Show Me the Money 4: Episode 1 Recap


Hello everyone! So after having received a request to recap ‘Show Me the Money 4’ due to the lack of recaps there are on the show, I have decided to recap the show since someone did ask! This is my second time watching the show (I watched last season – Season 3 – and really enjoyed all the drama and performances) and although two episodes have only aired so far, I am already preparing all my popcorn and drinks for what awaits in the future episodes. I hope you are excited for this season as much as I am and will join me in watching this season of ‘Show Me the Money.’ SHOW ME THE MONEY 4! LET’S GO!

The first episode starts off with former judges of the show (like YDG and Swings) expressing their thoughts about the show in general then moving on to talk about the judges. They joke around asking why San E keeps on coming back or why Jessi (of Unpretty Rapstar) wasn’t chosen to be a judge instead. Lolol. The new judges of the show exchange their thoughts in response like “Swings, just do your service (since he’s in the army right now) and come back healthy” or “zip your mouth.” Hahaha. I love all the shade and disses the judges throw at one another jokingly. They’re all just like one big family.

So the winner of the show will end up getting one hundred million won and the opportunity to release “amazing music.” Really? Because that’s not what I heard with Bobby (who was last season’s winner). Hahaha. I’m kidding I’m kidding. I love Bobby and iKon. Y’all should know that.


The judges of the show or “producers” as they are called are then introduced to all the contestants. The first team to come out onto the stage is Team YG who consists of Epik High’s Tablo and Jinusean (both from YG Entertainment). As they’re walking out onto the stage, they walk shoulder to shoulder with one arm stretched out in a fist. Umm…okay. At least they’re doing something that makes them stick out?


After them is Team AOMG consisting of Jay Park and Loco (so it’s kind of like a CEO and employee kind of relationship…interesting). The third team to appear is Team Brand New Music who consists of San E and Verbal Jint (Verbal Jint is so cute. He looks so shy and timid interacting with the contestants as he walks out onto the stage. Hehe).


Last but not least is Team…well I don’t have a team name for them since they’re both paired up so randomly but the last judging team to come out is Zico and Paloalto (a part of me feels like they saved the best for last LOL).


Once all the judges have gathered onstage together, the MC takes some time to ask them some questions. He starts out by asking Jinusean and Tablo how it feels to be on the same team together but Sean answers the question with a totally different answer than expected, “Seeing so many contestants, the hip hop country in Korea seems to be expanding so I’m happy.” LOLOL. Jay Park and Loco during their solo interviews reveal their confusion with Sean’s answer with Paloalto adding after in his solo interview that Sean seems like an uncle. San E is all like, “It feels like an ancestor has returned.” OMG SAN E PLEASE. LOLOL.

The next question is diverted to Zico and Paloalto who seems like the oddest couple there since they really don’t have any connections with each other. But Zico is confident in that he and Paloalto will work together just fine, saying that they’re like the “hulk.” In response to this, Team AOMG claims then that they’re like Spiderman where they shoot spider webs to get people to fall into their charms. LOL. This is too funny. This is the reason why I watch ‘Show Me the Money’ to be honest. LOL.


The MC goes on to introduce Team Brand New Music (San E and Verbal Jint) to which Tablo recalls that last season San E had stated that Team YG was weak. This season doesn’t seem to change anything though as San E still strongly feels the same way. Oooh. Some rivalry between Team YG and Team BNM (or more just like between Tablo and San E since they are the only returning judges from last season lol).

The last team to be introduced by the MC is Team AOMG. Jay Park explains that his team is better than the others in that they’re trendier and look good in whatever they’re wearing, even in their hats. OMG JAY PARK PLEASE. You can say that again when you take off your floral hat. Hahaha. San E sarcastically states that he feels jealous since ya know, he only looks good wearing a hat in one direction whereas Zico’s like, “Welllll, instead of wearing hats, we write lyrics.” I LOVE HOW HE SAYS THIS WITH SUCH A STRAIGHT LOOK ON HIS FACE. He’s like not even joking. He’s dead serious about his statement omg. Ahaha.


The introductions of the judges are done and soon the auditions begin.

In the first round of auditions, each contestant will be judged one on one by a judge that was chosen randomly (so not of their choice). They will have to prove to the judge within the amount of time that they’re given that they deserve that ‘SMTM’ necklace that the judges are holding with them. Contestants are not allowed to read off of any lyrics neither are they allowed to rap to music – the first round of auditions are all done acapella style where they are judged based off of their voices alone. Those who earn a necklace pass and move on to the second round. So with that, let’s start with the auditions.

