I love hip-hop. I love nerds.
Naturally, when I learned about a genre of music called “Nerdcore,” I was pretty excited. I found it by accident, while following links to artists that iTunes suggested I might be interested in (that’s how everyone learns about new music, right? Well, that way and by working in retail.) I had just discovered Atmosphere (not Nerdcore, but you should probably check them out too), and as I followed the links, I discovered MC Chris.
Now, just like most of you out there, I’d been watching Aqua Teen Hunger Force since its inception on Adult Swim (No?) Being the faithful fan of the show that I am (I briefly considered getting a hand banana tattoo), I recognized the name MC Chris from the credits of the show. Eagerly pressing the play button to preview the most popular track, I quickly recognized the voice as MC Pee Pants. And Hesh. (Sealab is pretty awesome too.) Tingling with nerdy excitement, I downloaded the entire MC Chris is Dead album. And by downloaded, I mean to say that I actually legally purchased the entire thing without hearing more than a 30 second preview of one song. MC Chris is nerdy, which makes him a novelty of sorts, but he’s also talented.
His songs may be laced with nerdy pop culture references, Nerd Girl being the best example (“…I got a girl that kicks their ass like River from Serenity”). He raps over catchy beats, and more than sometimes reaches out beyond the nerd crowd with songs like Never Give Up, Older Crowd, Wiid, and MC Chris is Dead. He makes music you can geek out and dance to, without being the type of person that listens to anime soundtracks and video game BGM.* The best thing about MC Chris is that he puts on a really great show. He cares about his fans, and it shows through his music, performances, and dedications to them on his Facebook page. He’s certainly worth checking out.
For me, MC Chris was a gateway nerdcore artist, that lead me to discover a bunch of other super talented rappers. I can’t be alone in saying that most rap music is lazy these days. It’s often lame, flashy, and unintelligent, when it can be brilliant poetry. Nerdcore is way more than a style of music that makes frequent Star Wars references. It’s also typically smart, intriguing and fun. Don’t believe me, or want to see more? Check out these other notable Nerdcore artists:
Seattle’s Optimus Ryhme; He who coined the term Nerdcore, MC Frontalot; Post-punk laptop rap’s MC Lars; Community’s Donald Glover; And hell, I’m even going to suggest you check out Del The Funky Homosapien, who once collaborated with the Gorillaz.
Oh, and here’s a link to the IMDB page of a movie on this topic: Nerdcore Rising
So what does this mean for the music industry? Probably not much. But Nerdcore will always have a place in my heart, and hopefully in yours too!
*I used to be that type of person.