The problem with B.I. is he likes to please his superiors, and doesn’t know himself very well. He is very good at mimicry, mimicking Papa YG when he tells his opponent Junhyun “people like you don’t make it.” Mimicking Tablo, when he tells Tablo he wants to be on his team. Mimicking G Dragon, because he’s been told he may be the next G Dragon. Mimicking his friend Bobby whenever he gets into trouble on stage and adopts his gritty to-hell-with-it attitude. Summed up, the problem with B.I. is he isn’t a very good rapper. At least until he stops trying to play favorite son and figures himself out.

B.I. and his friend, Bobby. Both of YG Entertainment
B.I. and his friend, Bobby. Both of YG Entertainment

In episode 3, B.I. went up against Jin Junhyun, who hit the nail on the head when he said of B.I. “he has an agency behind him… It’s supposed to be fair, but I can’t help thinking about that.” Junhyun’s overall point is, there appears to be a level of favoritism involved in SMTM3. Before examining B.I.’s performance, and what was supposed to be his one-way ticket back to the YG building, Yook Jidam’s battle is a good example of where favoritism can at times cloud the judgment of the judges.

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Even before entering the judging chamber, Ms. Jidam had on all her charm and pluck on display. It wasn’t all in vain. Although she forgot her lyrics two lines into her rap, she would still take the win. Her opponent, Jong Min Gyu initially watched as she helplessly flapped about the stage like a fish out of water, repeating 1, 2 , 3, at which he then jumped in to begin his round. As Min Gyu performed, quite flawlessly, Jidam suddenly cut him off having remembered her lyrics. Waiting for her to give him breathing space to finish his rap, Min Gyu watched helplessly as the DJ cut the beat.

Yook Jidam in her school uniform
Yook Jidam in her school uniform

Poor fella, he got a bad card. Jung Min Gyu was rapping against one of the youngest in the competition, a girl still in high school who wears her uniform to great effect, and is mentored by a rapper who is friends with some of he judges. He didn’t stand much of a chance. To her credit, Yook Jidam didn’t sit by, roll over and die. She had little to lose at that point, and chose to be bold. She grabbed victory from the jaws of defeat.

When Jidam was chosen, Min Gyu’s mouth dropped. Some of the judges, beginning with Swings, then Tablo, and finally The Quiett played coy and criticized both contestants for the mistake of one. Based on the televised comments, the only judge that likely didn’t vote for Yook Jidam was YDG “the least prejudiced of all the judges.”

Yook Jidam
Yook Jidam

Back to B.I., who got his rear-end kicked in, by his opponent Jin. Here, again the judges realizing the obvious that the favored son was going home, turned icy quiet, and decided to criticize both performers. Nonsense! Jin was on it, and B.I. off it.

B.I. and Jin Junhyun in episode 3
B.I. and Jin Junhyun in episode 3

It should all have ended there for B.I. But then, the show is an offshoot of the entrenched Kpop industry. Somehow episode 4 had B.I. before the judges again, in a runoff rap battle.

B.I. went up against J slow with the beat from Jay Z’s “Dirt off Your Shoulder.” Instead of flowing with the beat, B.I. proceeded to mimic G Dragon and Bobby entirely independent of the beat. To give him some credit, it is a hard beat to rap to.


B.I.’s match up with J Slow seems a little convenient. Of the four chosen for the runoff battles, Owen and Giriboy should have made it through. If he had gone up against Giriboy, B.I. would have been handily dispensed of.

When B.I. was being announced the winner, out of nowhere the producers chose to use trumpet blasts.

B.I. would later be eliminated in episode 6 on the August 14 broadcast of the show. Look out for our upcoming review.

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  1. Spot on description of the way B.I raps. Too much imitation, too little originality. Lack rhythm too.
    A world difference with his friend Bobby who has his rhythm and flow down, with lots of originality and charisma thrown in.

    I defended B.I on many others sites back when SMTM3 was airing out of pity, but unfortunately, it is what it is – he’s considerably lacking as a rapper….till this day. Especially when put side by side with Bobby who is amazing both as a performer and a rapper.

    • Ha ha… thanks for the comment – I think a lot of people didn’t agree with me initially. But, some said it was because he was under a lot of pressure.

      Anyways, at first I was mad at Papa YG for holding back Bobby’s career by having him debut with B.I. and iKon. But, after their debut, I think I understand a little bit, why.

      B.I. does bring a lot of creativity and originally in other really important areas. I’m really diggin the music he and Bobby have been making together in the studio. It seems he does a lot of the writing and is involved with the production alot.

      His rapping may be lacking, but he has other strengths I think that makes he and Bobby a good team. My concern tho, is that Bobby isn’t held back by constantly being made to wait for B.I.

      I hope in the future Papa YG allows Bobby to do some independent projects… without B.I. or with B.I. only behind the scenes.

    • As much as I love B.I, I can’t really turn a blind eye as to how he lasted so long on SMTM3, honestly. He is an adequate rapper, but I wouldn’t have pitted him on SMTM with all the other sharks there. Plus during that time, he was under so much pressure. His real talent lies on his creativity in composing and leading iKon. His last performance on SMTM was the best after a laundry list of cringe worthy efforts, so at least it wasn’t a humiliating elimination for him. I felt so bad for him during that time and he was (maybe still is) getting a lot of hate, just on the basis of him backed by YG and him messing up did not help. However, I think that experience made him into a artist altogether. I still support him and iKon.