Tuesday, January 11, 2011

(Party) Over Here

As I have stated quite exhaustively, last year easily belonged to the geek rock contingent. Still, the nerdcore hip-hoppers managed to break some exciting new ground in 2010. Some of the best work came complements of my new friend Eugene Ahn, known professionally as Adam WarRock.

His album The War for Infinity did for comic book-themed rap what acts like YTCracker, Dual Core and Dale Chase did for more tech-minded hip-hop. In short, it proved that the concept was not only viable but uniquely enjoyable. That is why it is my extreme pleasure to present to you an exclusive track by Mr. WarRock.

It's based on what you might call a special request I made late last year. Kurt Wagner, the X-man known as Nightcrawler, died in spectacular comic book fashion during Marvel's recent "Second Coming" storyline. As he was a character near and dear to my heart I felt he deserved a proper musical send off, and Eugene was kind enough to oblige. 

I discovered comics in the mid eighties. But before I found the New Mutants, the series that would capture my imagination and channel the full weight of my pre-teen angst, I found Nightcrawler – a character that, like any awkward child, looked and thought and felt differently. Over 35 years of character development Wagner evolved from a swashbuckling acrobat to the contemplative spiritual center of fandom's foremost super-team, but he always remained the singular outsider content with his obvious peculiarities.

While the death of this fictional character was marked with little ceremony by the culture at large – as opposed to the much more widely regarded passings of guys like Captain America or Superman – it hit me hard because of the emotional connection I have felt with Nightcrawler throughout the bulk of my life.

So I was particularly impressed by the way in which Adam took the simple, understated nature of this mutant second-stringer and related it in verse. To me this song summarily reflects both the greatness of our recently lost fuzzy German elf and of nerdcore's own crown prince of comic shop hip-hop. Please give it a listen and add it to your collection, as it is truly a fitting tribute to a fallen hero.

Download: Adam WarRock – "Nightcrawlin'"
Beat: Apathy "Hard Times On Planet Earth"

Verse 1
Demon child, with blue skin and yellow eyes
Smell of brimstone, creepin' in the dead of night
Swashbucklin', prayin' to God when things are bad
That's why they tried to put the X across my head

Flip on cats, the way that acrobatics do
I'm a king, still holdin' excalibur too
And really tell me if you...ever thought that you
Was just a little different, people always stared at you

Sometimes life is a circus, it makes me nervous
And then one day, your true inner power emerges
Puff of smoke, you're moving to better places now
Doing everything that you can to make a difference now

And I remember when the kids used to be scared of ya
Winzeldorf, when growin' up in Bavaria
They said the winters were bad, you got older
Remember how they said that the nights were even colder

First I'm over here (pan L)
Then I'm over there (pan R)
Then I'm in your ears (pan M)
So best to listen dear

As I'm crawling through the night
With the finish in sight
Cuz it's not the way you look,
It's the way that you fight

First I'm over here (pan R)
Then I'm over there (pan L)
Then I'm in your ears (pan M)
So best to listen dear

As I'm crawling through the night
And I'm walkin' to the light
Cuz it's not way you act
It's the way that you fight
Verse 2
So you dressed a little different, some called you a circus freak
Your family abandoned you up the river creek
And you lost a bit of mystique the bigger that you grew up
Realizing that the mob was plenty angry indeed

But you stuck to your guns, made the best of the situation
Devil in the sky, but no angels were awaiting
All alone baby, you grew up maybe
Scrapped when others cornered you, you had to do that too

And pretty soon, you met a slew of other dudes
That's down to ride, and soon, you're runn ing with a crew
You met a lady, who made you feel less blue
Who looked straight in your eyes and she could see right through

Who knew, that ugly baby would grow up just to be
the person that you became, that's who you're gonna be
So when you're born in the dark, and feel your heart is a rock
Well every night becomes the dawn, you gotta crawl before you walk

[refrain line]
Crawling through the night as I'm holdin' a mic"


Tali Adina said...

I enjoyed this song. Nightcrawler too was my favorite X-men and the reason I started reading comics. I was really pissed off and sad when I heard about his passing. I actually teared up. I know he wasn't real but he was part of my childhood and I really miss him. They better bring him back. I need closure concerning him & mother's relationship.
Great song!

Z. said...

Well said, Tali! I know they'll bring Kurt back at some point - this is Marvel after all - but that doesn't make me miss him any less.