Did I Mention that I Spit the Dopest Rhymes?

Posted March 10, 2008 at 8:39 pm 23 Comments
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Dan and John, in high school and today. 10 years later, and we are pimper than ever.
My first foray into recording rap songs was back in 1995. I was a sophomore in high school, and my buddies Chris and John and I got it into our heads that we would start a rap group, which for some ridiculous reason we named the “Big Booty Bass Mad Klown Ho Posse.” We began recording a series of truly terrible rap songs. Our “studio” was my bedroom, and our equipment consisted of a 486SX PC with a copy of CoolEdit, a cheap Casio keyboard, and a Radio Shack microphone. We would try to cut down on the background noise in our tracks by recording most of our vocals with blankets over our heads. We actually cranked out an entire album that way, with tracks that touched on a variety of nerdy topics. Some of the album’s song titles that spring to mind are:

  • Ghetto Mathematics, a tribute to our high school math team, of which I was captain. Sample lyric: We’re loced-out gangstas and we’re looking for some action / As we decompose these functions into sets of partial fractions.
  • Gandhi, a rap chronicling the life and times of Mahatma Gandhi. I seem to recall that it closed with the line “An eye for an eye makes a blind India, motherfucker!”
  • Ode to Hazel, a rhyming tribute to Hazel O’Leary, the energy secretary under the Clinton administration, who came to visit our high school. Thankfully we did not attempt to perform it in her presence.
  • Pizza Crazy Fool, a song describing the tribulations of a pizza delivery boy who leads a secret life as a DJ in the evenings. Sample lyric: Pizza, pizza, tastes so good / Get some pizza for your hood!

I hesitate to call any attention to the fact that these songs exist, because they were so embarrassingly awful that I still cringe when I think of them. I certainly won’t be posting any of them here, but if you dig around enough in the monzy.com archives you may be able to unearth an old recording or two. I suppose it is unremarkable that my 16-year-old self did not have a particularly mature or refined sense of humor, but I still feel ashamed of my early rapping efforts.

Fortunately, around the time that Chris, John, and I went off to college, we realized how feeble our rapping attempts were, and resolved to put down our microphones for good. I still see Chris all the time, and he has stayed true to this promise (we both ended up in grad school at Stanford, and share an apartment now). John and I gradually drifted out of touch… until about a year ago, when we discovered each other on YouTube.

It turned out that John and I had both independently decided to pick up the mic again, after a ten-year hiatus, and begin recording nerdy rap songs with renewed vigor. When I saw John’s debut music video, Lips and Assholes, I knew that we would have to “get the band back together,” as it were, and collaborate on something again.

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The result of our first tandem effort in more than ten years is a music video called “So Fucking Pimp.” Perhaps you remember that I was once quoted as saying that “geeks are the new pimp”. To me, nerdcore is all about the idea that everyone is pimp in their own way. Naturally, geeks are not pimp for the reasons traditionally cited in rap songs (wealth, women, jewelry, cars, strength, etc.) — but certainly everyone has their own special skills to be proud of, and nerdcore is all about embracing the things that make you unique, even if they are not widely appreciated.

John recorded two great verses for this song too, but we still have to shoot video for those, so stay tuned for the remix, with 66.6% more pimpness.

In other nerdcore news, my amigo Doctor Popular is dropping his new album today, entitled Me Geek Pretty One Day. I listened to it last night and I heartily give it the monzy.com seal of approval. DP is very talented and is one of the most original voices in nerdcore, so you should definitely check out his album if you are thirsty for more geeked-out hip-hop.

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23 Comments »

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  1. Whoa. That photo gives me flashbacks… I remember you two from JR High and the JJ Hill days… glad to see you’re keeping it real, Monzy.

    Comment by tcp — March 11, 2008 #

  2. That was pretty much amazing.

    Comment by Victoria — March 11, 2008 #

  3. I seem to also remember some sort of Grammar Rap…
    “the purpose of a preposition is to indicate / the way in which a pair of substantives relate…”

    Perhaps some of it’s better than you think.

    Comment by Brad — March 13, 2008 #

  4. Oh no… Where did that first picture come from? We do not look pimp by any means.

    Comment by Colonel Bastard — March 24, 2008 #

  5. Okay, so I tried sitting on my bed with my CLRS and a martini glass of colored water, but I don’t really feel any more pimp than before. Am I doing it wrong?

