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Bill Brown

A complicated man.

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MC Frontalot just released Solved, his fifth album (CD? Set of downloads?), and it's an excellent piece of work. (If you're in Phoenix, you simply must attend his concert on September 10th. I've been to all of his other shows in town over the years and they're wonderful.)

Here's how I'd rank his CDs:

  1. Nerdcore Rising
  2. Solved
  3. Final Boss
  4. Secrets from the Future
  5. Zero Day

Solved is just that good! Now, there's great songs on every one of the previous albums, so this is just a perspective on them as an aggregate. I've listened to it about a dozen times since I got it—like many of Frontalot's works, you have to ease into them.

Here's my rundown of the best of Solved:

  1. I'll Form the Head: I watched Voltron every morning as a child and this song just cracks me up. Money line: "I think it's time that we combine and rip this thing to shreds / but only if you promise me that I can form the head!"
  2. Captains of Industry: I'm also a fan of MC Lars, so this collaboration worked really well for me. I really like when Frontalot begs for his audience to actually compensate him for his work. Money part:
    Try to sell music, they look at you funny.
    Not a transaction that necessitates money,
    not with the true cunning of the kids in the know.
    But you look at them cheering -- notice what? They don't sew.
    Don't go to the print shop and silkscreen their own,
    yet they're always needing something to cover the torso.
  3. