Friday, April 06, 2007


Before I wander off into the ethereal mist of another weekend, I just wanted to pass on a little info.

This Saturday, my friends Dennis and Denika will be interviewed on a certain nerdy little college radio show out of So-Cal featuring a certain nerdy... um... big MC. You can hit up the stream at around 2:30 PM pacific (that's 5:30 PM, my time) at the Palomar College Radio site, or you can listen to the podcast on Sunday at The Takeover with Silent D. and ZeaLouS 1.

It's always nice to see my peeps get some press. :)

Thursday, April 05, 2007

More Nerd News in Brief

What happens when you pile an extra layer of shit atop an already impressive pile of human excrement?

This is the question answered by the recent Alanis Morissette cover of The Black Eyed Pea's audio accident known simply as “My Humps.”

What kind of world do we live in where one talentless pop-monger questions the lyrical content and “questionable aesthetic” of another? That's like me saying that Alan Cumming has a silly accent!

Now, while I brood silently over the fact that Alanis has just elicited from me what equates to a rudimentary defense of fucking Fergie, please enjoy More Nerd News in Brief.

  • At least it wasn't pledge drive week: Yesterday morning I got a frantic email from my pal Church. In a bleary-eyed and fuzzy minded twilight state, he had heard what he thought to be Beefy and MC Frontalot on public radio. He wasn't hallucinating. The guys were doing a little posturing on APM's Morning Marketplace. You can check it out right here.
  • Dance Dance Constipation: Church was also quick to point out that Kraft is giving away USB dance pads. Because, y'know, nothing makes you wanna bust a move quite like a half brick of Velveeta. Word around the water cooler is that the pad may be compatible with a number of PC dance games, and Church plans to give it a go with the open source StepMania. I expect video, Church. Video!
  • The night the nerds will rock!: The projected Nerdapalooza lineup is looking good. Real good. So far parties like MC Lars, MC Frontalot, Freezepop, Shael Riley, My Parents Favorite Music, The OneUps, The Super Barrio Brothers, 8bit bEtty, and … well… the list goes on and on... have shown interest. Congrats and continued success to my boy Hex Warrior and his band of merry, festival-planning outlaws.
  • STD: Schaffer the Darklord will have the honor of opening up the inaugural date of the Frontalot/Lars tour this Friday, April 6th at T.T. the Bear's in Cambridge, MA, and you , you lucky bastard, will have the honor of attending. Ten bones at the door and the show starts at 9 o'clock in the PM. Don't you dare be late!
  • STD - the 2nd outbreak: Schaffer will also be spending April 8th (Easter, for the born-again amongst us) shooting a music video for his track "The Rappist" on the Lower East Side of ye olde Manhattan-towne. The narrative will be shot in the morning and afternoon, but around 6:30 PM he will begin shooting the "live" segments. In order for this performance portion to come off, though, Scaff's gonna need extras. Come out and be part of the action at Fontana's (105 Eldridge St.).
  • Sea-Town represent: In other show news, the Northwest Nerdcore crew has planned their next show for this Sunday, April 8th at Chop Suey in Seattle. Featured artists include Rai, Ultraklystron, Nursehella, Sister J, MC Tanuki, and a (possible) surprise guest. Show up an give 'em some love!
  • “Nor can the car hold a conversation or drive itself [, dumbass].”: Those of you with questionable taste in television will be pleased to hear that Knight Rider's super-computerized and vaguely effeminate mullet-car KITT is currently for sale. Hasselhoff not included.
  • Come out to play-ay: And lastly, the Metamystiks have dropped a new track. Of course it's wonderful, and obviously you should download it as soon as humanly possible. It feature's new collaborator Kal-L, and its grandeur has been proven to spontaneously heal warts and mend broken bones. Would I lie?

Monday, April 02, 2007

We Hustle Bytes

YTCracker is an unenlightened world's greatest fear; he is a genuine nerd unencumbered by awkwardness or social ineptitude. He is an empowered geek with his eyes on the proverbial prize.

