Monday, October 16, 2006

When life gives you turds

While I’m sure it’s a memory that most would just as soon forget, the subject of Wired magazine’s less than stellar article on nerdcore has again become a topic of discussion. Though the community as a whole was (characteristically) divided as to exactly how offended to be at Wired’s lackadaisical coverage of the Rhyme Torrents compilation and the genre in general, it was commonly agreed that the magazine A) had a skewed perspective concerning nerdcore from the get-go and B) did nothing in the way of research (read: listening to the songs and reading the abundant artist info already provided) to rectify that pre-conceived notion. Worst of all was the simple fact that the item really did nothing but cast caricatures, both literally and figuratively, of most of that handful of artists it chose to spotlight.

Never one to let her objections go unnoticed, MC Router was at the forefront of those who most fervently criticized the piece. And now, some four months later, Router has elected to restate her arguments in verse.

I downloaded “Unwired” from her MySpace and listened to it a few times. I immediately liked it, but there was something about it that struck me as – to pin a name on it – odd. The fact that, rather than working solely with her 1GB band-mate Tbyte, Router had chosen another pair of coconspirators was interesting, but certainly not unheard of. And even the fact that this duo consisted of Beefy and Benjamin Bear, artists who have exchanged unfriendly words on a number of occasions, was fascinating in itself, but still not the true peculiarity of the song.

It wasn’t until my fifth or sixth listen that I realized what was so amazing about the track had less to do with who made it and more to do with what was made.

“Unwired” is so drenched in emotion that it is (whether you agree with the sentiment or not) undeniable. Benjamin Bear’s production is an eerie stew of nearly harsh glitch-hop and comically sarcastic voiceovers that seems to simultaneously compliment and play against both MCs. Beefy, for the first time to my recollection, manages to sound legitimately, fiercely angry – and this, I would like to remind you, is a man who once ended a diss track with the phrase “have a wonderful day.” And Router, no stranger to anger and angst, sounds positively indignant and utterly self-indulgent. Her writing is acrid and her flow is quick and careening. Even the quality of her multi-tracked vocals gives the indication that there is not one but dozens of individuals MC Routers on the mic; all of them pissed!

In the end, it’s the fact that this song is a high-water mark for all the artists involved that speaks to me. It’s that irritation and disappointment and, yes, maybe even a little egotism are so sharply honed that makes me, as a listener, take note. Rather than continue simply complaining about something they disliked, each of these three musicians harnessed their emotions into song, because that’s what they do best, and I commend them all.

For me, at least, this song stands out as a prime example of not only harnessing one’s feelings into music, but of taking a negative and making out of it something remarkable.

What’s that old saying? Something about how if life gives you turds you make… poop juice? Something like that. I forget.


red cat said...

yo, thanks for the props on my production. if i got fans now, they'll definately want to buy ytcracker's next album too.

and beefy (or any nerdcore artist), if you need a beat, let me know.

Antisocial said...

Next year when they do the obligatory nerdcore article, they better do their research.

Z. said...

Hearty congratulations to you, Ben. You’re beat is a thing of beauty.

And yes, Soc, we can dream! ;)

darth_apu said...

one of the best f* you's to the "press" since David Allan Coe's "Sense of Humor". again thanks Z. for opening the nerdcore doors for me. the more tracks i hear and the more artists' blogs/whatnot i read the more passion i see, unlike most radio crap. remember when the money rolls in don't lose the passion.
slowly coming out the nerd-closet,

Z. said...

Glad you’re really starting to feel the nerdcore, DA. And yeah, much like DAC, Router manages to achieve a level of punk rock attitude while remaining far away from the genre itself.

steve said...

ay, now that's what i call journalism. nice work.

Z. said...

Thanks, bro. You know me: all the news that pit to frint! ;)