The act of rapping often manifests itself as an ego-fueled celebration of violence, both physical and emotional, which can make hip-hop unapproachable for those who dig the beat but not the beatings.
But as anyone who was at Neurolux in August for the performance by Damian Hess, aka MC Frontalot—widely credited as the originator of nerdcore hip-hop—can tell you, Frontalot kicks that paradigm to the curb.
Dressed in a short-sleeved button down shirt with a tie, pressed slacks, dress shoes and white socks and rocking a pager, Frontalot's first song was about grammar. From there he moved on to Internet memes, spoilers and video games. One song included the lyrics, "just once, I don't want to hump tonight."
Frontalot explained to Boise Weekly how he approaches a performance.
"I can come as wack as I like. And you can do nothing about it because I control the microphone and the editing software and the mp3 encoder and the web server it's going to sit on," Frontalot said.
From a philosophical stance, this might seem shallow, an erosion of the gravitas that hip-hop is given credit for. However, the commentary of Frontalot's lyrics are anything but. His rhymes give a credible voice to a subculture, exactly as traditional hip-hop does
And though by traditional standards, Frontalot's themes may be "wack," his show is the opposite. His band was tight, his presence was enormous and his audience was thrilled to have someone on stage they could identify with.
Check out what had the audience in such a tizzy in Episode #034 of Scenes From a Scene.