MC Frontalot played the Cafe Du Nord in San Francisco

Photo By: Deborah Lopez

Move over Lil Wayne, please, if you don’t mind, erm and yes you can have my lunch money, (he probably said). I’m speaking, of course, about “The Godfather of Nerdcore Rap” a.k.a the 579th best rapper in the world a.k.a. MC Frontalot. This college graduate of English and Electronic Music dons a short sleeved button-up shirt and tie, thick black nerd glasses, and a headlight that probably doubles as a reading lamp for his performance. Don’t let the exterior fool you: he may lack the lanky arms and the excessive sweating, but he makes up for it in full-force nerdcore confidence: a combination of LMFAO’s theatricality and Eminem’s rapping talent. Upon further deconstruction: the outfit probably seems like a facade, as the real man underneath this timid exterior is a fellow named Damian Hess, a Brooklyn-based artist who’s been known as MC Frontalot since the year 2000. I say “seems” like a facade, because once he starts pouring on those complicated lyrics over his Gorillaz style beats (via a full electronic band), it’s hard to miss the references to Star Wars conventions, fears of being old, and his awe for Goth Girls.

His set drew gasps of “did he really just say that?” to screams of joy and geekdom reverie. However, the highlight of the night came in his thinly veiled political and social statements in “First World Problem.” This was the song that transcended a nerdy serenade, with lyrics leaking intelligence, and reaching a previously unparalleled level of “cool.” This song was clearly a favorite of the packed crowd at Cafe du Nord, as the floor responded to his questions: “misplaced the Ambien? First World Problem!” “Yacht got capsized? First World Problem!” “No bubbles in the soda cup? First World Problem!” (you can watch the official video below). It’s clear, MC Frontalot is not afraid to challenge euphemisms, or expectations of the rap genre. His performance (whether it’s a clever “act” or not, the jury is still out), becomes satirical, but most importantly: gratifying.