South Korea has easily produced some of the greatest reality shows that are sadly unknown to most English speaking audiences (there are people who sub ya know). From Running Man and Hello Counselor to Hello Baby to Laws of The Jungle, Korea has nailed variety television, which is why its no shock that the Rap competition, Show Me The Money just finished its third season. Reality singing shows don’t get very far in North American, many dying down after the first season so I was obviously very interested that Korea has managed to pull off a rap competition on top of many successful singing competitions.
The show had many familiar faces to anyone who is a fan of underground Korean hip-hop which was fun to see, however I was a lot more curious about a contestant who didn’t receive as much air-time.
You may have caught a glimpse of her in the first episode but by the third episode you knew she was there. Very much intrigued, I asked Toy a few questions that she generously answered.
So to start, do you mind introducing yourself?
My name is Toy. I am an American rapper based in Seoul, South Korea.
How have things been since the show ended, have things changed much? You’ve dropped some new music!
Since the show ended, I have been working on a lot more music. Im trying to put out a single soon and hopeful a mixtape as well. The only thing that has really changed since the show ended is that I have a lot more fans hahaha.
You’ve said a few times that you and Bobby got closer throughout the show, how do you feel that your teammate ended up winning?
Im happy for Bobby. I was rooting for both Bobby and Iron . . . so im just glad that one of the two won.Because you’re a foreigner, did you feel any stigma from the other judges or contestants?
Being the only foreigner on the show was not easy. Also, my Korean was not perfect, so i think most people didn't think I could possibly make it as far as I did. I think a lot of people thought I didn't belong there and although Im no where close to rapping as well in Korean as I can in English, I did have support from some of the judges and a few of the other contestants.
A lot of people came on the show saying they had to prove themselves, did you feel like you had anything to prove?
I only wanted to prove that "anything is possible." I wasn't able to rap in English, so I knew that I would not be able to show them even half of what i was cable of in terms of rap skills . . .. I just wanted to show that a foreigner could do well too.
After living in Korea and getting to know it, as well as participating in a show like SMTM, would you have still come to Korea with the same plan and mindset?
Ive been in Korea for 4 years now and I wouldn't change a thing. Everything happens for a reason and i like to live my life with no regrets. I wish that I was more fluent in Korean, but that comes with time.
Did you receive any advice from other rappers before you came on season 3?
Any advice . . . no hahah . . just to do my best.
We never got to see you much on the show (and trust me, a lot of international viewers were bummed out about that) do you feel like you kind of got cheated? Was there anything you wanted viewers to know?
Yeah, it is kind of a bummer that they didn't show me much on TV. Even some of the team producers were complaining to the writers of the show that i didn't get much tv time. Most people know that the show is not a "true" rap competition. It is a bit of a popularity contest at times and there was a storyline even before the show began (as is the same with most tv shows). Basically, I wasn't a part of the storyline...hahaha so less tv time.
(I also followed up with these questions - A lot of people had previously complained about the show's editing telling very different stories from what actually took place. Did you feel like that may have happened? And finally, just...what was it like to see yourself on the show?)
As far as editing . . . im not 100% sure because i didn't watch the show . . . but i do know that some of what was said or shown on tv is not exactly how it too place in reality. Tv shows are always edited in a way to make things appear to be more dramatic than they actually are in order to grab the audiences attention.
And as i mentioned above, I did not watch the show . . . so im not sure. Usually, I don't like watching myself on TV because I always tend to think of what i could have done better.
What can we look forward to from you in the next few months, and any parting words you’d like to leave us with?
In the next few months, look forward to single and hopefully a mixtape as well. Im busy working on a lot of new music, so i hope that you will be patient with me as I work hard to make songs where i can show everything I’ve got. To my fans: Thank you so much for all the support. I didn't realized that so many people outside of Korea watched the show. It been awesome learning about how much support I have from around the world. Thank you so much!!
A big thank you to Toy who agreed to this interview, I’m excited to see her development as an artist in South Korea and will definitely be keeping an eye on her, as a fan. It was great to get to know about her experience! If you’d like to keep up with her, here are other platforms that you can use to connect with her.