At a press conference for Mnet‘s female rapper survival show “Unpretty Rapstar 2” on September 8, two representatives from the show addressed some recent concerns expressed by netizens about the second season’s lineup.
Season two will star rappers Heize, Kasper, Ash-B, SISTAR‘s Hyorin, Gilme, Ahn Soo Min, Fiestar‘s Yezi, KittiB, Moon Suah, Wonder Girls‘ Yubin, and Truedy.
Although not all members of the first season of “Unpretty Rapstar” were from the “underground” rap world, the first season was known for introducing some relatively unknown talent through the competition and giving members of Korea’s underground scene opportunities to perform to a mass audience. Now that the second season’s lineup has been revealed, some people are criticizing the show for the number of rappers from idol groups and agencies that are slated as contestants. Some netizens have expressed their concerns that the appearance of rappers that are members of idol groups, like Hyorin, Yezi, and Yubin, will draw attention away from the underground rappers.
In response to these concerns, Mnet’s director Han Dong Chul says, “You can’t draw a line between ‘underground’ and ‘above ground’ artists. They’re simply titles used to make it easier to talk about artists.”
PD Go Ik Jo comments, “We met with rappers before we decided on the lineup. There are a lot of female Korean rappers not only in the underground scene, but also active as idols or training at agencies. We wanted to portray the truth about female rappers in Korea in our program. There have been a lot of questions about whether idols are given a lot of opportunities already, but the way they appear on our show versus the way they appear on other programs is completely different. We thought we should show how seriously they are working as rappers.”
The casting of SISTAR’s Hyorin has particularly become a hot topic among netizens. In regards to this, Go Ik Jo comments, “We heard Hyorin’s rapping that she sometimes improvised on stage. We were curious about what it would be like if someone like Hyorin were to rap. That is why we cast Hyorin.”
Han Dong Chul adds, “In terms of Truedy, one of our staff members came back from a concert and told us they’d seen someone rapping who had a very unique style, so we ended up casting her. Truedy and Hyorin were cast in the exact same way. The feeling was exactly the same. We think it’s a shame that there’s this perspective that Hyorin is a famous idol and Truedy belongs to the indie world and has a lot of diversity. It’s even like reserve discrimination.” He goes on to promise that there will be no discrimination on the show.
“Unpretty Rapstar 2” will air its first episode on September 11.
What do you think about the mix of idol group members and underground rappers in “Unpretty Rapstar 2”?