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Tag Archive | "hip hop"

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Next Level by Dual Core

Posted on 09 September 2009 by Tim

From rollin’ D20s, seeding torrents, hacking to tech support, Dual Core covers the gamut of nerd life on Next Level.

Overall Score: 85/100

Next Level is what happens when two creative and talented people collaborate. Not only that, int eighty and c64 pull in the top names of nerdcore hip hop – MC Frontalot, YTCracker, Schaffer the Darklord, Beefy, Mega Ran – to join the party.

They kick off the album with a rock-based beat that has to be one of the best intro tracks I’ve heard in a while and it comes with the added benefit of not being named Intro. For You leads nicely into Kick Back and Natural 20s, two of my favorite tracks. Also topping my list of faves is The Game and Magnificent Seven. Eighty gets reflective on Life’s Work and Letter to c64. The latter being a nice touch of old school hip hop when MCs showed more respect to their DJs. Painting Pictures is a great personal track, not only is the beat hot but the lyrics are touching. The storytelling eighty employs reminds me a lot of Slug from Atmosphere.

Learn more here – Tim interviews Dual Core

My main complaint is about the sample on track 5 – I Remember, it was really repetitive and annoying. Overall, Next Level is awesome. I had a great time reviewing the album and it certainly earned a spot on my MP3 player. Be sure to check it out.

What do you think of the album? Leave a comment below.

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Non-Profit Hip Hop? Just Ask Scrub Club Leader MadHatter

Posted on 31 July 2009 by Tim

MadHatter leads Scrub Club Records, a non-profit hip hop label bringing you talented artists like Kabuto the Python, Dr. Awkward, Benjamin Bear and The Ranger. Both businessman and rapper, MadHatter rhymes with the Sinister Six, a collective which includes the world renowned rapper YTCracker. As a group, the Sinister Six dropped their first album Invasion of the Mic Snatchers in 2008.

MadHatter can be found at RhymeTorrents.org moderating Battles and Beefs or performing at events like Nerdapalooza.

His gruff voice, energetic, thoughtful rhymes, and positive personality have made him a favorite of many. Enjoy the interview, check out the music and leave a comment!

How long have you been rapping and how did the name MadHatter come about?

I’ve been rapping since 2001, back when my only music was our first project, the Shadow Puppets. I had been a percussionist and vocalist before then, but that’s when I hunkered down with my partner at the time to see if we could take a stab at recording. We ended up using a $6 microphone with a sock over it for a pop filter, and I mixed raw wav files using sound recorder. I kid you not. I upgraded to GoldWave eventually, but this was all extreme learning experience. I would say my skill set and musicality have really grown over the last five years into something people can take seriously.

MadHatter-Art As far as the name MadHatter, that’s kind of a long story. To sum it up, I used to go by the name of Jester online wayyyy back in the beginnings of the internet and Telnet (probably when there was just a few people with that name online worldwide, haha). On some classic bulletin board systems back in the day, I ran across a guy named /\/\ad}{atter and his buddy Ice Man, the first who was in the well-known hacker group “Cult of the Dead Cow.”

He eventually followed me to the Wichita State University board where the two taught me a few tips and tricks and really grew my knowledge, mostly about phone systems and wardialing, but also nifty things I could do with IP numbers, of course. Eventually, that }{atter got to a point where he wanted to retire from the group and concentrate on college, drinking, and girls, and offered to pass on his name to me if I wanted.

I happily accepted since he had taught me so much in a sensei-type way, plus I had been borderline obsessed with the Alice In Wonderland universe since an early age. It just made sense, and since about 1993 or 1994, that’s what I’ve been going by. Carrying on his oldschool legacy while bringing my own flavor, all mixed together in a tight little Lewis Carroll package.

What musical projects are you working on right now?

Oh lord, far too much, haha. First coming would be Deafinition’s first album Resurrection, as in the resurrection of hip hop. And this dude is true about it, too. I just need to record a couple of featured verses on there as well as one from Kabuto The Python and that project will be complete. AMAZING lyrics and flow from this guy. After that, we have a slew of projects that could be coming out at any time.

