Saturday, September 15, 2007

Fuck Emo, Nerdcore is Where It's At

Anyway, the emos are likely to be eaten by a grue.

Nerdcore, or geeksta rap, is a relatively recent development within the world of music.* It is basically a bunch of white guys rapping about geek topics. But the Wikipedia entry on nerdcore also brings up a very interesting point, worth the attention of any identity theorists out there:

Namely, the importance of self-identification. After a winding paragraph in which the writer attempts to categorize certain artists as either nerdcore or not, they conclude that the hip-hop style and the geeky subject matter are necessary, but not sufficient conditions for accurate categorization. So what is the key factor? Identification, fool! "The difference is largely one of self-identification; Blackalicious do not identify as "nerds", while Frontalot and chris both do." Also, further down is the following paragraph:


There is no canonical definition of nerdcore - nor, arguably, of hip hop. The most general definition of a nerdcore artist would be "a rapper who is also a nerd". However, not everyone accepts this. Some limit the genre to artists who openly proclaim themselves as "nerdcore", which automatically precludes any artists who stopped recording before Frontalot coined the term in 2000. Others consider bands to be nerdcore if they are called nerdcore by other nerdcore artists. Many automatically exclude artists who have been released on a major label and/or had some level of commercial success, while others consider this irrelevant. Further, "notability" is somewhat hard to define in a nerdcore context, due to two facts: almost all nerdcore is self-produced and self-distributed, and the genre has not broken into the non-nerdy mainstream.

This begs the question -- where does identity lie? I've brought up a similar question before**, but it's worth repeating. I think it matters more for some identities than others. In sociology, we have ascribed and achieved statuses, which kind of gets at this question. But a status does not an identity make. Can someone tell me I'm nerdcore? Can I claim nerdcore status even if my audience rejects the performance? I think the question lies in whether we define nerdcore as a status or as an identity. Sociology has a nasty habit of fuzzying the boundaries between status and identity by defining identity as an internalized role. I think there's more to it than that.


In somewhat related news: In my search for more info on Zork, I came across the intriguing statement "President Bush, you are likely to be eaten by a grue." I followed the links and found Iraqi Invasion: A Text Misadventure. You don't need to have played the game to appreciate the greatness that is this post.

*Thought it may simply be a sign of my age, that I could even CONSIDER something that started seven years ago as being recent or 'fresh'.
**I don't yet know how to link to a specific part of a page, so scroll down to the end. Of course, feel free to read the entire post, if the mood strikes.

8 comments:

marc said...

Anomie, just a quick helpful link that I got from Eszter awhile back:

http://citebite.com/

As Blue Monster says, Blog On!

Anomie said...

Yes! That is exactly the sort of thing I was looking for. Thanks, Marc!

Jim Gibbon said...

Anomie, have you ever read Brubaker and Cooper's article in Theory & Society called "Beyond Identity?" I think you'd find it interesting.

yli said...

hey anomie, i tagged you for a meme post (follow my profile to my blog). hopefully, in your new months of blogging you haven't been tagged yet?

by the way, your posts on emo made me re-evaluate my website look, which i mentioned in my meme post... :)

Jim Gibbon said...

Looks like I got scooped....I tagged you with the "8 random things" meme too. See my blog entry for more...

yli said...

haha! anomie gets to post 16 things about her! lucky you!!

Anomie said...

Ack! Lucky, yeah....that's exactly the word I would use, as well. Oh, well. I'm still new enough to the blogging thing that it's kinda exiting to be tagged with a meme. ;)

Cabell said...

I know I'm late to the party, but dude, this video is awesome. I had to blog about it myself.