But before we start with the auditions, we listen to some stories that the judges share. Tablo explains that after being eliminated on the show last season, no one took him seriously and ‘Show Me the Money’ people didn’t even greet him properly anymore (at times like this I would pity Tablo but he did this to himself if we’re gonna be real here). While Tablo wishes to be in any place but last, all the other teams strive to win first place. “It would be funny if our goal was to be second place.” Hahaha. Jay Park is so witty. He and his comments I swear.

The first round of auditions finally starts! The judging teams to come out are Team AOMG, Tablo, and Paloalto. Since Loco was a former contestant and winner himself of ‘Show Me the Money’ (he won the first season), he can relate to the contestants and know exactly just how they feel. However, as he continues to judge the contestants, he doesn’t seem to be impressed with any of them so far. His CEO, Jay Park, had received some criticism for being a judge on the show with many feeling like he wasn’t qualified enough to be a judge. But Jay Park doesn’t let this affect him. “It doesn’t matter,” he says. He’s just going to do what he wants to do freely. Yay for optimism and not giving a damn! 😀


Just like Loco, Jay Park doesn’t seem too impressed either. After failing every contestant, he shakes their hand and bows politely before moving on to the next contestant. He reveals that he’s looking for someone who has natural swag…and maybe Loco had that natural swag which is why he got signed by Jay Park. Interesting…

After many continued eliminations, one contestant wearing grills (omg those are so old) catches the attention of Jay Park. His rapping skills seemed to have captured Jay’s attention too because the contestant earns a necklace (I thought ‘SMTM’ was not even gonna last at least 3 episodes since they kept on eliminating contestant after contestant lolol).

Loco moves onto the next contestant which happens to be Vixx’s Ravi. That’s when we find out that a lot more idol rappers have come out to the show to audition. Idols like Ravi, Monsta X’s Jooheon, Seventeen’s Vernon, Hello Venus’s Lime, and WINNER’s Mino are just some of the many names of idol rappers who have come out onto the show. However, this doesn’t seem to scare any of the non-celebrity contestants who confidently feel like they’ll be able to defeat the idol rappers. Idol rappers prove to be a hot topic during the first round of auditions as contestant after contestant continually rap about idol rappers in their auditions and criticize them (surprise surprise).

It doesn’t seem to be looking too good for idol rappers. Idols like MIB’s Sims and 5Zic are eliminated as well as Hello Venus’s Lime (I’m not so surprised with Lime but MIB. SERIOUSLY?! LOCO. WERE YOU THINKING STRAIGHT?!).


(Ravi does this thing where he likes to wink a lot. LOL. It’s so funny).

We focus back on Vixx’s Ravi audition where he is judged by Loco. After finishing his rap, Loco seems impressed and states that he anticipates what Ravi has in store in the future. He hands Ravi a necklace and passes Ravi.

There are also other artists and musicians that have come onto the show but aren’t necessarily idols. Such is the case with a duo called Rhythm Power. They debuted back in 2012 but didn’t achieve much success despite being in Amoeba Culture, the same entertainment label that houses more well-known artists like Dynamic Duo, Primary, and Zion. T. The two are judged by Tablo but unfortunately only one of the two passes. It’s a bittersweet scene to watch as one sighs in disappointment and the other sighs in relief.


The show then focuses in on Tablo’s judging this season. Compared to last season where he was a bit more kind and gracious, motivating the contestants and supporting them if they were too nervous and forgot their lyrics, Tablo seems to be a bit more grounded and harsh this year. He states that contestants took him lightly and saw him as less threatening due to his kind nature so this season he’s going to be different. This proves to be true as Tablo eliminates contestant after contestant after contestant. He’s changed his judging this season compared to last year’s and it doesn’t seem to be very good.

The next teams of judges come out and this time it’s Jinusean and Verbal Jint. Many contestants had looked forward to being judged by Jinusean since they felt like the duo will be kind and will give them some feedback and advice. Tablo adds that Sean has the image of an angel (he’s known for making many donations) and looks like the type of guy who would give contestants a hug when they messed up on their lyrics. LOL. However, the pair judges opposite of what was expected of them. They coldly walk away from the contestants without any words which is their sign that they have eliminated the contestant (a part of me just thinks that Jinusean are confused since this is their first time judging on the show and they don’t really know what to do, hence why they acted the way they did LOL). Sean presents a different image of himself as a judge which shocks everyone. Tablo jokes that you would have expected Sean to give out 4,000 necklaces or something to which Sean is like, “I think I took all the necklaces.” LOL.


