Happy Birthday, MC Frontalot!

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Not to be outdone by the birthday-related antics of a certain Jonathan Coulton earlier this week, Godfather of nerdcore Hip-Hop and the self-proclaimed “world’s 579th greatest rapper” MC Frontalot turns a year older this very day!

Frontalot, known for tax purposes as Damian Hess, began the long road to geek superstardom in San Francisco before moving to New England to attend Wesleyan University, eventually permanently relocating to that mecca of both hip-hop and nerds, New York. Along the way he rose to (internet) prominence as part of the Song Fight! community. Perhaps more importantly to his musical development, Front found a friend and long-time collaborator in Gaby “Gminor7” Alter at Berkley’s Emerald Rain Productions, which both allowed him to hone his understanding of the ancient art of the pop narrative and made him the only known rapper capable of non-ironically admitting his roots in musical theater.

In honor of Damian’s special day I could do many things. I could point you to my debut nerdcore interview, a meeting that not only cemented my position as chronicler of geeky music but also served as the first of many delightful interactions with MC Frontalot. I could call your attention to his Nerdcore Rising documentary, a stirring recollection of Front’s first nation-wide tour and the birth of the nerdcore hip-hop movement. I could direct you to his newest single, the freely downloadable title track from his most recent album Final Boss. Hell, I could even reveal the secret location of a rather embarrassing college-era picture of the aforementioned Hess recently posted by friend and bass player Brandon “Blak Lotus” Patton.

But why do that when I can show you this divine creature in his natural habitat?

So let us pause on Front’s 36th birthday to relive his triumphant return to the Penny Arcade Expo stage earlier this year. Picture it: the concert is already running behind schedule, and a packed house of nerdcore faithful is informed that MC Frontalot has been unavoidably detained. In lieu of the scheduled entertainment, Mr. Wil Wheaton has graciously offered to regale them with a little Rock Band action until such a time as the headliner can take the stage. But then, from behind the curtain, a familiar shape emerges.

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