The final episode of Mnet’s hip-hop survival program, Show Me The Money, was aired on December 30, 2022. Rapper Lee Young Ji took home the title of the winner, along with the prize money, becoming the very first female winner of the show’s long-running history.
Throughout the duration of season 11, Lee Young Ji stood out for her powerful performances. But she was also made the subject of severe criticism. Many netizens objected to her being called a rapper, pointing out that she doesn’t have any album out. Others claimed that the program was very obviously biased towards her and was pushing her to the front when she didn’t deserve it. She was also blamed for the constant free-fall of the ratings.
Despite all the criticism, Young Ji came out as the winner and made history in the process. She also took home the prize money worth ₩100 million KRW (about $80,500 USD). In a recent interview with a Korean media outlet, the rapper was asked how she plans to spend the money. She replied that she will be donating all of it minus the cost of buying gifts for the members of her team, Team Slay,
Fans flocked to social media to praise Young Ji’s decision, calling out her critics for being unfairly harsh on her throughout the show.
- “To all of you hating on her, have you ever made 100 million won yourself? Or donated that amount? This is amazing.”
- “Korean rapper Lee Young Ji, you’re cool. I’m rooting for you.”
- “Meanwhile, other rappers are busy buying up watches and imported cars, this is amazing of her.”
- “As if she wasn’t already ahead with skills alone. She’s so cool.”
- “Honestly, donating 100 million won is huge… Especially at her age, when I’m sure there are things she wants to buy and do…Just a reminder, she’s only a ’02er.”
- “She’s really incredible. Such an admirable young person. I have to compliment her 👏👏👏”
Lee Young Ji herself is probably aware of the severe criticism netizens subject her to. The rapper uploaded a screenshot from the article that announced her plans to donate the money on her Instagram story and explained why she made the choice.
I never made a donation with other intentions.
I believe it’s the same for everyone who makes donations.
One of my ultimate goals is to establish and operate a charity organization when I earn a lot of money. It is still a grand ambition, that is why I am continuing to donate little by little when given the chance with that goal in mind.
I’m just doing it, putting aside this or that reason. I’m posting this because there are a few people who misunderstand me from time to time. Please don’t misunderstand.
—Lee Young Ji via Instagram
In the same interview, the rapper also revealed that she plans to release her first album before the second half of 2023!