    Honestly, though, this song is brilliant, I love all the little vignettes in the video, and I can’t wait to see the long version. Well done, guys!

    Comment by Lindsey Kuper — April 28, 2008 #

  6. Yes, you do spit the dopest rhymes Monzy. That’s why we used “Kill Dash Nine” in our latest Idealist.org Community podcast on Ubuntu. You can check it out here:

    http://idealist.libsyn.com/index.php?post_id=329581#

    Thanks!
    Celeste

    Comment by Celeste — May 7, 2008 #

  7. Love the geeks! You rock!

    Comment by P-burgh MILF — June 23, 2008 #

  8. Love the new song and video. Keep on rapping. I’ve been following your work since the article on you in EEtimes.

    Comment by vypermann — July 21, 2008 #

  9. That video was great, I just have one complaint. I’m pretty sure that the aspect ratio got ruined at some point (probably when you uploaded to YouTube). Maybe you shot it in 16:9 and it was an anamorphic MPEG with the correct aspect ratio as an MPEG attribute? I know for a fact that YouTube ignores this important field (I’ve told them about it at least once but I think they ignored me). I do know how to get around it, though, and still post to YouTube. Let me know if you’re interested in getting this fixed. Wrong aspects is one of my top 3 pet peeves.

    Comment by Ben Buchwald — November 3, 2008 #

  10. That’s really catchy. Are you going to post an mp3 version? I need some new nerdcore beats to blast when I’m coding late in the lab.

    Comment by Jason McCandless — November 18, 2008 #

  11. the wesley willis song generator was the greatest thing on the internet. i submit it should be improved and republished.

    Comment by where's wesley? — November 23, 2008 #

  12. Hey Monzy.
    Just wanted to say that I completely agree, you do spit the dopest rhymes.
    I can’t wait for the remix and some more songs, you’re addictive.
    Haha.
    Forgive me if my english isn’t top quality, we swedes aren’t known for our good english.
    Much respect, Tony.

    Comment by Tony — December 3, 2008 #

  13. I’m pregnant with your geek child Monzy.

    Comment by scott — January 23, 2009 #

  14. Please fix Wesley Willis Song Generator.
    Please.

    Comment by Storm — April 4, 2009 #

  15. For the record on the ’98 archives, the “Mike Gerome, demonstrating the ‘Fun With Toilet Paper’ rush event” were actually paper towels as 3E in Morewood Towers had no toilet paper.

    Comment by Big ___ MIke — November 3, 2009 #

  16. Wow…Fun experiment with the marshmellows. Your pretty cute too.

    Comment by Alicia — December 27, 2009 #

  17. Can you make an archive or something with all your songs. Man you’re awesome!

    Comment by Vincent — February 6, 2010 #

  18. Monzy,

    Want to open for MC Frontalot at Cafe du Nord May 4th 2010? You’re still in CA, right? Let me know ASAP if you’d be interested.

    Blak Lotus
    blaklotus (( AT )) brandonpatton.com

    Comment by Blak Lotus — March 18, 2010 #

  19. This is cute. i like the fact you are still friends some 10+ years later!

    Comment by Zara — April 30, 2010 #

  20. at least 66.7% more pimpness

    Comment by Muffaletta — October 6, 2010 #

  21. MONZY I LOVE YOU I SAW YOUR VIDEO ONLINE AND THEN I KEEP SEEING YOU WALKING AROUND NEW YORK CITY.. ONCE I SAW YOU AT IRVING AND 15TH ANOTHER TIME SOMEWHERE ELSE AND I THINK I SAW YOU IN A BAR LAST NIGHT BUT I DIDNT WANT TO DISTURB YOUR CELEBRITY

    Comment by robert — August 18, 2011 #

  22. Where’s the new blog entriez at? I used to follow you back before I got into Media Lab. Now I’m out, and I moved to Silicon Valley just like you did. But I don’t know where to go or what to do next if you don’t tell me about your next adventures.

    Comment by Jay Silver — November 24, 2012 #

  23. I am sad that you stopped blogging. :’-(

    Comment by C. M. Yoo — April 13, 2013 #

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