Do Wook could have helped Jung Yoon Ki with the lyrics of the original ‘Sorry but I Love You’. However, the current song was arranged a bit differently than the original. Also, the group member composition was changed, and the situation changed slightly because everyone got new motivation thanks to Do Wook.
Ahn Hyung Seo, for example, was motivated by how hard Do Wook tried and was fired up to try even harder. It was the same for the other members too.
Things will continue to change little by little because of Do Wook. For the future Do Wook was trying to create, where KK beats M2M and becomes the number one group in this generation, development within the individual members was crucial.
‘If possible, it’d be nice if Jung Yoon Ki overcame this slump by himself and became an even better rapper…’
Do Wook mentally planned out what would be the best thing to do in case that didn’t happen.
Oh Baek Ho, who was explaining the recording schedule, added,
“Also, it sounded like the choreography will be out as well in about 2 weeks.”
“Will…will our…dance instructor… be making the choreography?”
Park Tae Hyung, who had been eating in the seat right across from Oh Baek Ho, hesitantly asked.
Oh Baek Ho put in extra effort to build a close relationship with Park Tae Hyung, whom he immediately determined to be extremely shy. Rather than having a stern look, he tried to approach Park Tae Hyung with as much of a relaxed expression as possible. Thanks to that, Park Tae Hyung really took to Oh Baek Ho. He spoke to him as comfortably as he would with the other members.
“They said that the instructor will be collaborating with a famous choreographer from outside.”
“Manager Oh, what about the stylist?”
Suk Ji Hoon, who was next to him, asked the question.
Oh Baek Ho used to flinch and be surprised whenever 17 years old, no 18 years old now, Suk Ji Hoon called him ‘Manager Oh’. Even the members who were older called Oh Baek Ho ‘hyung’* but Suk Ji Hoon alone consistently called him ‘Manager Oh’.
(TL note: Hyung is what males call older males)
Oh Baek Ho thought it was because, as a child actor, he had been active in dramas from a young age, which had a strict hierarchy.
Obviously, he had more interest in getting dolled up than other members because he had been in broadcasting for a long time. Naturally, it was the same when it came to fashion as well. Even now, Suk Ji Hoon was wearing American brand knitwear that he went through a lot of trouble to obtain because it hasn’t been released in Korea yet.
Oh Baek Ho tried to remember what the report he was given said.
“He’s a well known new designer… What was his name? It sounded like a baptismal name.”
“Yes, that’s right. Lucas. Do you know him?”
“I know of him. I’ve seen him in a magazine before. I think the company is really putting a lot of thought into our group.”
Oh Baek Ho replied ‘That’s right’ even as he internally clicked his tongue at how Suk Ji Hoon was not very child-like. There was no one as precocious as he was.
Do Wook knew of Lucas too. Even originally, Lucas was a promising new designer who briefly worked as a stylist during KK’s debut. After that, he became a huge enough designer to successfully launch his own brand, ‘Kiss, Lucas’ which he based off his own name. Back then, he often heard a lot of female employees in the PR department talking about how they wanted to have even just one clothing from that brand.
‘I should take this opportunity to establish a more firm relationship with Lucas too.’
All sorts of plans, including those regarding Jung Yoon Ki, came to Do Wook’s mind. There was still a long way to go and he had to try even harder.
Once they were done eating lunch and talking about the album preparation process, the members headed towards the rehearsal hall again.
Jung Yoon Ki’s < Student rapper > performance preparations went according to plan.
The group song was something they practiced a lot during the previous season’s broadcast so he only had to practice a little with the other rappers. For the song of his choosing, since, as a trainee, he had a repertoire of songs, he planned on doing a song from there.
It was true that he was a little nervous since it’s been a while since he performed or was on a show, but it wasn’t as much as when he had to compete to be a cast member on the audition program.
Jung Yoon Ki was more worried about the lyrics he couldn’t write than the more immediate performance that will take place in a few hours.
“Yo, bro! Are you nervous?!”
Inside the 6 passenger vehicle heading towards the concert hall, Kim Won asked while looking at Jung Yoon Ki, who was a little stiff in the passenger seat.
In the car that Oh Baek Ho was driving, there was Jung Yoon Ki, Kim Won, Kang Do Wook, and RDT Ahn Young Mi.
