MC Frontalot

Here's the secret about nerdcore: Either you get it or you don't. This hip-hop subgenre is essentially music for folks who enjoy tinkering around with the insides of PlayStations and quoting from Star Wars like it's Scripture. As for Frontalot, well, he's nerdcore's disseminator, originator, and poster child all wrapped into one. Secrets covers an exclusive lexicon — one that's bound to alienate listeners unfamiliar with MMORPGs, .rar files, and faulty Web browser encryption — but despite that, the album is sonically pleasing. The beats are tight, the production is crisp, and most of the hooks are catchy pleasures that rattle around like "Loser"-era Beck. Frontalot's lyrics are razor-sharp too: In "I Hate Your Blog," he plays the role of cantankerous Internet troll, fuming, "I hate your blog/You own a dog and you feed it/You post about it/I get to read it" while "Bizarro Genius Baby" has him pontificating that his own brilliant spawn may someday eclipse him in nerdcore skills. Not every song hits its mark, but if what you're aiming for is an approximation of Isaac Asimov covering Derelicts of Dialect, there are bound to be a few duds. For true nerds at heart, though, Secrets is the one album to rule them all.

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