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Sensitive Content Notice ⚠️
The following article contains and discusses content that may be distressing to some readers.
Reason for Warning: This page contains sexually content, racism, and discussion of drugs.

Disclaimer: Not to be confused with Nerd.


Nerdcore is an internet aesthetic and genre of music that has been around since the late 1990s. The term was first coined by MC Frontalot and he is widely considered to be the originator of the genre. Like many other aesthetics Nerdcore first arose from the eponymous music genre and came to fruition as its own separate aesthetic during the 2000s and 2010s. The aesthetic mostly revolves around 80s-2000s video games, science fiction (Star Wars & Star Trek predominant), role-playing games, tabletop games, internet memes & meme culture, and computer technology.

The driving thrust of Nerdcore is the union of the braggadocius hip-hop attitude with an unabashed love of "nerdy" subjects. Instead of being ashamed of being a nerd, Nerdcore artists and fans are proud about it and refuse to hide it or conform to "weak nerd" stereotypes.

Notable Nerdcore pioneers include the aforementioned MC Frontalot as well as MC Chris, Schäffer the Darklord, YTCracker, and Sensei Ion.

Visuals[]

Nerdcore is primarily expressed in album cover-art, with a heavy emphasis on drawn representations of the artists with a variety of "nerdy" accoutrements or background. Some may place the artist inside a familiar-looking video game world, others have the artist in an empty space beset by pieces of technology. Overall the visual references of Nerdcore album covers are predominated by video game references (levels, characters, art) and computer technology references (discs, cables, CRT monitors).

Later Nerdcore shows similarities to Trillwave with visuals that can also have an emphasis on drugs and alcohol, primarily marijuana and beer. Classic aesthetics such as Vaporwave, Old Web, and Nintencore are also common in a lot of Nerdcore media. In some cases, the cover art may be hue-shifted to add purple/blue to the image which enhances the "wavy" atmosphere to everything.

Music[]

Nerdcore music is primarily focused on nerd culture as a whole, ranging from old-school Star Wars references to topical jokes about internet technology or computer programming. What's rapped about varies from artist to artist, with later Nerdcore artists focusing heavily on anime and Japanese pop culture leading to the creation of the Otacore subgenre. Nerdcore is differentiated from Otacore by its broader use of "nerdy" references and a stronger focus on Western media.

Nerdcore Hip Hop features beats and styles from multiple Hip-Hop genres, showcasing its diverse crowd of artists. The only similarities between all Nerdcore music is the lyrical content focused on "nerdy" subjects.

Nerdcore techno is a genre of EDM that features samples from music, tv shows, and video games with Breakbeat and Jungle influences. It was popular in 1990s Japan among Otaku and heavily utilized anime samples. It was combined with Hardcore and evolved into the J-core music scene of the late 1990s, and also influenced other genres such as Denpa, Speedcore, and Lolicore.[1]

Fashion[]

Nerdcore fashion shares similarities with Nerd fashion, except with the addition of more "popular" clothing. Button-up shirts, slacks, and a tie are common elements. The combo of "nerdy" graphic t-shirts and a tie is also associated with Nerdcore culture, especially among Nerdcore women. Overall the focus of Nerdcore fashion is expressing yourself without shame, proudly wearing your favorite video game on your shirt. A crossover exists with Hip-Hop fashion in the addition of baggy clothing and snapback hats, a contrast to the normally well-fitted and uptight "nerd" look. Other common elements include Vans & Converse shoes, extravagant/bold eyeglass frames, pocket protectors, and hoodies.

Subgenres[]

Otacore[]

Otacore rap features beats and styles from Trillwave primarily. Otacore beats usually feature samples from older video games & anime OSTs, notably from Dragon Ball Zero, Naruto, Final Fantasy, Shiki and more. Otacore songs don't always focus on the struggles of life, hustling, guns and drug talk, and more focus on the more relatable, relaxing aspects of living the "Otaku life". However, they can include all of the above, just not as present as Trillwave.

To better describe the lyrics of Otacore, here are various lyrics from a few songs to drive the idea and gist into your minds.

Kay P - Sailor Fuku (PROD. GF Retro)

I put Sailor Fuku on my hoe

She look super bad in that cosplay though

Twin-Blade shawty call her Haseo

Ass fat, titties look like Super Sonico's (Mmm, Ecchi!)

Kay P - Monkey D. Luffy (PROD. Bona El-Zee)

N*ggas been grinding to gain that experience

I see you hating but it ain't that serious

unlocked my third eye while up in the pyramid

cooking up ether, that's sprite with the syrup mixed

came out the ashes, revive like the phoenix

The shit that I been through you wouldn't believe it

I need that skrilla don't make me repeat it

Your bitch on my dick, I got swag, I'm Black Jesus

Get on my level you couldn't achieve it

N*ggas be plotting they trying to deceive me

My money large, you come short like a chibi

Got swishers and sushi I'm smoking up seaweed"

ION x Josip On Deck - ボーナス (PROD. Internet User)

God damn man, I think I hit a bonus

Smoke two blunts, now a young sensei zoning

Bitch I'm playing Sonic

Fuck her early in the morning

I'm still retro mobbing with my squadron

And you know we on it

Retro Senpai - Late Nights in Akihabara (Ft. Beezy Sama)

Living this otaku life

Waking up with 2D wife

In Shibuya, I'm Cloud Strife

Yandere strapped up, yeah with the knife

So we posted in Japan

27/4 with the clan

Walking village of the sand, with Gara, stacking hella bands

With that being said, Otacore is still very relevant and ever-evolving today with new rappers such as Otaku God and SL!CK taking centre stage with a more drill-sounding, aggressive approach to the previously mostly-trill/laid-back nature of Otacore. Otacore beats have also evolved as well, more drill-style & plug beats started becoming popular in 2018 for Otacore songs VS. the older sounding "rawer" sounding beats which were popular back in 2011-2017.

Resources[]

Artists[]

  • MC Chris
  • MC Frontalot
  • MC Lars
  • Mega Ran (Random)
  • JT Music
  • CG5
  • 8-bit boys
  • Siivagunner
  • OR3O
  • The Living Tombstone
  • The Stupendium
  • Dan Bull
  • Sensei Ion
  • TryHardNinja
  • dagames
  • longestsoloever
  • Camellia
  • Yabujin
  • Lil Yume
  • Sayako
  • Joe Hawley
  • Flocabulary
  • Kabuto the Python

Songs[]

  • Athletic Theme (PAL Version) - Super Mario World
  • MC Chris - Nrrrd Grrrl
  • OR3O - Doki Doki Forever
  • Mega Ran (Random) - Endless Stage
  • $44,000 - PISSCORD
  • AsapSCIENCE - The Periodic Table Song
  • Kabuto the Python - Yo, Science
  • OVERWATCH: No Mercy - The Living Tombstone
  • DAGames - Unfixable
  • DAGames - 123 SLAUGHTER ME STREET SONG
  • Caramelldansen Fusion Collab
  • Animated James - Brony Polka
  • Yabujin - Angel Witta Knife
  • Apollo Fresh - Jojo Pose
  • Ken Ashcorp - 20 Percent Cooler
  • MC Chris - Discord
  • Joe Hawley - Crazy Food
  • FNAF SISTER LOCATION Song by JT Music - "Join Us For A Bite"
  • Lil Yume x 7Nightz x Saya - Elfagenda
  • Lil Yume - Cecilia Freestyle
  • EyeQ - Gettin Lucky

Playlists[]

  • Nerdcore Mix (Spotify "Niche Mix"; personalized to users' individual tastes)

References[]

Gallery[]

References[]

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