It’s the battle of K-Pop’s top record labels! Who dissed Kendrick Lamar? Who forgot the lyrics and left CEO Yang fuming? Who is BamBam? Find out in our WIN recap below!
As previewed at the end of Episode 3, CEO Yang put all 11 trainees together and announced a battle against JYP Entertainment’s trainees in the next 24 hours. This may sound strange between any other entertainment companies, and even stranger if this wasn’t done before. Park Jin-Young and Yang Hyuk Suk are known to be good friends, and their battles of trainees date back to Big Bang (YG) vs 2PM (JYP) and even further back to Se7en (YG) vs Rain (formerly JYP). All four of those artists have gone on to be some of the biggest in Korean Pop, and the same success could very well be in the future for the current trainees of both companies.
The episode begins with the guys shooting concept photos for their official profiles as a group and individually. Park Jin-Young (who’s now rocking blonde hair thanks to his recent comeback) tells his trainees of the impending battle, and CEO Yang sees what his trainees have prepared. He’s not overall satisfied with the singing of Team A’s vocalists, Seung Yoon, Taehyun, and Jinwoo; however, everything else leaves him pleased. Team A and Team B go off to practice for the next day’s battle and its crunch time. Team A’s rappers Minho and Seunghoon prepare a rap song with Team B’s rappers B.I and Bobby hoping they get to perform it in the name of YG, despite crossing team lines.
The next day its game time and both Teams travel to JYP’s building in one vehicle. While everyone is goofing off, Jinwoo (Team A) is still practicing the lyrics for Team A’s vocalist performance. He had a difficult time up to this point because it takes him the longest to memorize the lyrics. B.I (Team B’s leader) practices his rap verse one more time, and actually forgets a crucial part. From one leader to another, Minho advises him to just say whatever is on his mind in the case that he forgets lines verbatim. They arrive at the JYP building, and its decorated with artwork of the company’s latest releases including Wonder Girls, Miss A, 2PM’s latest album “Grown”, and JYP himself. CEO Yang meets his trainees at the door and tells them, “Although it’s been 10 years, let’s go destroy them!” They enter and CEO Yang and the blushing groom JYP greet like old friends. They explain the rules: JYP will evaluate the trainees of YG, and CEO Yang will evaluate JYP’s trainees. Today is not about winning or losing, but its a learning experience.
Out of three rounds, the rap battle commences first with Mark, Yonghyun and Jackson (hailing from LA, Canada and Hong Kong respectively) representing JYP. The three perform Snoop Dogg and Pharrell’s “Drop It Like It’s Hot” with their own lyrics. Tean B’s Jinhwan and Team A’s Minho groove along as the three rappers show off their swag and skill. Jonghyun raps, “YG get an attitude…” which makes CEO Yang laugh and all his trainees get more into it, except for B.I who still has his game face on. Jackson throws in a Kendrick Lamar diss in his English rap, “No can control me/ Not even Kendrick truthfully….” By the end, B.I is impressed and that same impression is left on the YG trainees, CEO Yang, and JYP. CEO Yang says he enjoyed the stage more than expected, and then points out their rap wasn’t JYP style (which he secretly implies wasn’t a bad thing).
It’s time for YG’s turn and he says he still doesn’t know who will be called out to perform. But he surprises everyone and calls for Team A’s and Team B’s united rappers. They perform “What”, a self-composted song. Seunghoon (Team A) starts it off as he utilizes a bat as a prop. His rap even impresses JYP’s rappers. He passes it on to B.I who actually freestyles at one point as Minho suggested. He even gets down in the JYP’s trainees faces with his sickest line: “Are you ready? Show me what you got/ I’m so hot…” Minho comes with us own style, and if YG would have just made a group of all four of these rappers, Minho could definitely be the leader. Bobby puts his U.S rappers know-how to use and shouts out Rakim and Bun B and even throws in a JYP diss: “Don’t come at us, JYP…”
All of the YG trainees get up and dance with the rappers to support their respective group members, and soon even the JYP members can’t deny the high energy in the room, so they get up and dance, creating one of the best moments of the show thus far. JYP loves the performance and calls out Bobby as his personal favorite, calling his rap style “lazy rap” (because it was slower than the beat itself). Overall, he’s impressed. It’s pretty clear who won this rap battle.
