From left: Lil Boi, GroovyRoom’s Kyujung and Hwimin, Justhis, R.Tee, Jay Park, Slom, the Quiett and Leellamarz pose for photos during an online press conference for the 11th season of Mnet’s “Show Me the Money,” Friday. (Mnet)
The 11th season of “Show Me the Money,” the longest-running hip-hop competition on Mnet, is set to premiere at 11 p.m. on Friday. As it is about to kick-start a new season, the program hopes to contribute positively to the local hip-hop scene.
“‘Show Me the Money’ has long been associated with hip-hop. Beyond creating a virtuous circle, the two have coexisted with each other,” Choi Hyo-jin, the program’s chief producer, said during an online conference Friday. She also attributed the show’s long run to the audience.
Since the first season launched in 2012, the popular show has been credited for bringing what was previously a minor genre here to the mainstream.
Speaking of the key reasons behind the program’s longevity, she pointed out that “Show Me the Money” has reflected what life is like rather than only focusing on rap and hip-hop’s unique culture.
“For each season, we tried to reflect that year’s trends and different sources of trouble that people of all ages may have,” Choi said. “This new season, in particular, the audience will enjoy watching rappers of different age groups. From big-name rappers to popular ones and unknown artists, they will showcase their skillful raps onstage.”
Although the program has been much loved, the producers behind “Show Me the Money” have felt much pressure to return with a new season as its increasing audience looks for fresh and entertaining elements in the show, according to producer Lee Hyung-jin.
Chief producer Choi Hyo-jin (left) and producer Lee Hyung-jin of Mnet’s “Show Me the Money” pose for photos during an online press conference for the show on Friday. (Mnet)
The producer also felt a greater responsibility to show hip-hop culture “properly” to viewers. The new season will spotlight rookies from the local hip-hop scene and feature brand new missions for contestants, as well as displaying hip-hop’s street culture in various ways under the concept of “the new one,” he explained.
With the number of the 11th season’s participants marking its largest pool at some 30,000, according to Mnet, the local broadcaster’s “High School Rapper” season three winner Lee Young-ji, Sleepy from hip-hop duo Untouchable and YouTuber Dotty are among the applicants.
To find the best rapper in the country, four teams in pairs — Lil Boi and GroovyRoom, Jay Park and Slom, the Quiett and Leellamarz and Justhis and R.Tee — will appear as producers. They aim to produce new songs to sweep the music charts again, like Sokodomo’s “Merry-go-round” from the last season.
GroovyRoom’s Kyujung said, “Nowadays, people don’t just listen to music but they try to find reasons to listen to songs. Since the program will focus a spotlight on rookie rappers who start at the bottom but eventually improve, I believe many listeners would easily relate themselves to the upcoming songs.”
Likening the program to the Olympics of hip-hop, Jay Park showed his respect for the program. The producer-turned-rapper said he appreciated the show’s efforts to raise the public’s awareness of hip-hop for the last 11 years, despite certain sensitive characteristics of its culture.
By Jie Ye-eun ([email protected])