A contestant named BeWhy is the first to get a necklace from Sean (and I have to admit, I was quite impressed with his rap too shoot!).

The first round of auditions continues as a total of 7,000 contestants (OMGGG THAT’S A LOT) audition in hopes of passing the first round. There’s one contestant that seems to be getting everyone’s attention and this contestant is none other than the master of the hip-hop world, P-Type. With 15 years of experience under his belt and training 2NE1’s CL and Minzy with their rapping, one wouldn’t expect P-Type to audition on the show as a contestant. However, he explains that he decided to audition to criticize the show and the judges who claim they know hip-hop but really don’t (OOF. SHOTS FIRED. YOU TELL ‘EM P-TYPE). Many of the judges also feel the pressure of having P-Type on the show since they don’t seem like they are worthy of judging him (in which they’re kinda not tbh).


After P-Type is another rapper familiar in the Korean hip-hop music industry: Crucial Star (OMFFGGGGGGGG IT’S CRUCIAL STAR. /DEAD/). The show introduces us to the active and rising rapper where we find out that Crucial Star had originally planned on pursuing art and drawing like his family but chose not to in the end because…well…it was boring. So he went on to do music and has now come on ‘Show Me the Money’ to audition and win. He’s popular as many ask to take pictures with him and watch him wherever he goes. During his audition, Crucial Star is judged by Tablo but he still confidently raps. He seems to be doing fine until he unfortunately forgets some lyrics to his rap which eliminates any chances of him going on to the next round (NOOOOOOOOOOOO! NOT MY CRUCIAL STAR. ANYONE BUT MY CRUCIAL STAR. THIS CAN’T BE HAPPENING. ANDWAEEEE!). He unfortunately does not pass due to forgetting some lyrics and does not make it to the next round (I HAVE NO DOUBT THAT CRUCIAL STAR WOULD HAVE MADE IT TO THE TOP. HELL. HE COULD HAVE BEEN THE ONE THAT MADE TABLO WIN THE SHOW IF I’M GOING TO BE HONEST).


He even waits until the first round of audition ends, until everyone is done, to audition again in hopes of getting a second chance and maybe passing this time so he auditions a second time in front of Tablo. In his second try, Crucial Star manages to perfect his rap but Tablo still doesn’t pass him. It wouldn’t be fair to pass Crucial Star when everyone else also only had one try. Omggg pooor baby T______T

Moving on, the show introduces to viewers the top three visuals of this season’s show, with one of them including new rookie group member Vernon of Seventeen. He tells us that he’s been said to look like a young Leonardio DiCaprio, Haha. I can kind of see the resemblance. The other visuals are One from 1Punch and actor Kim Min Jae from Korean drama ‘Producer.’ Kim Min Jae looks like a mix-up between Yeo Jin-Goo and Song Joong-ki so ya know, he MUST be popular among ladies (he’s already capturing my attention that’s for sure). Although they don’t lack in visuals, we have yet to find out if they lack in their rapping.


One from 1Punch is judged by Jay Park but doesn’t seem to be nervous. He raps flawlessly, his execution impressive and confident. Jay Park gladly hands him a necklace complimenting his audition as “very good.” Okay I have to admit, his rap was really good too. Kim Min Jae is next and the judge watching him is San E. He too passes with his strong rapping and lyrics and earns a necklace from San E. Last but not least is Seventeen’s Vernon who is also judged by San E. Just like Min Jae and One, he also passes. And so the top 3 visuals of SMTM4 pass the first round. Yay for eye candy!

Although the majority of the contestants on the show are generally male, there are female contestants who come out in hopes of proving that they can rap too. Among the female contestants is the former leader of now disbanded girl group GLAM, Ji Yeon. When interviewed, she introduces herself as the leader of the girl group that was involved with the Lee Byung Hun scandal and shares how her life has been after the scandal. With passion for music and rap, Ji Yeon has come onto the show in hopes of winning to be able to pursue that passion.


The former girl group leader is judged by San E (who I have to admit is a little bit friendlier and kinder towards contestants than the other judges) and raps about her experience with being effected by the scandal and her life after but even that isn’t enough for San E who unfortunately does not pass Ji Yeon. It’s a sad sight as Ji Yeon gave her all into her performance but sadly didn’t make it.

Another female contestant captures the attention of many people: Kasper. A close friend of Kisum’s (who was also a contestant on ‘Show Me the Money 4’ and ‘Unpretty Rapstar’), Kasper auditions in hopes of making it big like her close friend too. She is judged by Tablo and after auditioning she passes! Yay for female contestants passing!

