Nerd Rap: A Gateway Drug That Won’t Put You In Jail.
Oh Hai Internets! I have been spending a lot of time in my own head as of late (what with my jaw trying to kill me. Long story) and I finally feel well enough to dropkick the moon!
During the time that I have been immersed in a spiral of hate, I have backed away from websites so as to not angrily type something. Instead, I focused all of my energy on something that I love beyond measure – MUSIC!
To give this the nerdy twist it deserves, I have been infatuated as of late with two new types of rap that are quickly growing near and dear to my heart. No, it’s not Jonathan Coulton’s cover of “Baby Got Back”, even though that cuddles me with the gentle caress of a Peter Gabriel song (shut up). What I’m referring to are the completely different but totally palatable nerd rap forms of nerdcore and chap-hop.
But Ali, what are these two that you speak of?
First, I will start with Nerdcore. On the Netflix, I took a gander at the documentary “Nerdcore Rising” and found that it’s… well… nerdy rap. I wish I could describe it more definitively, but if you have read anything by me you know that I type faster than I think (and you get a bunch of internal dialogue in the process). These artists rhyme about anything from politics to science fiction and the name seems to have been coined by self described Nerdcore Musician MC Frontalot in the 2000 song “Nerdcore Hiphop”.
Here’s one of my favorites from MC Frontalot
From what I can tell the majority of this genre is self-published online and it is so full of DIY possibilities I bet Jackie’s brain is exploding somewhere. In fact, I want Jackie to do a nerdcore rap under the guise MC Cephalopod.
There isn’t a specific sound to this genre of hip hop, but a common theme is sampling from the most random places imaginable. Classical Music, movies, video games, and if it hasn’t been done yet, I would imagine samples from beakers and test tubes filled with various elements.
If you have any interest in checking out some artists, please have a listen to MCFrontalot, Optimus Rhyme (raddest name EVER!), MC Plus+, and Monzy. Or, if you need a gateway into this subgenre, listen to Weird Al Yankovic’s “White and Nerdy” parody as it steeps your ear canal in a three minute nerdgasm.
Chap-Hop: The Gentleman’s Rap.
Chap-Hop is infinitely harder to explain as there is no dedicated wiki page to it and that is just rotten.
I do not know the origin of Chap-Hop, only how I was introduced to it. I had just finished podcasting with a bunch of friends and we were playing the “Have you seen it?” game with the YouTubes. This game is basically showing people something that you like that they have never seen. Enter Professor Elemental’s “Fighting Trousers”.
I cannot stop listening to his CD “The Indifference Engine”. As you listen through the tracks, you find that there are traditional rap themes tackled in each song. There is the dis song, the song about the ladies, the song about imbibing copious amounts of mind altering substances, the song about money, the song about living conditions.
I could probably sum this up by saying that Professor Elemental is a Steampunk inspired character that burst forth from the mind of rapper Paul Alborough. I would love to talk to this man, but I’m afeared that I might daze out as I’m a sucker for the English accent.
He is currently in a feud with another Chap-Hop artist named Mr. B. As this is a very obscure art form, I have no other recommendations for you. I do, however, want him to come to the US for a lengthier tour than the three day stint at the Steampunk World’s Fair this May. I know this isn’t a platform to beg for money, but if someone wants to get me a ticket and hotel room I will go to the Steampunk World’s Fair and do video recaps. It’s a sacrifice I would be willing to make.
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