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"And I'm the pride of geeks
Who are shameless and brazen
In their snobbery over whose console
Is most ancient (and most Asian)"
— MC Frontalot, Twenty-Six Hundred

Nerdcore is a subgenre of Hip-Hop; the term "Nerdcore" is a portmanteau of "Nerd" and "Hardcore". Music that can be considered Nerdcore usually involves subjects which most "normal" people would consider... well, nerdy, such as Science Fiction, Anime, and others. Nerdcore isn't automatically Hip-Hop; nerdcore had clear influences from geek culture as well, including geek rockers like They Might Be Giants, parodists like "Weird Al" Yankovic (who released "It's All About The Pentiums" in 1999 and "White & Nerdy" in 2006), and others. Despite these influences, Nerdcore has separated itself from other types of nerdy music thanks to an unofficial list of criteria that has evolved among fans and artists. Aside from making hip-hop about geeky things, Nerdcore is considered to be an 'Opt-in' genre. Only artists who consider themselves to be "Nerdcore" should have the label attached to their music.

In the summer of 2004 the fledgling genre took a large step forward when the popular web comic Penny Arcade held its first convention, The Penny Arcade Expo, in Bellevue, WA. Though the expo was primarily devoted to video and tabletop gaming, geek-friendly musicians also performed, including Optimus Rhyme and Penny Arcade's "rapper laureate" MC Frontalot. There's also an annual festival held in the summer in Florida, Orlando, Florida, called Nerdapalooza, that helps showcase Nerdcore acts alongside other "nerd music" genres.

It has been growing in popularity, thanks in part to G4's bumpers in commercial breaks, which showcase several artists rapping about subjects such as console wars, a love of gadgetry and the art of the Internet Counterattack, and of course, video games.

See also Heavy Mithril, for when nerds forgo rapping about consoles for rocking about fantasy, and Filk for the folksy alternative sort.

Nerdcore artists:

Other nerdcore performances:

  • Voltaire's album BiTrektual is mostly filk songs about Star Trek and Star Wars, but one of the songs "Worf's Revenge" is pure unadulterated nerdcore.
  • Though not part of the Nerdcore scene, several Underground Hip Hop artists have ventured into Sci-Fi territories in their search for fresh, "bitches 'n' bling"-cliche-free ground. The most popular work of this kind is probably Deltron 3030's eponymous concept album.
  • Klingon Rap. Besides Klenginem, even the actual Star Trek actors have gotten into nerdcore.

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