Friday Rap-Up: ytCracker, DJ AM , Eminem and No Limit
The funny thing about living in Colorado is that you may have superstars right in your own backyard and not even know it. That’s certainly the case with rapper ytCracker. While he’s not widely known in the Colorado hip-hop scene, he’s a beast in “nerdcore,” which is precisely what it sounds like: hip-hop about nerdy stuff like video games, computers, gadgets and whatnot. In that scene, ytCracker is probably one of the most famous rappers next to perhaps Del the Funky Homosapien, MC Frontalot and MC Lars. Just google his name or do a search on YouTube to find a plethora of fan-made videos.
“I think it’s a head fake,” says the rapper, whose given name is Bryce Case. “For the most part, the ‘nerdcore’ label is just a way to let people know what to expect when they hit play on the record. “But I don’t see what I do as different from most hip-hop, and now in this day in age, there is a lot of convergence with ‘nerd’ culture and street culture.”
Cracker started rapping in the late ‘90s, after he was caught hacking into NASA’s website. He basically defaced NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center but didn’t do much to hide himself. He was on probation for two years and ordered to pay $24,000 in restitution. After that, came nerdy stardom. He’s recorded eight albums (most of them he give aways), appeared on MTV, had a commercial jingle running on G4TV (see the clip pasted below), and has been called upon on a regular basis to perform at different events like the Penny Arcade Expo, E3 and Comic-Con. He’s currently putting the finishing touches on his new album, Digital Gangster with MC Lars, with whom he’ll be appearing with, alongside Suburban Legends tonight at the Marquis Theater.
“It’s going to be released November 1,” he says. “It’s mastered by Mike Sipone [of Public Enemy, Taking Back Sunday, and Brand New fame] and we cut it at the Rondo Brothers studio in San Francisco a couple weeks ago, which is one of Dan the Automator’s studios. The album is a good mix of solid hip-hop and nerdcore hip-hop with a lot of different features.”
After tonight’s performance at the Marquis, ytCracker will join Lars and Frontalot on a six week nationwide tour that kicks off in November.
DJ AM Gives First Post-Crash Interview
In his first interview since the September 19 airplane crash that killed four people, DJ AM told People Magazine that he now feels he has a purpose in life. AM, who surived the crash along with drummer Travis Barker, suffered second and third degree burns.
"I've prayed every night for the past ten years,” he said. “There's a lot more to thank God for now. My philosophy is 'live life to the fullest.' I was saved for a reason. Maybe I'm going to help someone else. I don't question it. All I know is, I'm thankful I'm still here. My emotions go back and forth. At the first hospital, I screamed, 'Thank you!' Then I wondered, 'Why did I live?' I can't believe I made it. Any second, it can all be gone."
In the interview, AM also goes into detail about the crash. He said he had fallen asleep and was awakened by Barker’s screams and the plane engulfed in flames. When they jumped out of the plane, they were both on fire. AM rolled to put out to extinguish the flames, and then jumped on Barker. Although AM is dealing with the post-traumatic stress, he’s happy to already be getting gigs, including DJing for Jay-Z for three upcoming tour dates.
Eminem Announces New Album Title, Offers New Freestyle
Eminem is slowly coming out of hiding. In the last few months, he’s done interviews with LL Cool J and Masta Ace on Shade 45 radio on the Sirius Radio network, and this week, he was in New York promoting his new book, The Way I Am. While in New York, he threw a special event where he debuted a freestyle called "I’m Having a Relapse,” and announced his new album will be similarly titled Relapse.
The book, scheduled to hit stores on October 21, was written by Em, in his words, and will detail parts of his life, the struggles with being famous and his relationship with his daughter Hailie. The tome will also feature never before seen photos, original artwork from Em, and handwritten lyric sheets.
No Limit Artists Unite For Reunion Tour
Although Master P’s involvement is up in the air, original No Limit Records artists Mia X, Fiend, Mr. Serv-On, Mo B Dick, and KLC have reunited for a tour called “War Games.” The artists, which haven’t toured together since the late ’90s, also reportedly have plans to try and reestablish the No Limit brand. “This tour is long overdue,” Mr. Serv-On told AllHipHop.com. “We owe this tour to our fans.”
The dates have yet to be finalized but expect to see No Limit in Chicago, Detroit, St. Louis, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Memphis, Nashville, Atlanta, Baton Rouge, New Orleans, and Jackson, Mississippi.
The Foreign Exchange
Leave it All Behind
Phonte (of Little Brother) and producer Nicolay return with their second offering, and it’s just as good as the first. Phonte’s witty, comical rhymes and Nicolay’s smooth, melodic beats are a breath of fresh air in an industry concerned more with hits, hooks and ringtones than good music.
Earlier this year, Trae da Truth made headlines by clocking rapper Mike Jones upside the head at the Ozone Awards in Houston. But before all that, he was making music with the likes of Slim Thug, Paul Wall, Khujo (of Goodie Mob) and Lil Bossie. All those songs are featured on this collection.
The Yearbook: Includes The Missing Pages
KJ originally released The Yearbook last year, but this week he rereleased the album with The Missing Pages, a thirteen-track collection that feature unreleased material, remixes and instrumentals. While Christian hip-hop is typically typecast as being soft, KJ comes harder than most secular artists on this project.