One of the coolest things about hip-hop is the fact that the genre is so diverse. From mumble rap to gangsta rap, the genre has a little something to offer everyone. Although there are several styles of hip-hop that have gotten a lot of attention from the mainstream, nerdcore hip-hop is often slept on. As the name suggests, this style of music typically touches on topics that appeal to the ‘nerds’ such as comic books, computers, and role-playing games. Although nerdcore artists aren’t as popular as some of the other rappers in the game, they have formed a tight-knit community and often work on projects and songs together. Despite their lack of mainstream acknowledgment, there are a lot of talented nerdcore rappers who deserve their flowers. Here are the top five nerdcore hip-hop artists of all time.
1. MC Frontalot
MC Frontalot has been rapping for more than 20 years and he was actually the first person to coin the term nerdcore. He originally rose to popularity after entering a songwriting competition Song Fight! As MC Frontalot, he has never lost a Song Fight! competition. Over the course of his career, he has released seven studio albums as well as more than a dozen non-album tracks. He is often regarded for his creativity and animated style. In addition to spittin’ nerdy bars, MC Frontalot is really a nerd in real life. He is a California-based web designer and he usually performs in a shirt and tie.
2. Mega Ran
Mega Ran was born and raised in Philadelphia, a city that has a long history when it comes to hip-hop. However, he didn’t follow the same path as many other artists in the city. Instead, he chose to focus on rapping about things that he could personality relate to. He released his self-titled debut album in 2006 and it earned him a licensing agreement with the well-known gaming company, Capcom. Over the years, his music has also allowed him to build relationships with other big names in the video game industry. Outside of music, Mega Ran earned a bachelor’s degree from Penn State University and he has worked as a special education teacher. Before that, Mega Ran has also worked as an engineer.
Born and raised in Washington, Beefy entered the rap game in 2004 and he hasn’t looked back since. He released his debut album, Tube Technology, in 2006 and he quickly built a fan base. In addition to his solo career, he is also a member of the group With The Grammar Club. He has a playful style and his music covers a variety of topics including video games. Don’t get it twisted though, just because Beefy’s subject matter isn’t what some people would consider cool, that doesn’t mean he isn’t a beast on the mic. His wordplay and flow are top-notch. Even if nerdy things aren’t really what you’re into, you might still find yourself enjoying some of Beefy’s music.
4. MC Lars
MC Lars certainly isn’t your typical West Coast rapper. Although he was born and raised in California, he decided that he wanted to do his own thing when it came to his music. Since entering the industry more than 20 years ago, MC Lars has released a handful of projects and he’s gotten to work with some of the biggest names in the industry along the way. He has opened for rappers such as Snoop Dogg, Lupe Fiasco, and Nas. He’s also worked with artists from other genres such as Jack’s Mannequin and Simple Plan. On top of the success he’s had in his own career, he also founded a record label called Horris Records to help launch the careers of other artists. Like some of the other people on the list, MC Lars is also highly educated. He attended Stanford University for undergrad and Oxford University for graduate school.
Like every other area of hip-hop, nerdcore is dominated by men. However, that hasn’t stopped Sammus from carving out a lane for herself. Sammus’ love for music first developed thanks to her brother Disashi Lumumba-Kasongo who is a member of Gym Class Heroes. Even though she hasn’t been in the game for as long as some of the other people on this list, Sammus has already shown that she doesn’t plan on going anywhere. Sammus is witty, energetic, and full of creativity and she isn’t ashamed to let her nerdy side show. Similar to most nerdcore rappers, Sammus is a nerd even outside of her music. She has an Ivy League education (Cornell University) and she is in the process of earning a doctoral degree from Brown University.