Nothing compliments a great game like great music. One of the best ways to extend your enjoyment of a particular game is through listening to its music, listening to music based on it, or listening to artists sing about it. Enter: Nerdcore rap. Artists with an unashamed and unapologetic love for video games share their passion with us in what is often times rap lyrics over a remixed 8-bit beat. But not all nerdcore rappers rap about video games. Any geeky topic will do.
Showcased for you here are my five favorite nerd rap artists. While not all of them rap over 8 bit tracks, they all do video game related songs and the lyrics are usually shout outs to nerd culture whether it be video games, computers, hacking, Dungeons and Dragons, or some other aspect of what makes geeks awesome.
In alphabetical order:
“The Doc” is one of the new-comers to the nerdcore scene, and brings a R&B-ish type sound to his work without sounding like his balls forgot to drop. He does a great job on his “Unlimited” album to keep his romanticism to the periphery of his topic matter. Yet when it does come to the center, it is very tongue-in-cheek. His content is largely video-game focused and he also collaborates with the artist Kabuto the Python, who seems only loosely affiliated with nerdcore rap, but has amazing talent.
I selected the song below which is a take on the movie Resident Evil, itself a take on the video game of the same title. This is one of my favorites from the “Unlimited” album for how well the doc rides the beat and creates an eerie sense of anxiety just listening to it.
Representing Pensylvania nerd rap, Entity would tell you that he is more a lyricist than a rapper, but all you gotta do is give his work on the Calvin & Hobbes album a listen and you’ll know he brings both lyricism and dope raps. Entity is also highly active on Facebook, Youtube, and Myspace (remember Myspace? More like Deadspace) and participates in a more mainstream group called “Ecomog” as well as other collaboration groups.
The “Thumper” remix below is a great example of his work (although lite on nerd references or any video game references at all), but you really should download the Calvin & Hobbes album to get a real taste.
Of all video game rap artists, I know the least about this artist. But based on the kick-ass-NES of his breakout single “Splash Woman” (which has been played on mainstream TV), this artist can’t be anything but EPIC. His latest album, “Black Materia”, has deep Final Fantasy VII themes and can be downloaded for a mere $7 on Megaran’s website.
This is the most prolific, well-known, and controversial nerdcore rap artist to hit the scene, and he has been doing his thing since the late 90s. His breakout alubum, “Nerdrap Entertainment System” is what many consider the defacto standard of nerdrap. It is available for free, along with a Chrono-Trigger inspired LP on YT’s website. YT comes from Colorado Springs, Colorado.
The selected showpiece below is YTcracker’s “The Legend”, a Dub-Step remix of The Legend of Zelda’s theme. The subject matter borders on mainstream content, but is nonetheless built from the ground up for video game nerds.
I saw Z1 live rocking Los Angeles, and in my opinion, this guy is the most “real” of all nerdrappers. He is not at all ashamed to admit he is a World of Warcraft addict and his topic matter is always nerdy. Z1 just released a free mixtap, “Rise”, that is worthy of a download from his website.
The chosen video for Z1 might be his most well known work: “Headshot”, which remixes “FPS Doug”‘s wild antics after a failed mission in Counter-Strike.
!!!BONUS!!! – The 8 Bit Boys
8 Bit Boys is a collab group of YTcracker, Entity, and two rappers not showcased here: The Ranger and TYT. This is the most wicked implementation of 8-bit beats, and the whole album, “8 bit Diagrams” is worth purchasing. The 8BB are also in development of another album, due out 2011.
If this head-bobbin’ tune is any indication of what the next album will be like, you can be sure it’ll be a hit!Tweet
About the Author
|I’m the gamer your mother warned you about:
I was introduced to video games on the Atari 2600, and quickly moved to a Nintendo, where The Legend of Zelda, Metroid, and Dragon Warrior dominated my early non-Mario years. Now days, I do mostly PC gaming, and some console gaming. I’ve been in and out of rehab, and there’s no saving a nerd like me. NerdLife4Ever.
ikecube has written 91 posts on Delta Attack.