What follows is an attempt to gain a handle on the growing phenomenon of Nerdcore and its presence in the cultural and music scene. This page is a work in progress. Any corrections, suggestions or ideas are appreciated. First, a bit of background.
To quote the oft-cited wikipedia entry:
“Nerdcore hip hop, or geeksta rap, is a subgenre of hip hop music that is performed by nerds or geeks, and is characterized by themes and subject matter considered to be of general interest to nerds. … Nerdcore has no unifying musical manifesto, and the sound of nerdcore varies wildly from artist to artist.”
When MC Hawking laid down the first parody gangster rap track way back in early 2000, Nerdcore was born*. No one knew it then, that this style of music to be later named Nerdcore, would change the lives of so many. The term Nerdcore was coined by MC Frontalot only recently (circa 2000) and has been Frontalot’s main claim to fame. Heralded as the grandfather of Nerdcore, Frontalot shares the prestige of this title with Hawking. It has been up to debate as to who can claim the title: the one who makes the music without associating it with a (sub-)genre, or one who coins the term and associates it with the (sub-)genre? Personally, both were and still are integrally important to promoting and developing this growing sub-genre of music.
Here is a list of the major Nerdcore players. This list is by no means complete, as there are many more Nerdcore artists producing music.
- Jesse Dangerously (Wikipedia entry)
- Doc Popular
- MC chris
- MC Frontalot (Wikipedia entry)
- MC Hawking
- MC Lars
- MC Plus+ (Wikipedia entry)
- Monzy (Wikipedia entry)
- Optimus Rhyme
- Shael Riley
- 1337 G33K B3AT (MC Router)
Producers & Beatsmiths:
· T-Byte (1337 G33k B34t)
Many Nerdcore artists have been known to perform at the Penny Aracde Expo (Pax), though they have performed at other venues in their respective areas (Canada, Seattle, Las Vegas, etc). Recently, Nerdcore musicians have been touring and appearing at shows like CES. More details to come.
Nerdcore has been consistently growing since its inception. It is not clear where Nerdcore is heading as a music scene, but what is known is that major producers and artists are pushing Nerdcore into the limelight. With the trend that being a geek and a nerd has become the new popular label, it provides a forum for Nerdcore to reach a more widespread audience. In spite of its popularity or lack thereof, Nerdcore will always have a place in the geek/nerd culture.
- Rhymetorrents (A Project dedicated to compiling Nerdcore music)
Popular YouTube videos:
- Monzy performing “Kill dash 9” at Stanford Univ (This one has been receiving a lot of coverage after being posted on Digg.com)
- Monzy performing “So much drama in the PHD” at Stanford Univ (An older song by Monzy which very much characterizes his style)
- Monzy Interview from a German TV show
- MC Plus+ and DJ Lord Illingworth at Perdue
Currently there are two Nerdcore documentaries being filed, both to be released later this year (2007). Below is a link to the trailers.
- Nerdcore for Life (A documentary about several Nerdcore artists.)
- Nerdcore Rising (A documentary about MC Frontalot on his first US tour.)
- Nerdcore Las Vegas Show
- Northwest Nerdcore Show (Part 1. 4 parts in total; see related section for other parts)
*It is often claimed that 2 Skinnee J’s song Riot Nrrrd is the pre-cursor and first embodiment of Nerdcore. It received wide spread notice when it was chosen for the soundtrack to Never Been Kissed in 1998. Hawking, however, in my personal belief, has received far more notoriety and claim because his songs were released on the Internet and the audience potentially is exponentially greater than that of a soundtrack.