Hip Hop Tribe Finals – Part I

Most people don’t know about this show and honestly neither did I. It kept popping up in my recommendation box when I tried to watch something else so I decided to give it a try since I love Korean hiphop and really enjoyed Show Me the Money. I started with the second season and I saw a recognizable faces amongst the judges, most from being contestants of SMTM and I was thinking to myself how some of them became producers or judges when they couldn’t make it on SMTM. It was a stupid and snobbish thought but it happened and I’m glad I kept up with the show anyway.

Hip Hop Tribe is a show with 50 contestants who must not be professional or underground rappers, or act as a main rapper (but can be lead rapper – which doesn’t make sense to me) of a group, but can be well-known singers, actors, models and TV personalities.

Previous episodes consisted mostly of the recruitment of rappers by bidding with fake diamonds and battling other houses till all the rappers in a house are out. When that happens, the house is out of the show meaning the producers also leave the show.

A few things to know before I go on:

  • Everyone wants to go Hi-Lite and I don’t know why
  • Din Din is a clown and I love him for that
  • It’s not an Mnet show so expect less drama (lol but I keep hoping for one especially since San E is the MC)

Firstly, I want to talk about the brutal groupings in the 12th episode. I was not at all expecting the show staffs to split the producers. Don’t get me wrong though, as brutal as it was, I liked it because everyone would have to show their individual talent and those contestants who have somehow been progressing because of their group will finally have to work hard and show what they can do. To be honest, there were some contestants who had me shifting in my chair every time they won because of their group. I mean they are okay at rapping but not to the point of progressing but when you have monster rappers in your team, there’s no other choice but to move on, right?

I felt really bad for the hot chicks team because it was really obvious that most of the contestants, if not all, were trying to avoid their team and this has been happening since the first episode when they were recruiting the contestants. Everyone kept going somewhere else and even when they were chosen by the girls, they weren’t too happy about it. I don’t know but I think both Cheetah and LE rap well. Did they not like their style of producing? I don’t want to think that the reason is because it’s an all female team and because it’s hip hop or whatnot because that wouldn’t make sense. I do remember Hi-Lite’s PaloAlto saying, “there’s this typical bad habit female rappers have and I don’t want to keep picking girls but they keep coming out.” At first, I laughed but then I was like, “wait, what?” He was a bit annoying when choosing contestants because he always had something to say regardless and it got me thinking if he was a boy wonder himself. There were few really good rappers who came out and he’d be nitpicking.

On to the main point of this post. We’ve seen about four or five performances for the finals, most of them really good and I can safely say that Jooheon and Lee Michelle deserve that throne. Their performance was off the charts.


This was the first performance and it had a really catchy chorus that is hard to forget. You may forget the individual rap verses but not the chorus. They got an audience score of 153 which ultimately shocked me at first. I don’t know why but I was expecting something between the range of 140 and 150 but the audience had other ideas, I guess. 153 is a good score anyway. Was it because they performed first? Or because Hi-Lite? Probably the latter.


If Jang Gi-yong left Hot Chicks to join someone else, I expected a lot better. Now, this may just be personal taste but I didn’t really like this performance. The ballet dancers at the back took most of the attention from the performance. I know Giyong can rap so I expected a better stage. They got an audience score of 131 and obviously couldn’t ascend the throne. it’s unfortunate because I was looking forward to Gi Yong’s stage. The only thing I remember is 아름다워(areumdawo) sang repeatedly in the chorus.


When I said some contetstants were progressing because of their group, I was talking about Yang Mira and someone else. Mira is an OK rapper, I think rapping as a hobby would be suitable for her. She got through at first because she rapped about her hardships after her cosmetic surgery and all which made her win the face to face battle. That was OK because it was deep and also because PaloAlto deserved to lose that round for what he did. She kept progressing though and I kept thinking I was the only one. Her movements are a bit awkward with her rap.

Anyway, this performance was carried by Cheetah although Mira improved a lot but Cheetah was on point as expected. My problem with the song was the title, ‘Burger Me’ which was meant to be erotic or something but ended up being awkward. I’m not sure what they thought it meant. They got a score of 129 and I thought it was better than the previous performance. The female teams are having it hard.


It’s no secret Hanhae is a monster rapper and I also like Seung Hyun’s rap. They brought in a guest singer who won the best RnB singer. What I really loved from this performance is the LED effects on stage and also on their outfits. Everything from the rap to effects looked like a music video and I knew they had to win. They won with a score of 182 which blew me away. I was so sure – 100 percent sure they had won the whole finals because from 153 to 182 is a big leap. Too bad they couldn’t keep the throne for long as they didn’t strategize well on who to pick next.


I was really happy this was the last performance of the first part of the finals because it was what the show needed. The previous performances were good but this brought everyone out of their seats. The song was upbeat and the dance was what the song needed. It seemed that the both of them were an actual duo rather than a producer and a contestant. I loved their performance and I was glad the audience recognized talent because I was starting to think they were being stingy with their votes in the right places and generous in the wrong places.

They won with a score of 185 and I hope they keep the throne till the end – that is if other performances are average.

We need more Korean hip hop shows.


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