In response to “Kickin’ It Nerdcore” from The Escapist Forum: Nerdcore’s probably a “truer” genre of music than gangsta rap. A lot of g-rappers are just making stuff up that people want to hear, denying their middle-class backgrounds to appear as though they grew up in the midst of poverty and committed a number of heinous crimes, because that’s the type of music that sells to the biggest purchasers of that genre: upper and middle-class white boys. At least in nerdcore I can believe that the artist actually played the game.
I think the best part about nerdcore though is that, unlike the aforementioned gangsta rap, it actively embraces the uncool truth of its subject matter and works to make it cool. Where public perception of a rapper as a thug or criminal is key in establishing a stage persona to sell records, nerdcore artists work almost without that safety net. Their persona is not undeniably “cool,” in fact, not so long ago it would’ve caused open derision from the majority of the public (and may continue to). But the irony in the role reversal, that while some of their hip hop contemporaries are using the genre to claim credit for crimes likely not committed, nerdcore artists are claiming credit for actions in video games or in relation to video games, something that seems mundane in comparison to drugs, prostitution and murder.
Anyway, it was a great article, and I hope to see your book on a shelf somewhere soon.
I love gaming culture that has little to do directly with games.
I’m really torn about that Guitar Hero Hero song. It’s really smart, and it’s obviously made by a gamer, but while I don’t really like Guitar Hero I can’t stand people who keep arguing it’s nothing like playing a real guitar, because no one said it’s like playing a real guitar, and, in fact, that’s kind of the point.
In response to “Texture the Beat” from The Escapist Forum: I sincerely loved every word of this article.
It’s a shame that Western game developers still haven’t made a game that fully embraces hip-hop. Games like PaRappa the Rapper and Jet Grind Radio were some of the first to attempt this and succeed, but only with a Japanese aesthetic. A Western, rap-oriented game still has yet to be made.
While the West does have games like 50 Cent: Blood on the Sand and Def jam to satisfy our thirst for hip-hop, they only capture the glamor of being a successful hip-hop artist, rather than capture the spirit of hip-hop music.
Again, thanks for writing this article. If you’ve ever been on a forum, it would come to no surprise to you that most gamers hate hip-hop. Hopefully this article will open some eyes!
Great work. Keep writing to the Escapist 🙂
In response to “And You Don’t Pause” from The Escapist Forum: I’d really love if there were more hip-hop games.
To be honest, as most music has, hip-hop/rap has gotten worse over the years, and many people confuse rap with hip-hop and gangsta rap with all rap.
This has gotten people to never even consider the genre, throwing away wonderful music simply because it’s from a genre they don’t listen to.
If people confused “metal” as Dragonforce v. Black Sabbath v. Dream Theater v. Queen all as the same damn thing…
Or said Nickelback and Pink Floyd are the same because they’re both rock…
You can understand my frustration when people say MF DOOM is the same as Tupac is the same as Eminem is the same as Soulja Boy.
In response to “Sonic the Hamilton” from The Escapist Forum: Funny to read this when a friend of mine, through a MMO, is a rapper. He doesn’t overtly include much by way of gaming, but I can see some of it tying in when he gets away from the more stereotypical topics.
Gaming and many different types of music have stronger ties than many realise. The same is very true of gamers and the Metal genre (all sub-genres included, you just need to poke around a little into death-glam-nerd-Metal) with many different artists being nerds in their own right. A hell of a lot of metalheads are gamers too, the same fair enough to say of rappers.
Awesome piece Tom, never in a million years would I have thought anyone on this site would even know about Charles Hamilton, let alone write an article about him. A shame you didn’t mention MF DOOM, with his persona ever changing from a Dr DOOM like persona, to an alien from outer space, to a half DOOM half mouse hybrid. Not to mention ytCracker, and a host of other Nerdcore rappers.
I’ve been following Charles Hamilton for a while now, and I have all of his mix-tapes, and I do see him bringing geek culture and intelligence back to the mainstream of hip hop music. Sonic The Hamilton is an awesome mix-tape that I can’t stop listening to.
Either way, great piece, shame it won’t see past a page or two considering how badly hip hop is vilified around here, and keep it up.
P.S. As for the violence money and drugs, well it’s there but I feel like perhaps it should have been emphasised that it’s in the mainstream moreso than anything, but that’s a minor gripe.