Benjamin Bear’s Robochomp, an audio adventure to be completely mastered on cassette format. We have The Ranger’s new album, our artist from Australia, that I will be mixing and mastering track by track. Dr. Awkward is heavy into his next release, which I will also be finishing up the audio on and dropping a guest verse. MadHatter - Blast Zone

Myself, I will be working on the Life of John Henry CD with superstar producer Pelicaine Einhander, which will be a steampunk-themed Hip Hop album that will blow people away, with instrumentals and themes all taking place before the year of 1890. Also, I’m doing a crazy side project called Word of Mouth, which will be me covering entire songs using just my vocals (beats, instruments, voice, everything). Noncents Volume IV will drop any time now, featuring unreleased tracks from all of our artists as well as brand new material. We just signed Superpowerless from the UK, and that guy basically makes a new album every week, hahaha. He will bring new chiptune flavor to the label. Everyone is working on some great projects, and this year will be absolutely insane.

Besides our regular music, we do have a competition that will start next month to decide the next new artist on Scrub Club Records. It’s called Versus Mode, and I hope it brings the best out of all the contestants and helps them level up regardless if they win the competition or not. Plus the grand finale will pit the top two artists against eachother in a battle-of-the-bands type concert! More details on that will drop August 1st on our website.

Download Scrub Club Music Here

Do you have any live performances coming up?

Well, this Thursday (July 30th), I’ll be battling 7 other emcees and rap groups for grocery money for my family, haha. The event is called Move The Crowd and is hosted by the very busy businessman Cash Hollistah here in Salina, KS. The crowd is about 250-300 people, it will be a blast.

Official Scrub Club shows coming up? I’m not sure there is one quite planned, although we are definitely interested in playing Nerdapalooza 2010 and might possibly be going to MAGFest coming up as well in Virginia. Our artists Kasparov and Kabuto The Python are included on a west coast tour called the FTW Tour, but details are few so far. Definitely hit that up, though. Dr. Awkward is also openly looking to book shows out west. I’m planning a few things that might go down in the next couple months that involve live shows, but that’s under wraps for now. All I can say is keep watching the site, Facebook, and Twitter!



What sparked the idea for Scrub Club Records and its not-for-profit theme?

One of the first things I can remember sparking this idea was back in 2001 when everything started out. I was really just concerned with spreading our music as far as possible and my partner was concerned with making it into a career. We had several arguments about money including him getting mad when I burnt a couple copies for my cousins instead of charging them $10 apiece, or when we got custom hockey jerseys made up for $35 that I was willing to give the hardcore fans for the cost just so they could rep some really awesome gear and spread our name, and he wanted to charge our fans $75 to $100 to make good profit off of them. Shit like that just really got to me.

Then, later on when I was starting my solo stuff, I was charging $5 for cds. After realizing a lot of our fan base was made up of individuals just like me, I knew that no one had the money to pay for music, especially when they could just find it online. Our fans were just as poor as I was… I know I certainly didn’t pay for music, except for the few scant live shows I went to and how I really wanted to support a deserving artist. With that and how I viewed the imminent collapse of the music industry, I knew it had to be done (to go not-for-profit).

During a Scrub Club meeting, every member in attendance agreed it was a great idea, and we made it so, no longer charging a single cent for any of our music. We were close to non-profit before, now it was complete. I think that was back in 2005 or 2006. Now I realize how great and smart that move was, our music spread like an old uneducated person’s imagery of the swine flu or a conservative republican tween’s view of terrorism. We were suddenly everywhere.

You guys have some pretty sic graphics on your site. Who are the design geniuses behind Scrub Club?

Scrub Club Puppette I don’t know about genius, but i do all of the graphics and coding work for the site and lots of our various projects and print products. One thing I can say is that everything I do is very oldschool. I only use Photoshop and have never been trained in it, and I also code websites with old, old, old-ass HTML skills. I never learned flash or anything advanced. So what you see is a totally untrained nerd trying to make something oldschool but different. As for the site, I prefer fast load times for Scrubs still using dialup, and images that are fresh-looking for people who want eye candy.

