Park, Jinusean or Zico, the latter, according to reports, being extremely hard on those that competed. I do find a little bit of irony in the fact Zico is judging because of all the conflicts he has had with trying to find the balance between being an idol and a rapper, even going to say he really wasn’t sure of who he was anymore. Idol standards are harder for underground rappers to deal with as appearance makes a difference in everything idols do. Some talented but less physically attractive rappers are even left behind in the underground scene as well.

                One of the issues idol rappers face involves the idea that the things they do as idols like the make-up, dancing and outfits, aren’t seen as being ‘hip-hop’ and that they sold out for more fame. In my honest opinion, I feel a lot of the idea of what is hip-hop is just based on what is seen in American hip-hop and doesn’t hold any real value as some of these ideas are very sexist as well. Many of the idols that auditioned were and still are very involved with the underground scene outside of their idol activities.

                If an idol rapper wants to try out for this show or anything else like it, he or she should go for it. If they pass the audition, they obviously have earned their place in the show and whether they are ‘hip-hop’ enough should not matter. I am looking forward to this season and seeing what all of the rappers will bring to the table.

 

—-Ke’Anna Bullard

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