It’s time to dance! JYP is first again and its Yookyum, Mark and Jackson again, and finally, BamBam (it’s only a stage name, but you can join us in laughing at this regardless). Their dance routine’s music is Usher’s “Caught Up”. It’s filled with a several tricks and flips, but the most interesting bit is the last move, when BamBam flips mid-air and is pushed by Jackson to land on the other side of the room. Everyone is left completely in awe especially Team A’s Taehyun who’s been smiling and having a good time watching the performances all the while.
It’s time for YG and CEO Yang has to choose again. He goes with his best bet and chooses Team B. Team B dance to Drake’s “The Motto” just as in sync and perfect as always. Although Bobby dropped his hat, Team B show why they have the upper-hand at the moment. JYP likes it but says they were way ahead of the beat, something he saw even in his own trainees’ performance. Nonetheless, its distinctively clear that JYP had more of the wow factor and can claim this as their victory.
The most important battle yet is underway. In JYP’s corner: Wonpil, Joonhyuk, Sungjin, Jaehyung and Yonghyun from the rap battle. They perform “Can’t Fall Asleep As The Rain Falls” by Kim Gunmo. The guys show their musically inclined side by playing a piano and a pair of guitars. Jaehyung delivers some soothing vocals before throwing in a surprise rap in English. But at this point, none of the YG trainees can enjoy it as they mentally prepare themselves for next, and hoping their team will perform. CEO Yang gives his most constructive criticism yet and says the audience has to feel moved or in other words entertained, or in other words, the performance was most likely boring for him, and on that, we have to agree.
To decide if it will be Team A or Team B singing, CEO Yang asks the JYP trainees to vote on who they would rather see. Without hesitation, they vote Team A, who have yet to perform together as a group in either round. Since its a vocal battle, there’s no need for rappers Minho and Seunghoon, so only Taehyun, Seungyoon, and the hard-working Jinwoo take center stage. Performing a mix-up ofGD&TOP’s “Baby Goodnight” and JYP’s own “I Already Have A Woman”, the trio start off good. But then the unthinkable happens: Jinwoo forgets the lyrics. And this doesn’t happen once, but again and again. Fortunately, Seungyoon comes in and sings the part he forgot. CEO Yang can be seen in the corner FUMING. Seungyoon and Taehyun sing their hearts out, but its not enough to cover up Jinwoo’s constant mistakes. Team B are equally fumed as they felt they should have been given the chance to represent YG correctly.
It’s time for JYP’s criticism, and although Jinwoo is dreading it, Park Jin-Young only gives him encouragement. He tells him: “If you make a mistake on the 100th try, yo won’t make the mistake on the 200th try. I hope today will be a learning experience for you. Fighting!” At the end, JYP and CEO Yang chat privately and JYP reveals that he feels affectionate toward Team A, but he would invest his money in Team B. Which is what the music industry is all about, regardless of country.
CEO Yang enters the trainees bus before they set off for home and tells them they did worst then they usually do, and he’s embarrassed. YG Entertainment clearly lost everything but the rap battle, so his words are understandable. Jinwoo hides his face as he knows he’s to blame and during his camera time, he starts to cry as he expresses how sorry he is to represent YG in such a way after CEO Yang has given him “everything”. We can all recall our most embarrassing and regretful moment in life; this is his, all at once.
Can Jinwoo recover next week? Watch the preview for Episode 5 here as Big Bang’s G-Dragon and Taeyang are in the building! Look out for our Episode 5 recap soon. Watch Episode 4 with English subtitles courtesy of WINNER SUBS below.
Image via YG United