Adam WarRock promotes nerd culture through rap music

Adam WarRock said, "Haven't You Heard? Now It's Cool to be a Geek or a Nerd" (photo by Anthony Do).
Adam WarRock said, "Haven't You Heard? Now It's Cool to be a Geek or a Nerd" (photo by Anthony Do).

In association with this year's Geek Week, Adam WarRock, proud "nerdcore" rapper, held a concert in the HUB.

On Wednesday night, Oct. 9, students gathered to hear WarRock rap about his interests:  science and history, comic books and video games, TV shows and movies, and the recent movement in pop culture that seems to glorify  geek culture.

Save for a few hiccups with schedule conflicts—the previous panel occupying the ballroom ran ten minutes over, and staff later interrupted to cut the concert short—the night progressed smoothly. WarRock  kicked things off by talking about his background and how he first got involved with music. Since his initial pursuits in college, he has been producing music full-time. In the past three years, he has gained recognition online from geek-centered websites and media outlets such as the New York Times and the Washington Post.

Wednesday's crowd, both tentative and new to WarRock's brand of music, was curious about his following. Perhaps much of his influence has to do with the intimate spin he puts on his work. During his performance, he prefaced each song with a personal story of its inception and context. Most noteworthy was his last song, "Tell Me," which discussed the drastic shift in society's attitude towards geek culture.

"They're making nerd and geek into a commodity," WarRock said to  the audience as he discussed the corporatization of what he believes is meant to be a fun thing. He expressed how, in his childhood,  "nerds" and "geeks" were surrounded in an environment of bullying.

Today, those concepts are more widely accepted. Individuals who once believed they were alone in their interests now have public spaces to interact. Comic books and novels are being translated into shows and movies, gaining larger audiences. WarRock also added that the video game industry seems to be paying more attention to cultural hot topics such as sexuality, gender identity, and racial issues.

WarRock also believes that certain corporations seem to be latching onto these movements solely to make money. He wrote "Tell Me" to criticize such actions. While the lyrics hit the mark, it is their presentation that leaves a lasting impression.

What makes WarRock's music so unconventional is how he blends geek culture (which he dubs "nerdcore") with rap music. Rap has long been a genre associated with  African American and urban cultures, and while much controversy surrounds it, rap has gained more recognition over the years.

 Maybe it is the rise in both nerdcore and rap culture that makes WarRock's music so lucrative. Maybe it is his simple message of finding acceptance and validation in a society that previously ridiculed his interests. In a college setting, where so many different interests collide, that message can be helpful to students who feel isolated because of their passions.

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