6 MIN READ
The 10th season of Show Me The Money, the immensely popular K Hip-Hop rap survival show, is set to kick off on October 1, 2021. The show, which began production in 2012 has become a staple of the K Hip-Hop industry by providing a platform for Korean rappers to sharpen their skills and gain exposure. While every year viewers look forward to the diss battles, cyphers, team missions and eliminations, undoubtedly one of the most thrilling parts of the show is the rappers' individual stages. To get ready for the new season, let's take a look back at the 10 best stages in Show Me The Money history.
#10 - SWINGS 'VILLIAN' FEAT. SIMON DOMINIC, LEEHI (SEASON 9)
Perhaps one of the most unexpected parts of Show Me The Money 9 was Swings' participation. Having been a judge on past seasons, it was quite surprising to see him join the show as a contestant. However, an even more shocking twist was his semi-final performance of the song 'Villian' which saw him collaborate with Simon Dominic. Given the rocky history between the two following their involvement in the notorious 'Control Beat Diss Battle', which saw them brutally diss each other, no one could have ever imagined that they would perform together again. So, seeing Simon perform alongside Swings was legendary and got onlookers fired up as they delivered a raw rap about both being villains in their own way. LeeHi assisted with soulful vocals during the chorus and made the performance even more satisfying.
#9 - KHUNDI PANDA 'THE ROOTS' FEAT. JUSTHIS (SEASON 9)
Khundi Panda was undoubtedly one of the most endearing contestants on the 9th season of the show. His performance of 'The Roots' was the stage where he especially dominated and showed off his powerful rapping. The fierce stage saw him perform surrounded by fire as a contortionist danced around him. JUSTHIS featured alongside him and they delivered fast and fiery bars that matched the stage perfectly and intensified the performance. Despite the lack of a public audience due to Covid-19, Khundi Panda still managed to create an incerdibly energetic performance.
#8 - BOI B 'HORANGNABI' FEAT. RHYTHM POWER, GILL (SEASON 5)
Among all the stages produced during the 5th season of Show Me The Money, Boi B's 'Horangnabi' remains one of the most memorable. The song was inspired by Kim Heungkook's classic trot song of the same name. On the track, Boi B managed to find the balance between an old school and modern vibe which gave it a fresh twist. Unlike many of the rappers in season 5 who brought hard-hitting raps, Boi B, with the help of his Rhythm Power members Hangzoo and Geegooin, opted to create a fun stage that got the audience moving. The performance also featured WJSN as backup dancers, and to top it all off, Kim Heungkook made a special appearance to close off the stage which filled viewers with nostalgia. The unexpected style of the stage made it outstanding and helped the song gain popularity in Korea.
#7 - KID MILLI 'MOMM' FEAT. JUSTHIS (SEASON 7)
Show Me The Money 777 saw some of Korea's hottest rappers go head to head to take home the title. Among these was Kid Milli who appeared as a contestant on the show. He brought his heavy-hitting rap style and gave a dynamic performance with his song 'MOMM'. The performance included Kid Milli pretending to be a robber, surrounded by masked assailants as he delivered a signature rap. He was joined by his Indigo Music label-mate JUSTHIS who spat out an intense verse on the song which left viewers and producers alike in awe. They matched each other's energy well and coupled with the theatrics, managed to rile up the audience and get them chanting along.
#6 - MINO 'FEAR' FEAT. TAEYANG (Season 4)
MINO's participation in Show Me The Money 4 saw him both struggle and succeed. As an idol rapper, he was often the target of criticism by fellow contestants. However, he consistently demonstrated his skill which helped him place second overall. With his song 'Fear' he created a moving semi-final performance that proved his capability. During the laid-back stage, he delved into the challenges he faced especially those as a rapper. He was assisted by TAEYANG of BIGBANG whose emotive vocals boosted the heartfelt mood of the performance and helped make this an unforgettable stage. Even more so now that MINO is a producer on the upcoming 10th season of the show - an attestation to how far he’s come.
#5 - HANGZOO 'RED SUN' FEAT. SWINGS (SEASON 6)
Hangzoo’s spontaneous decision to sign up for Show Me The Money 6 signalled the start of the extraordinary journey that would see him go on to win the season. While Hangzoo gave viewers many enjoyable performances, his most gripping one was his 'Red Sun' stage. He delivered a hypnotic performance during which he conveyed his struggles such as losing vision in one eye. However, he switched the tone of the performance as the beat dropped and turned the message into one about overcoming his struggles and succeeding. Swings performed alongside him and his high-energy style helped rouse the crowd even more in this truly memorable performance.
#4 - SUPERBEE 'SUPERBEWHY' FEAT. BEWHY (SEASON 7)
Although SUPERBEE was famed for his cutting disses, Show Me The Money 777 saw him take a step back, and focus on his craft as a rapper. In doing so, he, together with BewhY created an extraordinary performance with their 'SuperBewhY' stage. SUPERBEE showcased his versatility with a formidable rap, accompanied by a live orchestra which created a dramatic mood. BewhY, who produced the song also brought the top-tier rapping that he is known for. It was a thrilling and unconventional performance from SUPERBEE which managed to get the audience completely absorbed in it.
#3 - BOBBY 'YGGR#HIP HOP' (SEASON 3)
Being the only idol rapper to ever win Show Me The Money, BOBBY has to be notable in the show's legacy. He joined the third season of the show while he was still a trainee at YG Entertainment and throughout the competition, he brought a flair with him that was unmatched. His performance of 'YGGR#Hip Hop' during the season's semi-final though, is where his skill catalysed. The song’s old school Hip-Hop vibe paired with BOBBY’s charisma was motivation for the invested crowd to sing along. His natural confidence shone through, and as he performed the audience seemed to almost worship him. His ability to have that control over an audience at the age of 19 exemplified his talent and made the stage leave a lasting impression.
#2 - BEWHY 'FOREVER' (SEASON 5)
On Show Me The Money 5, BewhY rose to the top and was crowned the season’s winner. Having been eliminated early in season 4, he seemed to be on his redemption arc in this season and consistently proved his abilities throughout. His performance of 'Forever' was the stage that saw his talent shine through in particular. He chose to perform alone on a minimal stage, and it proved to be the right choice as it demonstrated BewhY’s ability to command the performance. He held his audience and immersed them in his fast-paced, cutting rap. The result was a stage that is widely regarded as one of the best in the history of the show. The song itself also won BewhY the Korean Music Award for Best Rap and Hip-Hop in 2017, a testament to its greatness.
#1 - NAFLA 'SUNBBANG' FEAT. GAEKO (SEASON 7)
Show Me The Money 777 saw nafla claim his place as the winner. Although he created many lively stages before, his semi-final stage of ‘SUNBBANG’ is where his true talent for mesmerising the audience stood out. He began by performing his hit song 'Wu' which had gained him notoriety in the K Hip-Hop scene. Immediately coming off of the hype he created, he moved into the main performance of 'SUNBBANG'. The jazz-influenced track produced by GIRIBOY brought a live band that succeeded in taking the audience to new heights of energy. It was remarkable to see nafla rap on this type of beat as he was mainly known for his boom-bap rap. His total absorption in the performance elevated it to another level, causing the crowd to scream and sing along. Dynamicduo’s Gaeko also joined nafla and brought a fun rap which helped make this stage even more iconic.
With such remarkable performances in past years, one can’t help but eagerly anticipate what great stages will be produced this season.