When YTCracker and Spamtec Crew roll out, they do so draped with beautiful women and demonstrating exactly the type of nerdy swagger you'd expect from a collection of true DGs . When they hit the stage, they spit rhymes with the ferocity of Tolkien's Balrog, and even in the studio they seem to take no prisoners.

And yet, though he's never hesitated to call out another whom he feels has somehow disrespected him, YTCracker has also shown an immeasurable amount of nerd love and enduring support to the community and its humble inhabitants. YTCracker was one of the earliest proponents of current scene staples like 1337 Geek Beat, and, after Rhyme Torrents broke down the walls between nerdy rappers and crafted an impromptu home for their community, YTCracker was the first to welcome related acts like Former Fat Boys to the nerdcore family.

But somehow, through all of this, so little is known about YTCracker, and, when the chance to interview him arose, I couldn't think of a better way to celebrate Hipster, please!'s impending anniversary than by talking to the man himself.


Bryce Case, Jr. and YTCracker: are they the same person or two totally separate individuals?

It really depends on the day - I'd say in general that I am a very laid back, relaxed individual. My home life is relatively benign, and I find that my "alter ego," as it were, seems to be where I act out.

You are an MC, a DJ, a writer, an entrepreneur, a father, and, at any given time, you are involved in innumerable diverse projects. How do you maintain such a broad focus?

Functional Attention Deficit Disorder. When utilized properly it becomes quite the tool for productivity, provided you do things that actually hold your attention.

Despite the many years since its occurrence and your many successful (and much more legally permissible) accomplishments since that time, you are still often associated with the 1999 defacing of the Goddard Space Flight Center web site. Are you ever bothered by this?

Not at all - I believe it provides a certain level of credibility to my "image." What would 50 Cent be without a few bullets to his name? I believe the sensationalism that goes along with hacking plays well into some sort of convoluted celebrity status, so I wouldn't say it hurts me.

A little bit of relaxation is never a bad thing.Your Wikipedia entry cites that you learned BASIC at the age of 4. C'mon now, YT, is this true?

I was one of the fortunate ones of my generation to have a computer in my home from a very young age. Such a thing is very commonplace now, therefore I would assume that learning how computers work is typical of kids these days ( i.e. my daughter, who is INCREDIBLY proficient at computing). I learned to read through memorization and sight, not phonetically - getting the early jump there was obviously beneficial to my learning how to program. As far as the fact itself goes, I suppose you simply have to take my parents' word for it, or I might be able to dig up some old photos in some album of me in front of my TI.

I don't imagine that will be necessary, but I do appreciate the offer. :)

It's obvious that you spend a lot of your time writing rhymes. Do you write anything else?

I try to write a lot. When I was younger, I really liked to write fictional stories, mostly sci-fi. I migrated into things like whitepapers and articles for the computer security field - little op-ed pieces of commentary. Now, like every other loser on the Internet, I practice armchair philosophy on weblogs.

What's a day-in-the-life of YTCracker like? I find it hard to believe that you show up at 9:00 and sit in some cheesy cubicle like the rest of us.

It really depends on the day. My cubicle era might be behind me, but the cheesy parts of business are inescapable. I like to keep as much of an active role with my businesses as possible, but a little bit of relaxation is never a bad thing.

You've recently become a favorite among fans (and producers) of G4TV's The Feed. How did this relationship begin?

I spoke with Frank Meyer, who is an awesome guy and writes for The Feed's weblog. He basically rolled up the ladder and shopped my music with the office, who loved it. Plus, I got a free webcam out of the deal - so thank them for the moronic videos on YouTube that I've been posting lately.

You've rhymed about everything from nerd girls to net neutrality. Is there a common element inherent in your inspiration to write? What is the song-writing process like for YTCracker?

I believe that I mainly just write about what I know, and if I don't know, I got some help from an "expert." For instance, I hadn't played WoW by the time I wrote "Get on My Level," so I enlisted the help of my friend namrak to give me the skinny on some zones and buzzwords. Fundamentally, I try to run a broad spectrum of nerd life in my lyrics to appeal to a mass audience.

