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MC Frontalot

As Chuck D of Public Enemy memorably put it, "Hip-hop is the CNN of the ghetto." While it serves that purpose, hip-hop started as a much broader genre and eventually, after emerging from the wasteland of gangsta, regained part of that potential. Hip-hop can be about anything, as proven and embodied by MC Frontalot, a proud nerd who takes the stage in glasses, tie, and pocket protector to rap about webcomics, computer games, blogs, and picking up girls at Star Wars conventions.

MC Frontalot was born Damian Hess in San Francisco. He grew up in Berkeley where, as a teenage rap wannabe, he secretly four-tracked his own songs on tape. While working as a web designer in 1999, he resurrected his rap hobby by creating a website for MP3s of his homemade music, the beats credited to the imaginary DJ CPU. In a song of the same name he coined the phrase "nerdcore hip-hop" to describe his music about the geeky subject matter closest to his heart. Other artists like Dream Warriors, MF Doom, and Deltron 3030 had explored geek-related themes previously in their music, but by naming it, MC Frontalot made it a subgenre of its own. Other nerdcore rappers would later follow in his footsteps, including MC Lars, Optimus Rhyme, MC Hawking, and YTCracker. Several of his early songs were entries in the weekly Song Fight! competitions at songfight.org, in which amateur musicians would write songs with the same title and listeners would then vote for the best of them. Each time he entered as MC Frontalot, he won. In 2002 the extremely popular webcomic Penny Arcade also gave him their seal of approval, declaring MC Frontalot to be their official rapper and giving his popularity a boost. He recorded the song "Penny Arcade Theme" as a tribute to them, which later appeared in the video game In the Groove.

After moving to New York, where a musical he had written for Emerald Rain Productions called Young Zombies in Love was featured at the International Fringe Festival in 2004, he recorded his first MC Frontalot album. Nerdcore Rising was released independently -- ascribed to Level Up Records & Tapes -- in 2005 at the Penny Arcade Expo. The post-album concerts were his first tour, an experience caught on film by Negin Farsad. Sales of CDs and merchandise as well as guest appearances like his role as TP Factory Rapper on the Elmo's Potty Time DVD enabled Hess to leave his day job behind and focus on creating music, including his 2007 album, Secrets from the Future. Negin Farsad's documentary Nerdcore Rising: The Movie, which also featured MC Chris, Prince Paul, J-Live, Jello Biafra, and Weird Al Yankovic, premiered at the SXSW festival in 2008. ~ Jody Macgregor, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

Comments

jaredroderic k s
How about some lyrics?
Finally some frontalot. Captains of Industry!
#ZeroDay
That's cuz he's awesomer than the world. Pandora must have a hxc nerd on staff
Not to take away from MC Frontalot . . . but, his bio is longer than some legends in hip hop on this site. Inconsistent , Pandora. Tsk, tsk.
Lol. He fronts the nerd bit alot because he's parodying/mo c k i n g gangsta rap which ALWAYS fronts about being gangsta. Also because he's MC FRONTALOT.
on zero day 80085 is supposed to say boobs on the calculator
katy perry video, hot and cold, church , front row right side...yeah, thats Frontalot... a l l hail the Godfather of N3RDC0R3!!
It's NERDCORE its supposed to be rap about nerdy subjects
hes not trying to market toooo hard his genre is called NERDCORE
My only criticism is the constant bragging about being a nerd that this guy and the guys who are similar to him do. We get it. The subjects you talk about will give it away, you don't have to repeatedly remind us. Great lyricists, but maybe quit trying to market so hard.
I have a sweet station filled with Nerdcore follow me for this kind of stuff
They need to get Solved on here. I want to hear Power User as I listen to this station. ;{
sharpicelzer nerdcore is already mainstream thanks to the hipster popualon (fecking nerd poseers)
i will bring nerdcore to an everyday topic
Good rap is rap about life, not about money, sex, and prostitutes. This guy raps about his life as a nerd.
Lil Wayne's rapping skill doesn't compare to MC Frontalot's rapping skill. MC Frontalot is awesome!!!!! I like Eminem's and Fort Minor's music, too.
This s the only hope rap has, if it is to survive.
Also, check out Kabuto the Python.
@jamin_thomp s o n

Actually, Front has several herb references in his music. One of his songs is even named mountain high
You guys need to get his new album Solved! on here.
wannakungfu
If you can't understand what ... and get elevated... means you don't understand front at all jamin
What the heck is Todd talking about? Is he trolling, or confusing Frontalot with MC Chris? 'Cause MC Chris is the pothead, not Frontalot.
3cedarsjewel r y
Love this guy, been to several of his concerts and he is super nice in person :)
I saw Nerdcore Rising on Netflix (let's hear it for the secret algorithm that recommended the flick for my instant queue!) and I'm totally hooked. I'd sung along to Dude & Catastrophe on Rock Band, but never thought about finding more of his stuff. There's SO MUCH MORE that's awesome about Frontalot.
bragging is what front does, he fronts, a lot. see what he did there?
i'd like him much more if he didn't brag about how much of a junkie he is.
Just simply "fun".
The man has a prolifically acrobatic skill with the English language that I can only aspire to possess one day.
He's also such a genuinely nice guy when you talk with him, which was refreshing. Long live the Front and his music.
bbenkosky
Diddo Tony I've loved it from the first time i heard it. Its who I am in so many words.
Nerdcore will rise up. I think I've told every single one of my friends about nerdcore ever since I first heard MC Frontalot back in 2005 - this is where we're going, and I don't think I've ever been so happy to love rap.
You can look your nose down, but if you do? Nerdcore will pass you by.
frozenclimbe r
Love this guy XD
Nerdcore can Rise up!!!!
Best artist evea period. nerdcore rise up! w00t
bloodprince2 k 4
GTA3 is by MC Hawking
drew749
huh... fascinating, but i leik!
mc hawkins
who does the gta3 song?
i can honestly say, growing up in shadier parts of my town, i didnt like "rap" per-say but watching G4 made that change my opinion with this guy. Very funny and made me appreciate hip hop more
I've liked MC Lars for a while, but since The Digital Gangster with YT Cracker...I' v e been hooked to nerdcore
I Actualy didn't get into Nerdcore until March 2008. YTCracker and The Guild Wars Rap song took my Nerdcore Virginity haha. Now I can't get enough of it, MC Lars is one of my favs... MC Frontalot is a god in my opinion jk lol.
Deltron and, Doom fan and got to give this stuff a lot of credit
This is the man who taught me I don't have to buy into the bullsh*t that rap and hip hop has come to be in mainstream today and of yesteryear. Frontalot also inspired me to try to make my own lyrics and that they don't have to be about gangs, guns, and ganja (though I don't mind the last one).
Nerdcore rising, pretty sick song becoming more and more of a fan every time i hear it... good stuff
YTCracker is awesome! MC Hawking, MC++, Dual core, MC Chris.

Needs more nerdcore.
dang!
Throw Beefy, Shael Riley, Benjamin Bear, Conyeezy, and 1337 G33K B3AT up there too. They're great nerdcore people. And I do really like ZeaLous1 and YTCracker.
Need ZeaLous1 and YTCracker on here!
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