Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Hard Core Nerds Who Aren't "Nerdcore" prt. 1

(Lords of Nerd . . . and other kinds, of Rapping)

It has come up a couple times when talking about my Blog (Mr. W. Awesome, I'm looking at you) that I do a monthly focus on a Nerdcore artist, you might have even read one or two, and when asking others who I should focus on next, the names MC Lars and MC Chris have been mentioned.

No, I will not do a 3rd 4 t3h Nrrd on either of these artists. Why? Because they are not Nerdcore, they do not self identify as Nerdcore, and although I enjoy both artists and may do a normal update about either of them, they will most likely never be a focus of my monthly spotlight.

Some hullabaloo has circulated around both rappers about their stance on & as Nerdcore rappers, and being a dutiful rumormonger I made sure to root around and hear the words from the horses mouth. Below are MY impressions of what occurred, I might be off, neither of them have EVER talked to me about the subject and I can only hope that if you have any doubts or suspicions about what is addressed here that you go seek out the events yourself. They are still very well documented around the IntarWebs.

A while back MC Lars put up a post on his blog titled "RIP Nerdcore 1998-2009" and proceeded to expound upon how the "wave" of Nerdcore hit the shore and began to recede. Also saying how many fledgling "Nerdcore artists(I use the terms loosely)" have been sending him horrible, cheap, copy cat samples. Understandably this was disheartening and did not impress him as legit musicianship in the Nerdcore world. He then listed a few rappers (Nerdcore and otherwise) who he thought make great artists as well as his favorite hip hop influences. All throughout asking starting musicians to strive to pioneer and move the music forward.

A backlash swept through the nerd rap community and well, shit exploded, more like it. Eventually there was a 6 page thread on MC Frontalot's BBS (some very mature and thought out arguments there) and a few threads on Rhyme Torrents Forums as well. Some not as well articulated, but definitely vocal. Hipster Please also put up a take on what Lars was talking about, and after a few days Lars chimed back in to clarify his intent.

Apparently the title was a joke off of another hip hop album, that combined with the less than flattering content that sounded like it was aimed at the entire Nerdcore Community, the damage had been done. The apology helped, but less people on the Nets care about "sorry" than thinly veiled geek bashing.

While I'm on the subject, Mr. Horris has been hosting a discussions on his site as to whether or not Nerdcore is racist. This was in reaction to an off the cuff comment he made in Metro (yes, NorCal-south bay readers, OUR Metro) and he wanted to clarify his statement. A 5 page thread ensued with some cheap shots from both sides of the argument, I think both sides took the jabs in stride, and finally, The Great MC Front, came to the rescue, again, and helped Lars go over some key points on the issue and better clarify his opinions.

MY SUMMARY: I agree completely with Lars in that it is ignorant, and even potentially racist for the CONSUMER, the LISTENER, (and not the Nerdcore artists themselves because every artist I've ever looked into has at least a working knowledge if not a fanaticism for traditional hip hop) to dismiss roots of an art based on it's current popular incarnation. I assume, why he said that Nerdcore was, was a goof on his part.
I agree that you need to continue to move forward, and continue to develop as an artist, regardless of your genre.
I DISAGREE with the idea that Nerdcore compares itself to traditional(or otherwise) Hip Hop hardships. NEVER!, NNNEEEVVAAARR!! have I heard a song from a Nerdcore artist that even came close to this. but . . . . oh yes, I have a but . . . I like to think it is a big, budonkadonk butt, yeah . . sorry. (I'm paraphraseing here, shoot me, but my readership is so small I don't really care, if I blow up because -I'M RIDING THE COATTAILS OF NERDCORE AND MC LARS- well then, sweet, i can start paying some bills and write 2 blogs, do an interview with metro and have 3 5-page threads to explain myself, eh? (sorry, its late and I'm getting snarky) " comparing getting a wedgie to having the south Bronx ruined by an entire train system." anyone who has taken a basic critical thinking class can see this is a fallacy in gross generalization. To be honest, I love them and have used them. But to use it as part of your explanation on CLARIFYING the intent of your statements, not a great idea. So, Let me expound, okay, nerd life is no where comparable to the African American experience. No argument from me, that isn't the point.
*takes a second to collect thoughts*
Let me try again. Have Nerds/geeks/dorks been persecuted on the scale African Americans have? NO, not at all, I'm not drawing that parallel. However, fuck you (that's a "fuck you" in general, not to anyone specific) if you don't believe we don't have hardships. Where the hell did all those nerd empowerment films come from. Where have all the stereotypes and jokes originated, if not from actual events. Social disorders, estrangement, depression, suicide!? These are not legitimate issues for one to address in their chosen art form because someone who has come before you had it worse? Well damn, than only the ancient Greeks have license to produce art as I'm not sure how much worse you can get than slavery, incest, rape, wars and the disenfranchisement of peoples. Does this not fit the argument?
Because the plight of the African-American is on such a grand scale, the plight of nerds will always pale in comparison. This should not belittle the experience of the minority, it is just as real and just as influential. To use an analogy, its like saying a rape victim shouldn't be so upset because she's not a Jew that suffered through the holocaust.

To be fair, I don't think Lars had that in mind at all. But that would be me putting words into Mr. Horris's mouth, and I'm sorry. It sounds like he is a real cool guy, always kind, but he's not naive by any means either. I think the popular consensus at this point is that he needs to think before he speaks, but then, what fun would that be?

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