Posts tagged fan

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?

NERDCORE!

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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The Anatomy of a Convention

Guess which one I am? I aim to misbehave.

Everyone has heard of a convention, but they don’t necessarily know what happens there or what is available. The word convention itself simply means ” a meeting for particular purposes”.

What I’ll be talking about in this post are “fan conventions”. These gatherings are meant for the purpose of bringing together people with an interest in a particular film, TV show, comic book, genre, etc.

They are extremely large in the amount of attendees so they typically take place in hotels or convention centers.

I don’t consider myself the biggest convention attendant. I’m sure there are people that have been to more than I, but after visiting three of the nerd persuasion, here is what I’ve grown to accept as commonplace at conventions.

My friend Casey? Kinda a big deal.

1. AUTOGRAPHS and PICTURES! : When you go to a convention, one of the main things that draws you in is being able to see people that have been in things you like. They set themselves up at a table and then sign pictures of themselves or DVDs or breasts or replicas or… you know what? I’m pretty sure they’ll sign anything but a baby (and if you would ask someone to sign your baby, please call DCF). There are also typically replica cars sitting in front of the entrance. During events, you are often asked to pay for autographs and donate in order to have photographs in replicas like the Delorean, the General Lee, the Batmobile, Batcycle, etc.

Q&A with the cast of The Boondock Saints

2. EVENTS! : From Q&A’s to sneak previews to concerts, any good convention has a bunch of stuff for you to do. Hopefully, the ones you want to do don’t all coincide and you have to choose one. Because chances are, if you choose the “wrong” one, you miss an eye stabbing. Who doesn’t love an eye stabbing? The only downside is that if you go to a Q&A for the same topic at different conventions, you start to have the ability to know what questions are going to be asked and you could answer them verbatim. So mix it up! Who cares if you don’t know a darn thing about Green Lantern. Go to the screening/Q&A. You might become their newest fan!

3. VENDORS! : When you go to one of these things the way I do, you go completely unprepared. (“Wait… Deanna Troy is gonna be here? All I have on me is a checkbook. Uh… Will you sign this Boris Karloff check for me?”) Enter my salvation: VENDORS! If you have never been to a convention before and have no desire to, I’d say try it once. I would suggest getting a one-day pass if there is one near you just to look at the stuff that is sold. Some of it you can buy anywhere and for a lot less, but there are some rare and remarkable finds like a complete collection of TMNT trading cards, or a cardboard Archie record in near mint condition. Be prepared for sensory overload. Vendors pack their tables as full as they possibly can to provide the most product in hopes of turning a profit (vendors pay for space).

Sweet sounds of psychos

4. COSTUMES! : If you go to a convention, don’t be surprised if you are asked to be pulled into a picture (especially if you dress like my friend, Crissie). Many people dress up to go to conventions in costumes from their favorite shows, mangas, books, movies, comic, etc. Many conventions have a costume contest as well. You can have yourself and Lara Croft, Scarlet Witch, a Predator, a Ghostbuster, Doc Brown, Shaun (of the Dead), Ash, and Flo from the Progressive commercials all in one snapshot. It is amazing to see the time and dedication that some people have put into their costumes.

5. SMELLY PEOPLE! : Yep. Had to bring it up. For the most part, I figure that the costumed people after the third day in a row of wearing a costume are going to be a little rank. So don’t hug a costumed person on the second or third day. I’d suggest multiple costumes, but that’s only if they are made out of a porous material like lycra, spandex, and cloth. I wouldn’t expect someone who has built custom Fett armor to have a set for each day. Maybe the stuff fitting under the armor should be replaceable. But they’re not even the most notorious smellies out there! Honestly. If someone doesn’t dress in costume for the weekend, they should lather up daily. They are staying somewhere that there is a bathroom. Most of the time, they’re staying at a hotel, so the hotel provides soap and shampoo. All you need to remember is deoderant and breath mints. There are hundreds or thousands of people within close proximity to each other. The temperature rises drastically due to the amount of warm bodies thrust into one location. If I can’t stand next to someone without gagging, there is a problem. I have paid just as much to get into the venue, yet I am clean. Oh! And slathering on cologne fools no one. You just smell like butt and cologne. Blech.

So these were the things that I could think of when trying to explain to my mom what a convention was and why I had gone to so many in a short timeframe.

What do you think of when you think of a convention? What do you expect and are disappointed with when they don’t deliver?

[[The pictures are all from the latest convention that I went to. Please ask if for some reason you want to use them. ]]

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