With the Grammy nominations coming out this past Monday, I’ve got music on the brain. This isn’t a departure from my usual state of brain, but it’s been intensified. And also, the current social climate in the U.S. has been, well, less than friendly towards people of color. So for this week’s web crush, I want to highlight a Black woman making geeky music: nerdcore rapper Sammus. As always, hip-hop is an open, candid art form, so some mild to extremely not safe for work language in some of the songs.
This month has been exhausting. Black History Month always brings pushback: talk of a Black Spider-Man has resurfaced with all the associated bigotry, and current events have been as bad as always. It’s been really emotionally taxing, so I want to talk about something a little lighter and upbeat: nerd-inspired music. (Occasional NSFW language follows.)
I tend to have a very personal relationship with the music I listen to. While I’m constantly consuming new music in new styles, after a time, songs start to build up nostalgia and meaning for me and I can sort of trace the musical history of my liking various genres. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about nerdcore. I appreciate the genre a lot, because I came to terms with being a giant nerd at about the time I really started to get into hip-hop. Nerdcore also questions a lot of assumptions that most people make about hip-hop music, and that hip-hop music makes about itself. If hip-hop music or nerdcore aren’t your things, then I’d get off the ride now.
Anyway, for the sake of this post I’m going to use a very broad definition of nerdcore, inclusive not only of original music produced in that genre, but also of mashups that engage with both hip-hop culture and nerd culture. That is to say, I’m including this: Continue reading