The music genre that is “Nerdcore” is something that defies all convention and reasonable explanation, yet I will attempt to explain it here. This introduction is for those who are not familiar with Nerdcore and it’s artists, however, no article can adequately provide an understanding of this music. I strongly recommend taking a look at some of the artists discussed here because it’s something that has to be seen.
What is Nerdcore?
The Nerdcore genre is basically the bastard love child of indie Hip-Hop and a Star-Trek convention. Put simply, it’s nerds rapping. What makes things interesting is that the artists are really good. This isn’t some “Weird Al” parody; it’s very talented rappers coming from a different background and rapping from a very “un Hip-Hop” perspective. While mainstream rap is all commercialism, bling, and claims of street cred, Nerdcore is more humor and star wars references. When you first come into contact with Nerdcore, you expect to be amused, but you will be surprised by the actual talent.
The artist who comes closest to mainstream popularity would have to be “MC Chris” who has been on the scene for years but gathered more attention from his song “Fett’s Vette” when it was featured in Kevin Smith’s “Zack & Miri Make a Porno.” Additionally, MC Chris does voices for “Adult Swim” cartoons which builds a considerable fan base of stoners. MC Chris is definitely an original act; he has a high-pitched cartoonish voice, he raps about Star Wars in multiple songs and “doobie smoothies” in the song “Drinkin’ Blunts; Smokin’ 40’s” but in contrast with his silly lyrics he has skill like Eminem.
“MC Lars” brings something else to the genre. While he does have the gimmick of being a blond surfer-looking white guy rapping, he doesn’t rely on this. The originator of what he calls “Post-Punk Laptop Rap” Lars crosses genres to create something innovative. More importantly, while others may stick to simple songs with a simple premise, MC Lars makes some music that is culturally relevant. Don’t get it confused, Lars does do songs about zombies too, but he takes the time to produce some songs that make an important statement. To better understand what I mean, listen to “Generic Crunk Rap” which is a blast against both popular music and our materialistic society.
The last artist I will discuss here (although there are others) is my personal favorite act in Nerdcore. Mark Schaffer A.K.A “Schaffer the Darklord” A.K.A STD is really amazing in both his skill and his lyrics. His songs range from the silly comic book themed nerd rap to relevant themes about culture and religion to areas beyond any reason or explanation. His “Mark of the Beast” album contains songs about, “Craig’s, list,” Supervillains, Cats, Jesus, Grammar usage, futuristic perverted cloners, and “The Tin Man.” Schaffer’s music and style is so original and fascinating, I will have to go into more detail in another article just to cover some of his work.
In the end, what it comes down to is that the only way to be relevant is to be irrelevant. Pop culture is so focused on its own image and materialism that there is no room for music that actually has something to say and actually entertains. Nerdcore is great for the same reason any underground music is great, it is actually about music instead of marketing.
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