Now, let's begin to type some words...

MC Frontalot is a hip-hop artist whose primary means of distribution is the internet. He is the official rapper of Penny Arcade and the self proclaimed "World's 579th-Greatest Rapper." His musical persona is based on obsessive-compulsive fronting. His music could be described as "Nerdcore Hiphop", which is only fair since he coined the term. You can download many of his fine tracks at www.frontalot.com.

MC Frontalot's music is, in my opinion, quite good. I must admit that I'm partial to the whole "geekster rap" thing in the first place, but the fact that this stuff is well executed gives it real repeat value. His vocals are supported with occasionally minimalistic, but always interesting, music. He samples things with a sort of mad wisdom. His lyrics are well written and often humorous. It's definitetly worth a listen.


On January 25, 2003 I tracked down the elusive MC Frontalot and subjected him to a brief email interview. The results follow with slight editing for formatting and typos. Mostly mine.

Q. Where and when were you born?
A. San Francisco, 1973

Q. Where did you grow up?
A. Berkeley

Q. Where did you attend highschool?
A. BHS

Q. Did you finish?
A. Oh yeah.

Q. Did you do any undergraduate studies? If so, where and in what?
A. English degree, Wesleyan University.

Q. Grad school? If so, where and in what?
A. Hell no.

Q. How long have you been making music? As MC Frontalot?
A. Music: since late high school. Renamed myself MC Frontalot when I moved from 4-track to PC, 1999.

Q. Please explain a little bit about what you use to record/mix/sequence/construct your music.
A. I do almost everything in Cool Edit Pro. I have a Delta 1010 sound card which sounds very nice.

Q. How much time do you spend working on MC Frontalot related projects a week? (replying to mail, working on music or the website, etc.)
A. Maybe an hour a week, unless I'm working on a song, then I'll spend (a) whole day(s) on it.

Q. How many fanmails do you receive a week, on average?
A. When a new song has been linked on Penny Arcade, lots. Most of the time, one or two a week if I'm lucky.

Q. Are you satisfied with the Valued Suckers Program? Does it cover expenses?
A. Yes, it's awesome. Those kids are the best. Web hosting and my legal copy of Cool Edit Pro have been covered so far.

Q. Any other comments about the financial aspects of being an independent musician that gives their music out for free?
A. Not lucrative; also pressure-free. Even minuscule success affords me 100% satisfaction.

Q. Did you coin the term "Nerdcore Hiphop"? If not, do you know who did?
A. Yeah, that's mine. But I love to share!

Q. Do you often listen to your own music?
A. Only when I'm too drunk to sleep.

Q. What MC Frontalot song are you most proud of?
A. Maybe Mountain Kind -- just because the various musics recombined so well and the chorus came out catchy. People smile and nod when I play it for them.

Q. Musically, are you a fan of MC Chris, MC Paul Barman or any of the other prominent nerdcore musicians?
A. Barman is great. Really solid delivery, and exceptional depth to his writing. MC Chris is hilarious, I love him. I wish he'd answer that email I wrote him two years ago.

Q. Have you had any contact with any of them? Is there any sense of community or camaraderie there?
A. MC Stephen Hawking and a Canadian named Jesse Dangerously and myself are working on a duet except you don't call it a duet with three people. Actually we're working on a whole NCHH sampler CD which we'll try to sell.

Q. How did the KOMPRESSOR collaboration come about?
A. He suggested it. I was a fan so I said yes. He actually writes all his emails like that: KOMPRESSOR HEAR RAPPING SONGS. KOMPRESSOR THINK IS OKAY FOR CRUSH MUSIC COLLABORATION MAKING. YOU WILL AGREE!! We did the whole recording via email.

Q. How did the Penny Arcade thing happen?
A. They said I was their official rapper so I recorded them a theme song. Attention from their site has gotten me probably 99% of my fans.

Q. Is "Indier Than Thou" a statement of actual angst about the indie rock one-upping mentality, or was it simply meant as a funny commentary on it?
A. Think of it as deft social satire.

Q. What's next? Plans for the future? Anything else to add that no one has bothered to ask?
A. I'll just hang out until someone paypals me enough money to get a tour started.

Current tracks available, as of March 2003:
Which MC was that?
Mountain Kind
Speed Queen
Good Old Clyde
Nerdcore Hiphop
Front the Most
Rewind
Crime Spree
Indier than Thou
Yellow Lasers
Listen Close
Floating Bridge
Penny Arcade Theme
Special Delivery
Rappers We Crush (with KOMPRESSOR)

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