18 May 2007
The Rise of Nerdcore
Pocket protectors, computer programming, the Star Wars trilogy, Snoop Dogg and thumping bass. What do all these have in common? They all contribute to the latest in a string of subgenres in the rap world called Nerdcore or Geeksta Rap. Nerdcore is a relatively new style of music created by self-proclaimed nerds, those guys who probably got beat up a lot in high school and are now pulling down six figures working for Microsoft. Geeksta Rap is characterized by themes usually associated with nerds: Star Wars, microprocessors, and all things related to the dot-com world. When concerning oneself with Nerdcore, one must take into consideration the roots of the genre, controversies surrounding Geeksta Rap and last but certainly not least, the indomitable M.C. Frontalot, perhaps Nerd core’s preeminent troubadour.
The origin of Geeksta Rap is fuzzy, but it is thought to have gotten its start sometime around 1998 with the release of the 2 Skinny J’s album, $upermercado, and the song, “Riot Nrrrd” (Hess 42). Some say the “Nerdcore revolution may have spawned even earlier with the likes of such artists as Kool Keith, Deltron 3030 and MC 900 ft. Jesus exploring such non-traditional hip-hop topics as space and science fiction” (“Freeakin’ on Ya”). Although these artists were far outside the admittedly Dungeons and Dragons-like realm of real Nerdcore, it can be argued that they helped to pave the
way for such household names as the Futuristic Sex Robotz, YTCracker, Optimus Rhyme and MC Frontalot.
MC Frontalot (aka Damian Hess) is often credited with coining the term, “Nerdcore.” His first mainstream success came with the song, “Nerdcore Hiphop” from his debut album, Nerdcore Rising. Frontalot weaves beats and melodies with the style and grace of a dungeon master with lines like, “pish posh, man, I come as whack as I like!” and “…step to my DJ, you better step...