It’s time for another team of judges to come out and this time it’s Zico and Paloalto, obviously the most unexpected pair from this season. The other judges are confused on why they are paired up as a team, but Zico and Paloalto can care less. “That’s the best thing about us,” Zico defends. Haha. You can say that again. As this is their first time as judges on the show, many are curious as to how they will both judge the contestants and what their criteria is.

Paloalto is a lot more chill and laid-back compared to the other judges. Instead of gazing at the contestants in the eye while they rap, he looks down on the ground with his hands behind his back, listening to their voices alone and not on how they present themselves. Despite being calmer than the other judges, Paloalto doesn’t let many slide and passes only a few, including Owen Kim, a former contestant from last season of ‘Show Me the Money’ who unfortunately lost to Giriboy. This time, he’s come back to audition again and earns a necklace from Paloalto who likes his rap.


On the other side of the building is his judging partner Zico who is also doing his own judging at the same time. His judging style is very different compared to his partner’s; he looks the contestants straight in the eyes as if he’s staring through their soul causing the contestants to be more nervous than usual (I don’t think that was Zico’s intention though lolol). One contestant during his audition even admitted that he forgot all his lyrics and added that Zico looked scarier than he originally thought. Hahaha.

There’s one contestant who looks a bit nervous and we find out that this guy is called Black Nut. After having witnessed his other Just Music labelmates like Swings, Giriboy, Vasco, and CJamm appear on the show and hit it big, he decided to come onto the show in hopes of doing the same. When it’s his turn to audition, he grabs Zico’s clipboard and throws it onto the ground before he starts rapping. His rap is sarcastic and witty, genius but funny, and at the very end he ends up pulling his pants down showing just his red boxers. OMMMGGGGGGGG. THIS GUY IS CRAZYYYYYYY. Zico of course hands him a necklace and he easily passes. Hahaha. I’m looking forward to this guy. (Black Nut is his name everyone. Remember that name).



There are rap battles and freestyle battles outside the building to entertain people as the auditions continue. The winner of the rap battle ends up being Seo Chul Gu and because he freestyles, when it’s his turn to audition, he tells San E who’s judging him to give him a random word that he will rap to. San E ends up giving him the word “diet” to which Chul Gu raps to. Hahaha. This guy is genius. He ends up passing and earns a necklace from San E.

The show then focuses on San E and his style of judging. He too is unique in that he supports the contestants and vibes with them, joining along with them during their raps, dancing with them, nodding his head to their lyrics, and much more. In response to this, Jay Park’s just like, “I don’t know if San E is just confident or laid-back.” LOL. That’s a good question Jay. I don’t know, I don’t know. I don’t think anyone will ever know to be honest, lolol.

We then see San E bowing 90 degrees to the next contestant which confuses all of us. It turns out that he’s greeting an elderly grandma which is the first time in the show’s history that this has ever happened. We’re given a little background on the grandma and find out that she’s influential back in her hometown. Because she loves rap and music, she has come onto the show to do just that. Although San E enjoys her rap, it’s just not enough for her to pass and so Grandma doesn’t make it. Aww, poor grandma. But you keep doing what you’re doing. I like seeing this kind of stuff. 😀


The episode goes on to cover contestants who are a bit loud and out-going and crazy maybe. They scream out loud during their raps or act weirdly in front of the judges and it’s not all that pretty. Lol. But then there’s also something else that the episode covers in on: Verbal Jint. Hahaha. It’s about time they give my bae some screen time. He’s a mysterious figure and even the judges can’t seem to figure him out. When judging the contestants, he just blankly stares at them, sometimes in surprise, sometimes in confusion (okay, I gotta admit, he looks high LOL). He rarely shows reactions and omg it’s so funny watching him. Hahaha.

With 7,000 contestants, that means many hours of waiting which means many people are hungry. Luckily, there’s a taco truck that comes to the rescue! The owner of the taco truck is a contestant on the show and has come to audition as well. When asking his co-worker what he thinks of the two raps he prepared for his audition, his co-worker is pretty blunt and honest and feels like both of the raps he prepared are weird. LOL. But eventually the co-worker tells the taco truck owner that the first rap he prepared is a lot better than the second one since he had to choose one out of the two. I love how honest and straight-forward the employee is. Lolol.


The taco truck owner is judged by Jinu of Jinusean and delivers pretty well. But it still isn’t enough to sell Jinu and he doesn’t get a necklace. Oh well…at least he can focus on making tacos now and not have to choose between making tacos or rapping and performing.

