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Nerdcore for Life (2008)

8.1
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Two of the 21st century's most powerful social forces; Hip-Hop and geek culture collide head-on in the feature-length documentary, Nerdcore For Life. Born on the Internet, Nerdcore Hip-Hop ... See full summary »

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Title: Nerdcore for Life (2008)

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Two of the 21st century's most powerful social forces; Hip-Hop and geek culture collide head-on in the feature-length documentary, Nerdcore For Life. Born on the Internet, Nerdcore Hip-Hop is rap music made by geeks, for geeks and covers such traditionally nerdy topics as comic books, video games, sci-fi, anime and technology. This new and fascinating genre is founded on "Do It Yourself" ethics and most Nerdcore rappers create their music on home PCs and disseminate their work for free on the Internet. Though it has existed on-line for almost a decade, only recently has Nerdcore gone from being an Internet fad to an underground cultural phenomenon. Filmed over the course of two years, Nerdcore For Life profiles the top names in the genre as they celebrate "geek Life" and their passion for hip hop to the fullest, fight anti-nerd stereotypes, and attempt to overcome the common obstacles that block musicians of all types from fulfilling their dreams. The documentary follows these ... Written by Dan Lamoureux

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nerdcore | hip hop | rap | rap music | rapper | See more »

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A documentary about nerds, geeks, dorks and the hip-hop they make.

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Documentary | Music

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5 April 2008 (USA)  »

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$12,000 (estimated)
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An interesting look at the burgeoning nerdcore hip-hop community
19 August 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Dan Lamoureux's Nerdcore for Life casts the relatively obscure intersection of geeky music and Internet culture known as nerdcore hip-hop in an interesting light: its own. Rather than proceed as an outsider's look into the realm of nerdcore, the film instead chooses to define the movement and its music in its own terms, for good or ill.

Focusing primarily on the coalescence of the scene following the 2006 release of the Rhyme Torrents compilations – a multi-artist project that both brought together nerdy rappers and, ultimately, precipitated a number of thematic and artistic schisms – and following various acts throughout the turbulent year that followed, the film allows its physical subjects to wax nostalgic about the roots of this unlikely musical mixture as well as prognosticate its uncertain future.

While artists like Beefy, MC Router, Ultraklystron, MC Lars and a score of others are featured prominently, the genuine star of the documentary is the very odd musical culture they represent. From the over-the-top persona of the masked Sucklord to the always-subdued Jesse Dangerously, nerdcore is painted in a myriad of shades befitting its various disparate flavors.

Of course, in the spirit of interesting film-making, a bit more attention is paid to the scene's most exaggerated personalities. After all, the crux of the film is that some real nerds make hip-hop, not that some real hip-hop is made by nerds. That being said, this documentary, or any other argument regarding the legitimacy of nerdcore, is unlikely to change the minds of those dedicated haters who see this oft-cited "sub-genre" as a bastardization of hip-hop proper.

By the same token, there are a number of moments and, indeed, players represented that may make dedicated nerdcore fans a bit uneasy. Since the film's completion, for example, mc chris has again distanced himself from the phrase "nerdcore hip-hop." The fact that issues like this aren't broached in the rough narrative of the film simply serves to strengthen the argument that Nerdcore for Life is not meant to be a comprehensive history of the scene, but rather a time capsule of its peculiar rise to a mild brand of prominence.

In the end, Nerdcore for Life is the type of documentary that will more than likely give you what you want. If you're looking for a tale of empowerment and self-discovery by a group of oft-downtrodden geeks, it's found easily enough. If you're looking for the type of awkward social interactions you'd expect from pop culture's nerdier constituents, that can be observed as well. But most importantly, if you're looking to be entertained, informed, and possibly a little enlightened by a cast of Class A dorks seeking to celebrate an overlooked culture through musical experimentation, then you're apt to come away smiling.


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