Any chance that Midwest Nerdfest will get a rez?

There are talks. A few people who might possibly be interesting in being sugardaddies for the fest have approached me, and a few other people have given me their thoughts, advisory style. What I’m leaning to is possibly throwing a mini version of the event to test the waters first. Stay tuned!

What’s your take on nerdcore as a genre? Do you consider yourself or Scrub Club to be nerdcore artists or more generally hip hop artists?

I love Nerdcore and support it full-heartedly. It’s one of a million sub genres created by youth, but who are we to say whether it’s “real” or not? Alive or dead? It exists, and both the excitement and the quality are growing at an alarming rate. This isn’t just a fad, we will always have comics, games, and technology and there will always be Hip Hop. So don’t look for Nerdcore to dissipate any time soon. Scrub Club Chick

As for Scrub Club, we started in 2001 as a pure Hip Hop-style outfit. A mutated version of Hip Hop, but that’s what we’ve always been. And since the very beginning, we’ve had references to video games, comic characters, superhero-style themes, dorky movies and tv shows, cartoons, etc. Then along came the birth of the genre of Nerdcore and we were picked up by that tidal wave. We set out to make good, real music with no real genre to stick to, and then Nerdcore picked us up as kindred. Still, not all of our music will particularly fit in with the Nerdcore-only tribes, like Deafinition’s pure and gritty Hip Hop coming up, or my upcoming Victorian Era album.

So we’re not a Nerdcore-only label, and none of our artists began making music just because of Nerdcore. But that doesn’t mean we don’t love and support that scene. A vast majority of our music fits their appetites and they’re the closest family we’ve got! Scrubs, nerds, geeks, and all other underdogs are welcome in the Club!

MadHatter, thanks for your time!

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Nerdcore’s Beefy Is In Short Supply

Posted on 18 July 2009 by Tim

Keith A. Moore, Beefy, or Beef Thompson, whatever you want to call him this man can flow. Beefy barged onto the nerdcore rap scene in 2005 with two EPs – The Whitesican EP and nerd. Beefy hasn’t kept fans waiting long in between albums. Tube Technology hit the net in 2006, and 2007 saw the release of two albums – The Adventures of Beef Thompson: Private Dick and Bremelanotide (with The Grammar Club). Rolling Doubles dropped in ’08 and most recently fans were treated to The Adventures of Beef Thompson: IN SPACE. Whew!

Beefy even had the opportunity to perform in Amsterdam in early 2009 with MC Frontalot, MC Lars, YTCracker and MC Router. Before Beefy headed off to Nerdapalooza, I was able to ask him a few questions about his album and The Grammar Club. Here’s what I came away with…

Beefy-At-Nerdcore-Rising-PAX08 You have a new album you’re working on called Shining, is that right? What can Beefy fans expect to hear? Any collabs?

I’m working on two solo projects right now. With Sprinkles which will have guests like Shael Riley, Dual Core and some people I’ve never worked with before. The second album is being produced by The OneUps’ Mustin and was at one point going to be called Shiny but at the moment we don’t have a name for it. It will however feature MC Lars.

How are things going on the new Grammar Club album? When is that due out?

Grammar Club tracks take a long time to complete due to the nature of our creative setup. We do have a lot of demos right now for the next album and some complete tracks we plan on previewing at the upcoming Nerdapalooza event. Shael is also working on a solo album with his band the Double Ice Backfire, so while we’re always working on The Grammar Club our solo work is our main focus for the time being.

Presumably you’ll be heading to PAX 2009, any chance you’ll be performing?

We’re trying to work out plans for a Pre-PAX show, but besides that I won’t be performing at the actual PAX event. That kind of thing is reserved for the kinds of artists that are on a whole other level than my own.

If you were meeting someone who had never heard of Beefy, what would you tell them?

I tell em that I make hip-hop music for nerds about things like Street Fighter and comic books that is wildly relatable and fun. I would also tell them that I love hugs and that my music is like an ear hug.



Beefy Around The Web:

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