The three of them had just stopped by a hair shop and had a simple hairstyle that ‘looks like they put in a little effort but at the same time looked normal’.
The shop employees were a little flustered by Ahn Young Mi’s request. Then, like professionals, they promptly worked on their hair. Thanks to that, the three members looked much more neat than usual. Jung Yoon Ki, who was going to perform, was also scheduled to get some make up done on site.
There was a reason that Kang Do Wook and Kim Won also got their hair done instead of just Jung Yoon Ki, who was performing. The two of them became the members that were sent as part of the “broadcast exposure” condition the company requested.
The two of them were scheduled to watch the performance in the auditorium as ordinary audience members, but in reality, they were assigned to a spot that was easily visible from the camera and were expected to come on the screen from time to time when the camera would show the audience.
Sending company trainees to be on broadcast shows, such as as part of the audience on a popular program etc., was already one of the more well known methods in the broadcasting industry to increase screen time exposure.
The company figured that Do Wook could visually draw in people’s attention, and that it’d be beneficial if the image of Kim Won enjoying the performance with overwhelming enthusiasm was broadcasted. Even in mentality, the two of them were the most fitting members.
“Nervous? I don’t get nervous, dude!”
Kim Won laughed as he jeered at Jung Yoon Ki pretending to be strong. Jung Yoon Ki sent a sign saying ‘Are you laughing when your hyung is talking? Don’t be cheeky’ at Kim Won’s jeering.
Seeing the two of them bickering, Do Wook looked out the window. The car was crossing over the Han River.
‘KK will be more famous even faster with this broadcast. I have to make it so!’
Do Wook looked at the reflection of his face, which he has now gotten used to, on the car window and made up his mind.
When he was first delivering the message that Jung Yoon Ki will be appearing on < Student Rapper >, Oh Baek Ho purposely didn’t tell them that some of the members would appear on the show.
Even considering it was before their debut, no, since it’s before their debut, there was no clear popularity ranking set which meant popularity ranking within the members was an even more sensitive topic.
For this appearance, the camera was only going to quickly brush past them so you couldn’t even really call it an appearance. Still, it was an opportunity to increase their recognition and popularity. Oh Baek Ho didn’t tell them in advance because he didn’t want the members to have trivial thoughts over who will get to be on the show
Thanks to that, Do Wook also learned that he will appear on < Student Rapper > the day of the performance.
KK members made appearances as audience members in < Student Rapper > in the past as well, but they weren’t able to draw a lot of attention so even Do Wook wasn’t aware of appearing on the show.
‘But there was no need for other preparations to be made either.’
Do Wook looked like he was in a drama set as he was getting his hair done at the hair shop. He was simply blinking his eyes with an indifferent expression, but the hair shop staff was excited by his appearance.
“I haven’t seen him before. Who is he?”
The hair shop director asked when she saw Do Wook reflected in the mirror as she was greeting Oh Baek Ho.
The Director, who built a three-story shop on Cheongdam-Dong Chung land, was in charge of many leading actresses in Korea. A Director like that* picked out Do Wook right away.
(TL note: To clarify, an accomplished Director who’s worked with many celebrities knew right away Do Wook had what it takes to make it)
“Manager Oh, you found a good one this time.”
Hearing the Director’s exclamation, Do Wook was even more certain of his plan.
‘I can make it with his face! Also….there’s one other thing that’s for certain!’
The concert hall outside of Seoul, which can accommodate about 500 people, had a sea of young students.
Participants who came to see the preliminary round of < Student Rapper > were sitting in ground seats with their name tags on, and the audience that came to cheer them on were sitting in the audience seats on the 2nd and 3rd floors.
Since the judges were such famous rappers, most of the people present at today’s performance came to see the judges and last season’s winners’ performance.
After the performance rehearsal was finished, Do Wook and Kim Won left the waiting room once the audience started to enter and sat where the < Student Rapper > staff had reserved for them.
It was a location where, if the camera focuses on the preliminary participants in the group seat from the front most seats on the second floor, showing up on the screen was inevitable.
“Wow, there’s so many people~!”
“You said it.”
“KK will eventually perform at a place like this, right?”
The noise of lots of people talking mixed together and sounded like a hum. Do Wook nodded and smiled at Kim Won next to him, who had asked excitedly.
“We need to perform at places bigger than here too.”
