In this episode…
…a shocking reveal!
We resume and everyone’s mourning the loss of Nicky2States. Byata seems to have taken it particularly hard, as she says that she feels like her “life mentor” has left. It would seem that Byata is looking forward to a life of shakin’ that ass, shakin’ that ass.
Nothing like some liquor to help her on her way.
Byata’s sentimentality doesn’t end with Nicky2States. She also speaks about her father (taking a note from last week’s final challenge), and as a result, we’re treated to this slice of retro-awesomeness:
Byata also mentions working at a restaurant in Union Square (probably The Coffee Shop, but you ain’t heard that from me). Chiba listens and comments and Byata snaps at her for “spying.” Wait until she finds out she’s being recorded for TV! She’s gonna snap!
But then, of course it does.
For the next day’s challenge, Serch meets the girls at the Los Angeles Gun Club for the…
Notice the lack of Ms. Cherry — she hightailed it when she found out they were at the gun club, on account of her being out on bond. Unlike Byata’s refusal to do the dishes last week because of her period, this counts as an excused absence.
An especially dolled-up Serch and YoYo explain what the challenge will entail…
Basically, it’s target practice. But not just any targets! The girls will shoot at representations of foes they face as females in rap:
We can only guess that apathetic listeners were represented by Cherry’s never-to-be-bullet-pierced target. And so they live another day.
The shooting commences, and check out this wild screen shot of Rece’s steel…
You can actually see the bullet! It’s that little golden dot to the right of her gun. As wild as that is, it doesn’t hold a candle to Rece’s reflection on the shooting in which she seems to call her target “misogamy.” Fight the real enemy! Marriage! Well, at least she’s speaking with lowered prohibitions.
Meanwhile, Byata gets her catharsis on.
And she wins! She racks up 24 points for the different places on the target that she shot. Back at home, Chiba congratulates her, setting off a human trail of stank.
This shot is also notable for its resemblance to the cover of SWV’s debut, It’s About Time.
Anyway, Byata soon reveals that she is selected Rece to help share in her prize. This surprises no one and gives Chiba the opportunity for…
…you guessed it! More complaining. The prize? A barbecue with these two:
The location? The backyard of the Fembassy. Wait. That’s a prize?
While Byata and Rece get schooled on the methods of bringing it…
…Chiba has a tearful conversation with her daughter.
During its course, we flash to this amazing pictorial exercise in symmetry:
We hear Chiba say something about not being able to keep things bottled up inside, which means…
…explosions! But not really: she joins Byata and Rece outside, and though their conversation begins on a bickering level, but soon gains a more peaceful ground. Byata explains that Chiba’s sunglasses can be off-putting, although how she missed Chiba’s reason for wearing them is beyond me, since we’re reminded of her car accident, like, every segment.
But here’s something new:
Chiba’s left eye!
And again! It actually doesn’t seem to be nearly as bad as all the masking has suggested. Makes you feel kinda bad for her self-consciousness level and stuff.
If only that self-consciousness were consistent, though, for Chiba soon oversteps and reveals something any wise competitor would keep secret:
“Like, I really lost some f***-up s*** on this side of my brain. So when it comes to ceratin things, OK, y’all make up a song, only time I spit something I already had is because they don’t ever said you can’t use nothing that you never already had. The world never heard it, so if I feel like the shoe fits, I’m gonna wear it.” I believe that the shoe in this case is a boot, and it’s just hovering over her, waiting to kick her off this show.
New day, new challenge:
The girls must spit 16 bars detailing how they’d bring peace to the streets. Their audience?
Young girls who’ve been subjected to gang violence. Sorry, I don’t have anything snarky to say about them or their presence on the show.
And apparently, neither does Byata.
She chokes, forgets her lyrics and ends it all with, “Uh huh, yeah. We gotta do it for the children. Yeah!” Nice save, Whitney! The audience is not impressed.
Rece goes and she’s pretty good, although she spends much of her performance with her eyes on the ground.
It’s as though she’s out to uplift the asphalt. A lost cause if ever there were.
Cherry also messes up, but at least she doesn’t make a show of it or anything.
Finally, there is Chiba, who flat-out kicks ass.
But is that ass-kicking…pre-written? Hmmmm! No matter, the audience loves her and she gets a standing ovation, by far the biggest response.
Back at home, Byata’s still saying, “Hmmmm!”
Actually, that’s putting it lightly: she’s straight-up accusing Chiba of spitting a verse she already wrote and, thus, had plenty of time to memorize. Rece joins in and Ms. Cherry gives an accurate and helpful representation of their barking at Chiba and her brick-wall-like response.
Talk of violence enters the discourse, ironic considering the last challenge. Rece whips herself up into such a frenzy that she’s reduced to swinging her dookie chain for effect.
The blurriness of this still represents the fact that Rece is so unhinged here, she simply cannot be captured. Not even by a screen grab.
Serch comes to name the winner of the challenge. Byata steps up immediately to report on Chiba’s cheatin’ ways.
Serch says that this information is noted, but gives the prize of Miss Con-G-Niality to Chiba anyway, since the rest of the girls “embarrassed” themselves on the challenge.
A bunch of hippies in the Salt-N-Pepa Suite chanting, “Make beats not war.” Again, I find myself asking: really? That’s a prize?
Then, it’s time for the final challenge. The girls must write their 16 bars on the ever controversial term “bitch.”
Cherry’s first and she just knocks it out of the park.
Her verse about reclamation and double standards is justifiably complex without seeming muddled. Best 16 of the competition so far? I think so.
Rece is skillfully rough, as usual.
Byata rants about Chiba, as usual, squared.
And Chiba’s verse seemingly has little to do with the task at hand. She even prefaces it with, “Talkin’ to a n**** that just called me a bitch.” You might want to go back and ask him for more relevant material, Cheeb.
Serch and YoYo deliberate. Cherry was the most lyrical, but her delivery could use some power. Rece again did the up-with-asphalt routine. Byata obviously devoted her verse to Chiba and may be letting her emotions get the best of her. Chiba’s performance was strong, but was her rhyme fresh? Probably not, and so Chiba is sent home.
In her exit interview, Chiba complains about Byata’s continued presence in the competition. Uh, yeah, we get it. We’ve heard it before, like, a million times now. Talk about sounding pre-written!