You've become somewhat of an inspiration and a role model to many 2nd and 3rd generation Nerdcore artists. Whom do you count among your influences, musical and otherwise?

Too many to mention them all, but I definitely would say the typical greats like Tupac, Biggie, and Jay-Z have a huge influence on me. I listen to so many forms of music as well - I even played guitar in a punk band (lots of love for No Use for a Name, Pulley, Lagwagon, Me First and the Gimmie Gimmies) - people like Eric Clapton, old Metallica, RHCP, Tool, The Beatles, and Stevie Ray Vaughan. I also love drum and bass, funky house, and breakbeat - I just have real eclectic taste.

I draw from a wide variety of styles, but I'd say I most closely identify with the southern states movement - thanks to my boy MostHateD from gH, I was turned on to Swishahouse in the late 90s and groups like No Limit and Cash Money. I love their inflection and energy and how they structure their songs.

As far as non-musical influences go, I have love for anyone hustling to make a come up, nerd or otherwise.

Which Nerdcore MCs do you, personally, enjoy? Are there any up-and-comers that we should be watching?

Again, too many to name (and I risk getting myself in a load of trouble by leaving anyone out), but I really love the diversity in the scene right now. I really like Frontalot, Beefy, Router, FFB, EPP, Zealous1, the Metamystiks, and FSR - all have their own unique qualities and skillsets that bring personality to the scene. mc chris has his set of qualities and marketing that set him apart from everyone else, and special mention to Doctor Popular - he oozes so much style it's not even funny.

Unlike some of your contemporaries, you had no problem adjusting to the Nerdcore label; in fact, you passionately embraced it. What is it about the term that you find appealing? Why do you think that others have resisted applying the phrase "Nerdcore hip-hop" to their own music?

I believe it's the fear of being typecast. To be honest, I know for a fact my music is commercially viable and has the capability to embrace a larger fanbase than the nerd subculture. There is merit to the "for nerds, by nerds" mantra, but the purpose of music is communication. My mission is to spread the word of the nerd where it might otherwise not be found. I represent the end result of a nerdy existence. I am a nerd to the core. I bring the non-typical image and realistic persona to this genre and not letting the gimmick cheapen my message. In reality, the Nerdcore label itself is just a category, not a bona fide affiliation - when you break it down, hip-hop is hip-hop, period. The Nerdcore designation is nothing more than a guideline. I feel a good Nerdcore artist could exist outside of the realm of Nerdcore hip-hop and do just fine, just as a Latino rapper like Pitbull does fine in mainstream hip-hop.

Your long-standing feud with mc chris has recently been squashed, publically and unbelievably amiably. Is there anyone else, from within the realm of Nerdcore or without, that YTCracker has beef with?

Not at the moment. The night mc chris posted his thoughts about me, I was floored. He not only gave validation to the Nerdcore community as a whole, but voiced that he respected my marketing and promotional abilities. To make an outward move like that and reach out took a lot of guts, especially in his position, so I respect him greatly for that. I still think he primarily focuses on his own interests, as do I and most other people, but making that mea culpa was sincere and I think he did a great thing.

MC Frontalot and mc chris have recently launched successful national tours. When can we expect to see a full-fledged YTCracker tour?

I'm performing with Lars, Frontalot, and Optimus Rhyme in Denver on April 15th as part of their tour. Honestly, I want to make sure when I'm touring that I'll actually be selling venues out and not making the mistake of thinking I'm bigger than I really am. Therefore, until the results of my demographic hacks have come back, I'm on hiatus. The worst thing you can do to yourself as an indie artist is launch a tour, get promoters stoked, and not bring heads in the door - you'll put a railroad spike in your coffin.

One aspect prominent within Nerdcore (both from the perspective of fans and artists) is a shared sense of social awkwardness, of marginalization. You, however, ooze confidence and charisma. How do you explain this disparity?

