Saturday, June 10, 2006

Opinions and Assholes

The last two volumes of the Rhyme Torrents Nerdcore Compilation project are available for download. I’ve only personally listened (and I mean really, really listened) to volumes one and two, but so far I’ve been overwhelmingly impressed. It’s not a project I’m involved in. (Although, in the interest of full disclosure, I should mentioned that I have volunteered to help High-C out with compiling the liner notes.) It is, however, a project I completely support.

I said from the very beginning that Hipster, please! was about nerd love, nerd pride, and, most importantly, the fostering of a nerd music community. I stand by that, and what kind of dick would I be if I didn’t give, as they say in the vernacular, mad props to those who busted ass to put these disks together? A pretty big one, I reckon.

Now that the proverbial rubber has hit the road, it seems as though some of the artists involved are voicing their disappointment about the project as a whole. After careful consideration, I’ve elected not to link to these missives as this could be construed as running counter to the “nerd love” portion of my mission statement. Suffice it to say that these folks are entitled to their own opinions, and have every right to express them to their fans. An artist’s work is a result of his experiences, and what he feels is what he produces.

More than anything, I suppose, I’m saddened by what I view as chinks in the armor, divisions within the community, bad blood between artists. I’m not going to bullshit anyone and say that I love all of the tracks presented through this project, but, as mentioned above, I’m genuinely impressed with the overall output. There have been some recurring complaints leveled mostly at the newcomers, particularly about the dubious quality of some of their tracks. While this is certainly true, I found that many of the tracks with substandard production quality made up for this lack of polish with lyrical content, flow, and good ol’ fashioned panache.

All in all I’d say that I was disappointed by just as many of the contributions from “established” nerdcore artists as I was from the n00bs. The problem inherent in this is that it’s a wholly subjective issue: It simply comes down to personal likes and dislikes. Are there things I would’ve changed about the project had I been at the helm? Shit yeah! Would I have pushed for less diss rhymes? Sure. Would I have been more selective, possibly more elitist, about track selection? Maybe so. Of course, had I been in charge, odds are the comp would’ve never been seen to fruition. This was High-C’s game, and he played it well. Played the fuck out of it, in fact. For me, the bottom line is that C stepped up and put this thing together when no one else would. The contributors stepped up too, and I give love to one and all, whether your track found its way into my heavy rotation or not.

Had it not been for Rhyme Torrents, many of the new acts whose works I find myself falling in love with would have probably never graced my hard drive. And truthfully, some of these cats may’ve never had the nerve to put their stuff out there in the public forum in the first place. This thing was opened up to everyone, and that goes a long way in community building. We can hem and haw about what is and what is not nerdcore. We can look down our collective nose at those we find beneath us. We can flay the flesh from this thing’s soft underbelly and stare at its naked innards. Hell, we can separate all the hackers and the code-monkeys into one little corner and the lit geeks into another, the tabletop RPGers into one and the otaku into yet another, but eventually, folks, we’re going to run out of corners. We can put the founding fathers on one side of the room and the Johnnies-come-lately on the other but, while we might have lots of space to dance in-between these two camps, this won’t craft a cohesive movement.

Of course, we can also embrace the scene warts-and-all, accept the fact that we’re all fuckin’ geeks and misfits and outcasts, pistol-whip our inner fanboys, and do what we can to elevate ourselves and the others whom we find sharing our little niche. We, both fans and musicians, can either turn this into something that divides us or we can go out of our way to make ventures like this a hallmark of nerd music. Nerdcore’s got soul and nerdcore’s got heart. New experiences feed that soul. And without new blood, what’s that heart going to pump?

Rather than asking whether this one or that one is good for the ubiquitous nerdcore scene, I’ve elected to turn the eye inward and see if I’m doing my part to elevate it. I’m just trying to build bridges, even though my constructs are prone to structural defect. In the end, the only thing this guy is against in the community is squabbles, because squabbling is fruitless and “squabble” is a goddamn silly word.

My pop was always quick to remind me that opinions are like assholes: Everyone’s got one and most of ‘em stink. So I guess you can just consider this one asshole’s opinion. No warranty implied and your miles may very. Take my words with a grain of salt, but take it still.

Nerd Up.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Round II

It’s a good day for nerdcore as the second disk of the Nerdcore Hip-Hop Compilation CD Project is now available for download. Get it while it’s hot.

Star Wars Gangsta Rap Special Edition

Okay, so I’m not the biggest Star Wars fan in the world, but even I was impressed with the revamped version of this geeksta classic. Experience it again for the first time.

(I do love a good oxymoron!)

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

The Nerdcore Hip-Hop Compilation CD Project Vol. 1

Volume 1 of the famed Nerdcore Hip-Hop Compilation CD Project is now available for download. The last three volumes should be up soon: High-C is only one man, and I’m sure he’s working as fast as he can. Why not go and pull the torrent for the first so as to whet your appetite? And be sure to read the liner notes too. That shit is fascinating!

Get thee quickly to Rhyme Torrents so as to enjoy the earthly delights afforded by such economical tunage. Nerd up!

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

The evilest geek of them all \m/\m/

If the media is to be believed (and fuck knows that’s a crapshoot), then today is the most malevolent day of the whole of this millennium. Of course I couldn’t let that slip by without at least some mention. While some will spend this day locked in their closets of prayer and others still wile away their hours in more diligent pursuits, I’ve decided to use this day to honor one among our number who is generally overlooked by the nerd community at large.

Since Black Sabbath first cranked out a song about a mutated time-traveler on a blood-thirsty rampage across the world he had originally set out to preserve, heavy metal has had an unseen, often unmentioned, nerd element. So today, on good ol’ 6~6~6, I would like to honor Anthrax's Scott Ian; metal’s premiere closet geek.

Photobucket - Video and Image HostingFrom the early days of Anthrax, where the band named-checked the likes of the then-independent (and quite entertaining) Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and (pre-Stallone) Judge Dread comic books, Scotty and the boys seemed to have a fine eye for geekery. And anyone keeping score at home (read: anyone who’s watched any of the abundance of VH1 list shows aired in the past three years) knows that Ian never relinquished his nerdly ways. Whether he’s talking toys on television or geeking out about Battlestar Galactica on the Thraxcast, Scott Ian continues to let his geek flag fly.

For always sticking close to his roots and for letting the world know that there was nothing wrong with enjoying heavy metal, rap, and comic books, Hispter, please! bestows upon Scotty Ian Rosenfeld (He gets extra nerd points just for being a Jew!) the mantle of "Metal-Geek Defender of the Faith." May you always find succor and solace within the haven that is your local comic book retailer and may all your saving throws be successful.

-- nerdus antea, nerdus modo, nerdus eternus --