Although most contestants are not celebrities who aren’t given much support, there are 3 contestants who have received special support from special people. One of them is rapper Innovator, the rap teacher for entertainment label FNC (where groups like FT Island, CN Blue, and AOA are from). Then there is Choi Jung Gun, a songwriter under JYP Entertainment (does the ‘JAY-WHY-PEE’ whisper). He’s worked on albums for 2PM, GOT7, and Miss A and hopes of showing his rapping skills on ‘SMTM’ since he thinks he’s a better rapper than any of the rappers in JYP (I wouldn’t say that statement isn’t true tbh LOL). He practices his audition with GOT7 where GOT7’s clown Jackson even pretends to be DOK2 to help Jung Gun (LOLOL. He even throws up the Illionaire sign up and everything hahaha). In his practice audition, he receives a necklace from DOK2 Jackson which cracks everyone up. LOL. Jackson adds that if Jung Gun doesn’t get first place then he shouldn’t even come back to JYP. Noooo Jackson. Why would you say something like that? You sound so YG. Hahaha.


Then there’s the producer to the famous and viral Gwiyomi song, DanDi, who has also come onto the show to audition. His special support is from Kim Jong Min who gives DanDi some special words of advice, particularly on cursing. LOL. He’s like “curse cutely” and you’ll pass. Hahaha. Good advice Kim Jong Min, good advice. *thumbs up*

It’s time for each of the contestants to then audition. Up first is DanDi who is judged by Jay Park. Although he takes Kim Jong Min’s advice and tries his best, he doesn’t succeed. Choi Jong Gun finds himself in the same situation as DanDi; he too fails to impress and loses any chances of winning due to forgetting some of his lyrics (oh, I guess he ain’t going back to JYP then. Hahaha). The only contestant out of the three who manages to pass is Innovator, the rap teacher from FNC Entertainment. Jinu hands him a necklace and he makes it onto the next round.


There’s another contestant that’s receiving so much attention he’s basically a celebrity. It’s none other than Jung Sang Soo, the contestant from last year’s season who caused quite an uproar for being a bit on the crazy side. He’s back again this time for another chance at winning. After finishing his audition, San E, who is the judge that is judging him, questions him a little bit before deciding whether to hand him a necklace or not. He basically asks Sang Soo if he’s going to be crazy again this year like how he was last year or if he’s changed to which Sang Soo of course answers that he won’t act like how he did last year this year and has changed. With that, San E hands him a necklace and Sang Soo passes. Interesting.

Contestants who had appeared on the show before but was eliminated at one point in the season returns this year for another chance at winning. Among these returning contestants is New Champ, another crazy contestant from last year known for his teeth confidence and craziness. Then there’s also Ja Mezz (I remember this guy but don’t care for him lol). The guy who is probably the most well-known person for being a past contestant on the show would be Heo In Chang. Past contestant and rap teacher of Yook Ji Dam, Heo In Chang has returned onto the show yet another time. He manages to impress Paloalto and earns a necklace! Yay for second chances! 😀 (correct me if I’m wrong but this is his second time on the show).



There’s another contestant who is bringing a lot of attention and support for ‘SMTM4’ and probably the most anticipated contestant this season yet, Mino of WINNER (BAEEEEEE). Since Bobby won last season, many are expecting Mino to win this season and have high expectations for him. Mino reveals that as a member of WINNER, he is often limited to doing certain stuff but by being on ‘SMTM4’, he can be himself and not have to worry about anything. His good and long-time friend Zico ends up being the one to judge him during his audition (I don’t know if this is awkward or nottttttt. Lol), causing Mino to have mixed feelings and emotions.

Also connected to Zico, his older brother Taewoon has come onto the show to audition. For many years and most of his idol career, Taewoon has always been known as Zico’s older brother but he wants to make a name for himself this time and looks to ‘SMTM’ for that chance. San E gives Taewoon a fair chance and judges him for his audition.

The results to the auditions of the two most anticipated contestants for this season will be revealed in episode 2 (but I think it’s obvious what happens lol).


After many hours of judging, auditions has finally come to an end. Only 108 out of the 7,000 contestants pass and make it to the next round (WOOOOOW). In the second round, the contestants will have to perform on stage in front of all the judges for 60 seconds. If they impress, the judges will pass them where they will move on to the next round but if the judges aren’t impressed, they are able to ‘fail’ the contestants and eliminate them. The second round is a lot harder and nerve-wracking than the first one. Just how will the 108 contestants who passed do?

Credit: Nahae Kim

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