How The NPC Collective is Bridging the Gap

Hip-Hop’s beauty and sustainability lies in its ability to tell the story of everyone that lives within its lot lines. The community doesn’t have one specific archetype, and now that it is becoming more inclusive, the lesser known neighbors are emerging from the cul-de-sacs. One of these blossoming neighborhoods are the Nerdcore rappers and there hasn’t been a better combination of two amazing things since the Game Genie and Super NES.

 Let’s be clear, however.

This is not to be compared to the what we saw with Chance The Rapper; there were designations that he was a Christian rapper (he is a Christian that raps). Nerdcore rappers don’t merely throw Goku in a bar because it rhymes, at the core of their bars is their love for all things nerdy and geeky. Drawing from comics and video games does not overshadow their Hip-Hop prowess and penmanship, as each artist is a shinigami in their own right. They use precise eloquence to tie in their real life issues with Naruto chasing Sasuke as a refreshing interpretation of life events as well as reigniting animes that may have gotten a little daunting after filler episode 306.

Shubzilla and Bill Beats feat. The Hello Kitties (Creative MindFrame, Kadesh Flow, E11dash, 
MC Ohm-i) - 9MM

South By SouthWest, the world-renowned Music, Interactive and Film festival held in Austin Texas every March has already peeped the proverbial game and has acknowledged Nerdcore’s influence and relevance within Hip-Hop by designating an official “Nerdcore Showcase” with Vincent “DJ R.O.C.K.M.A.N.” Banks curating unofficial showcases, which run 3–4 days with the genre’s top acts in attendance. The lynch pin of Nerdcore at SXSW, and by extension comicon life in Central Texas is DJ R.O.C.K.M.A.N. Spinning out of Austin, R.O.C.K.M.A.N. is the orbital point of the Texas nerdcore scene, bringing in acts from out of state (and out of the country), housing them, and playing their shows. With the expansion of SXSW Gaming, creating a tangible connection between nerd culture and Hip-Hop in these types of multi-faceted spaces will be paramount moving forward.

SouthBy is not the only place you will find these artists and comicons are not just places for cosplaying and Artist Alleys. Musical entertainment is always a highlight of any con experience, and as stated, DJ R.O.C.K.M.A.N. has significant input in these spaces. In the Central Texas area alone, DJ R.O.C.K.M.A.N. is in charge of San Antonio’s PaxSouth’s MAGFest JamSpace, SXSW Nerdcore Showcases, Friday Night Get Downs, and music curation at Dreamhack and Classic Game Fest. A natural niche was created because these artists were constantly running into each other and a family was formed as they bonded over the exclusionary feel of comicon spaces. From these interactions, The NPC Collective was born.

Kadesh Flow and EyeQ - Glassy Eyes (with E11dash on trumpet)

The crew consists of Brooklyn born emcees EyeQ and MC Ohm-i, residing in Orlando and Seattle, respectively. Ohm-i relies heavily on the nerd and hacker aspect of being a nerdcore rapper while EyeQ tells stories with the poise and emotion that you’d find in prose. EyeQ draws a lot of his inspiration from Anita Baker and his lyricism reflects a level of maturation that is both unexpected, yet comforting.

Most Nerdcore rappers’ day jobs directly tie into the content of their rhymes. Philadelphia-based emcee Sammus is currently getting her Ph.D in the Department of Science & Technology Studies at Cornell University. She does not shy away from expressing the struggles of being a fulltime Ph.D candidate as well as traveling artist. Creative Mind Frame (AKA 1-Up) is a videographer, Process engineer specializing in Six Sigma and is currently training to be on American Ninja Warrior. Shubzilla, a typhoon of an emcee out of Washington works in tech as well. A phenom on the trombone with impeccable breath control, Kadesh Flow is a powerhouse member of the NPC, and as with CMF and MC Ohm-I, accompanies his crew-mates on the horn as needed.

Rounding out the NPC depth chart are MegaRan, Richie Branson, Soultron and K.Murdock. Heard an adultswim and currently residing on the Bleacher Report webs, Richie is a game developer and producer that gains his inspiration from video games and anime. Guitarist Soultron uses 8-bit and anything else pre-1990 to create tracks that fuse gaming riffs with jazz and soul to create dance-pop tunes.

MC Ohm-i - #KonamiCode

The Nerdcore scene is thick with a plethora of talent that draw from their unashamed interests in the nerdy and obscure. Stay tuned and check back as we highlight all of these artists and the rest of the Nerdcore soundscape individually.


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