“Than here? Oh my gosh, it’s unbelievable man!*”
(TL note: He was saying this part in English so the sentence was kept verbatim)
Kim Won, flustered as if he had actually performed at a place bigger than here, mumbled ‘unbelievable’. Do Wook understood how Kim Won felt and how flustered you can get just by imagining it.
That was because Do Wook has also yet to actually be on stage either. Do Wook’s heart also trembled when he thought about the stage in front of him, and imagining the day he’ll stand on an even bigger stage than that. He felt like his heart would burst when he thought about how that future isn’t a vague future. It’s already determined, and a future that he has to grow even more.
‘Because it was a very old dream’
A dream he never imagined he could achieve.
Do Wook promptly clenched his fist and got a hold of himself. It was a phase he had to climb step by step. The future wasn’t going to come faster because he imagined it a lot.
The preliminary performance started while Do Wook was talking with Kim Won.
Once the MC appeared on the stage, laughter along with shouts burst out. The MC was ‘MC Hukkae’, who was active as a hip hop duo but gradually expanded into entertainment and was more active in entertainment these days.
“Hello, I’m Hukkae who wanted to be the best rapper in Korea~!”
The audience burst into laughter when Hukkae made a ridiculous expression while doing an over-the-top gesture, as if asking them to applaud him.
After Hukkae gave his greeting while enjoying the audience’s applause to his content, he immediately gave a quick explanation of the audition program < Student Rapper > Season 2.
The method for picking the winner for Season 2 was simple. Starting from today’s first preliminary round, if the 30 participants cannot get enough points, they will be immediately eliminated.
The score was 70% judges’ score and 30% onsite and online voting. Live text voting was scheduled to be added for the finals only.
The number of cutlines for each round was as follows.
Round 1 – 20 people
Round 2 – 15 people
Round 3 – 8 people
Round 4 – 4 people
Round 5 Finals – Winner Selection
Today was the first round of the preliminaries which will result in a total of 10 eliminations.
After explaining the method through the concert hall VCR screen, Hukkae introduced the four judges.
Every time he introduced them one by one, shouts poured out incomparable to when Hukkae came on to the stage. Towards the end, a male student with a thick voice even confessed his love to the rapper Dool Lo saying, ‘Take me, Dool Lo hyung!’.
Without missing a beat, the cameras installed throughout the concert hall focused on the male student who yelled out. The crowd was in an uproar as soon as the male student’s face, who looked like someone you should immediately kneel down to and call ‘hyung’, came on the VCR.
“Dool Lo hyung! I love you! Take me!”
However, the male student paid no attention to them and confessed his love. Dool Lo’s flustered face was captured on the screen. Since Dool Lo’s physique was on the smaller side, the two of them looked even more contradictory, making people burst into laughter. Hukkae calmed the male student down and moved on with the program.
“Today’s performance is a freestyle rap competition where each contestant gets 30 seconds! I’m curious which rapper will capture more of the judges’ and all of your ears in the short time of 30 seconds~! Also, don’t forget that there’s a special performance today~!”
The stage lighting became dark and the first contestant was asked to come up.
Trudging up along with the pin lights was a contestant wearing a bright blue school uniform. It was the uniform of an art high school that was so famous, you could recognize it just by looking at the uniform
As soon as the contestant’s face came up on the VCR screen, the female students burst into shouts first. The male students were also in an uproar after. Right off the bat, the first contestant was good at rapping, and he was a famous contestant who was very popular with women for having so-called ‘swag’.
The beat and rap started along with the alarm signaling the start of the performance.
“They’re really good! Wow~!”
Even though the beat was divided into small segments, the contestant demonstrated a rap that could hold its own against a veteran rapper technique-wise with precise pronunciation.
Kim Won waved his hands to the rhythm as he cheered. Within a short time of 30 seconds, the atmosphere of the concert hall was heated up similar to an audition atmosphere.
‘Season 1 was popular too, but Season 2 was incredibly popular because it has numerous talented people like this participant.’
Do Wook thought as he applauded the participant who said goodbye and headed off stage.
‘What I asked Baek Ho won’t be too burdensome right?’
Do Wook thought of a definite way to make his mark on a popular program, and his eyes were shining as he clapped. The camera discovered that scene and zoomed in on Do Wook.
Soon, a painting that only Do Wook can draw, although not great, was going to unfold.