I've always had an ability to blend in socially, but in reality I am fairly personal and introspective 90% of the time. Social interaction is an RPG like any other - you're just role playing yourself. You have certain strengths and certain weaknesses and play them accordingly. I know my strengths and am confident in what they offer, and my weaknesses I can effectively downplay because of that confidence. Alpha nerds like Bill Gates and Steve Jobs are some of the most charismatic people on the planet - beasts in the board room and public relations. Bill Gates throws like a girl though, which is why you don't see him pitching for the Yankees; he just buys them instead.

What are your thoughts on the upcoming Nerdcore Rising and Nerdcore For Life documentaries? What effects do you anticipate these films will have on the landscape of Nerdcore hip-hop?

I think they will bring some legitimacy to the scene in general and at least shine a light on the faces of Nerdcore and its issues. I don't subscribe to the fact that it's going to completely revolutionize Nerdcore as we know it, but I won't be displeased if it does.

In what ways does your most recent release Nerd Life differ from fan favorite Nerdrap Entertainment System ?

We actually own the beats! Really though, NES was aNerd Life concept album that got way more attention than I ever thought. It's done over 100,000 downloads since it came out in 2005. The Spamtec releases collectively haven't even done 20,000. Nerd Life is more of a grown up album in the sense that it stands alone as good work, both representing Nerdcore and as a commercial release.

You've recently established your own label Nerdy South Records. Do you plan to focus solely on the genre of Nerdcore hip-hop, or are you open to including artists from outside of the Nerdcore community?

NSR is built on the foundation of the nerd work ethic, and so I believe that NSR will stay core to that group. My partners and I (stc is the greatest, but ya'll knew that) are learning a ton about the music business as we go along, and hopefully our future releases go much smoother.

You've played a string of recent gigs with your Spamtec groupmates phlow and eGod. Are there concrete plans for a third STC album?

We're always working on new tracks - ALWAYS. There's like three floating around right now. Spamtec has always been more mixtape oriented and we just kind of release songs as we finish them.

In your own words, what is a Digital Gangster?

If you've ever sold someone gold on WoW, then phished their account to steal it back, you're a DG.

If you ever piggybacked someone's wireless to print horse porn to the HP on their network, you're a DG.

If you've ever called Yahoo! distraught about how you can't log in to your email and it has important business documents in it, and you NEED the password reset, but it really isn't your email, you're a DG.

Or, if you're simply proficient in the Internets and have seen Goatse or Tubgirl more than five times, you're a DG.

Fairly loose definitions, but you get the picture. We hustle bytes.

You've recently taken it upon yourself to launch a Nerdcore Ning. What is it about the Ning concept that piqued your interest?

The Ning is one of those newfangled Web 2.0 properties that shows a lot of promise. I believe that having a ground floor presence on such a site establishes the staying power of the genre. The site's basic premise is that of social networks within a social network, and I would rather have a social network with that kind of pooled community than run a stupid mailing list or what have you.

This question is so hypothetical that it borders on ridiculous, but, if you'd be so kind as to indulge my morbid curiosity; if you decided tomorrow to leave the Nerdcore game forever, who would you name as your successor?

That's quite a decision to make off the cuff, so I nominate my daughter.

That's certainly a sound decision.

Lastly, what is the nature of nerd?

In this day and age, the definition of nerd has become so blurred. You can be a car geek, a movie geek, a sports geek - everyone is a nerd to some capacity. Getting them to actually embrace and accept that part about themselves is another thing all together.


To say that YTCracker is a definitive force within nerdcore hip-hop is a laughable understatement. I'd love to relate to you exactly how many nerdy musicians have told me, at one time or another, how songs like “Surgerunner” provided the soundtrack to their late-night shenanigans long before they came to know YT as a kindred musical spirit – in a time not so long ago when he was more akin to a figure of myth – but such details are inconsequential. The true significance lies solely in the fact that YTCracker is, simply by virtue of being himself, a veritable landmark of nerd culture.

YTCracker is not important solely for his hacker past, his dedication to nerd camaraderie, or even his superlative contributions to geeky hip-hop; his importance is rooted in all of these things and more. Perhaps there's no clearer example of this than the pride he takes in the steady breakthrough of nerd culture to the mainstream and his part in it.

