MC Frontalot -- the rapper credited for defining the hip-hop subsect of "nerdcore" -- is back this April with his fourth album, and the leadoff track, quite appropriately, is an anthem written for Wil Wheaton, better known for his character Wesley Crusher on Star Trek: The Next Generation. Download "Your Friend Wil" below!
For those who might not watch CBS nerdfest The Big Bang Theory, nerdcore is a strain of hip-hop where rappers wax about video games, sci-fi, and other n-word-related subjects instead of, say, guns, cars, and money. Frontalot, aka Damian Hess, is one of the genre's biggest stars, and his SPIN-approved 2008 album, Final Boss (note the video game-referencing title), found him excellently riffing off the sounds of mid-'90s rap groups like De La Soul.
On "Your Friend Wil," off the forthcoming Zero Day, he adopts a slick, more contemporary sonic backdrop for the track -- and enlists ex-Soul Coughing frontman Mike Doughty to sing the chorus. "I saw that [Doughty] writes @replies to Wil Wheaton once in a while, and I was already writing a theme song for Wil, so I thought I might be able to tempt him," Frontalot tells SPIN.com. "It was hard to play it cool when he came over to record. My Soul Coughing fandom runs pretty deep."
A skit on the album, "Question and Answer Time," finds Frontalot collaborating with comic John Hodgman, known in both nerdy and non-nerdy circles for playing "PC" in the "Mac vs. PC" ad campaign. Hodgman quite notably roasted President Obama at the White House Correspondents Dinner, and pondered whether our Commander in Chief was actually "nerdcore" -- check the 7:58 mark here.
"I saw Hodgman asking the President in person whether or not he's 'truly nerdcore' at the White House Correspondents Dinner," Frontalot reveals. "So I wrote him an email insisting that he appear on my album."
And while Obama might not be 100 percent nerd, there's no doubting the nerdocity of MC Frontalot. See for yourself on the track below:
LISTEN: MC Frontalot, "Your Friend Wil" (DOWNLOAD MP3)