Thursday, December 18, 2008

Throwback Thursday: Rappers Are Nerds Too

Yesterday I talked about how I brought Hip Hop to my nerdy past time of gaming. For this week's Throwback, turnabout is fair play, and I'll prove that these rappers are just as nerdy as me. We'll begin with Jeru The Damaja's "Ya Playin' Yaself" from 1996's Wrath of the Math. Even without the advent of the Wu, a whole lot of NY rappers grew up watching Shaw Brothers flicks, and Jeru decided to make his own for this video.

Speaking of the Wu, I'd be remiss if they didn't get included in the Nerdy Rapper edition of the Throwback. They're the crew that made it cool to be a nerd in this Hip Hop shit, considering they dropped references to Kung Fu flicks, Anime, and comics in their rhymes and MC personas. One of my favorite videos from the clan, Ghostface's "Daytona 500" from Ironman doesn't actually feature any of the members. Instead, it's edited footage of the old Speed Racer cartoon with Ghost, Rae and Cappadonna's vocals being spit by a different character in the show. Quite possibly one of the first Anime Music Videos ever created.

Who could do a whole video inspired by The Wiz/The Wizard of Oz in Hip Hop and not get clowned? De La Soul, that's who. Here's "Oooh" from Art Official Intelligence: Mosaic Thump, with Redman on the hook (and playing the Wizard). Peep Rah Digga as Dorothy and a cameo from Dave Chapelle.

Finally, while it's not quite a Throwback, I do have to give mention to the MC that's possibly the nerdiest of them all, MF Doom. Before he was pissing off his fans (myself included) by sending impersonators to do his shows for him, he endeared both nerds and Hip Hop heads with his monotone stream-of-consciousness rhymestyle. His verses tend to be like watching an episode of MST3k, you might not catch every reference he makes, but there are so many of them you're bound to laugh at something. He met his match in the dusty blunted production style of Madlib and together they cooked up the classic Madvillainy (linked to the hard copy so you can get the lyrics). Here's the Golden Age comic book inspired video, "All Caps."

Know of any other nerdy Hip Hop videos? Post 'em up in the comments section.

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