YT advocates nerd life because he lives nerd life. He is nerd life, publically, proudly, defiantly.

His blend of intelligence, diligence, and intestinal fortitude makes YTCracker the quintessential nerd, and his commitment to espousing the virtues of self-realization and self-determination within the nerdy sphere makes him a hero to those seeking to rectify their own geeky tendencies with their public personas.

In short, the man simply refuses to hide his nerdy light under a bushel. YTCracker shines that light as a beacon for all to see, and laughs away the very thought of societal repercussions. If you'll afford me the luxury of one more altered cliché: he lets his geek flag fly.

Nerd News in Brief

Fuckin' April Fool's Day. Every year it's the same old drill: a bunch of ham-fisted gags designed to mislead and/or delight. We are not amused, Internet. We are not amused.

Okay, so maybe we're amused by this, but only because of its scatological undertones.

But April 1st is behind us now. It's April 2nd , and, furthermore, it's Monday. So that means Nerd News in Brief.

No foolin'.

  • Apparently we can both fly: As promised, Rai marked the first day of April with the release of a double A-side Internet single. Check out “Mechanical World”/ “Sleeping Forest” over at her LJ.
  • Don't call him “kid”: Jesse Dangerously and DJ Snyder also chose yesterday to drop a new collaborative track of their own. Check out “Icarus” and be amazed.
  • Say it fast: MC Wreckshin decided to mark our most joke-tastic holiday with the release of his new album. Nerdcore Supervillian is currently available for download right now. And it's free, yo!
  • Poor Steve!: Wreckshin and pretty much every other Florida nerdcore artist ripped shit up last Saturday at an event deemed the Nerdcore Extravaganza in Gainesville. Nerdcore superfan 2TUM (Y'all be sure and friend him!) made a lengthy drive to the event and took a bunch of pictures. He also wrote a post-show wrap-up which can be found at his MySpace. It seems that despite spills, chills, and multiple car towings, the night managed to rock hardcore.
  • Who the hell is DJ Chubby Cheeks?: In other weekend show news, mc chris gave some love to our own Nursehella and Ultraklystron in his recent MySpace bulletin. Apparently Nursie even presented mc with some comics. That's nerd love.
  • A room full o' vipers: For those of you looking for something to do tonight, Totally Radd! will be playing at the Viper Room in Hollywood. It's ten bones at the door, but the guys were offering to put fans' names on the list and get ‘em in for nothing. Not sure if that offer still stands, but it's worth a try if you're planning on heading out to the show.
  • The secret's out: A little further down the pipe is a “secret warm-up tour” for They Might Be Giants. Confirmed dates include: Thursday May 3rd Newmarket, NH Stone Church, Friday May 4th Burlington, VT Higher Ground, Saturday May 5th Northampton, MA Iron Horse, Tuesday May 8th Charlottesville, VA Starr Hill, Wednesday May 9th Pittsburgh, PA Mr. Smalls, Friday May 11th Asbury Park, NJ Stone Pony, Wednesday May 16 New York, NY Joe's Pub, Friday May 18th Las Vegas, NV Orleans Theatre KVGS Area 108 summer festival, and Saturday May 19th San Diego, CA Belly Up Tavern. Thanks to my homie Denika for passing this along!
  • You might even learn something: Fans of Shael Riley, nerdy music, video games, serialized Web shows, and full-tilt hilarity should already know of the masterpiece that is The New Adventures of Captain S, but are they doing their part? If you're one of the aforementioned, why not Digg the most recent edition? It'll make you feel good.
  • Nerdcore in the Old World: Frontalot, mc, Optimus Rhyme, and MC Lars all got a recent mention in The Independent. Take a gander to see what they think of nerdcore across the pond. Thanks to Church for hipping me to this!
  • They ain't gonna pay their taxes: And lastly, Former Fat Boys have just dropped a new video for their submission in YouTube's Tax Rap contest. Head over and check the boys out , and don't forget to vote for ‘em! For my money, though, nuthin' beats the uncensored version.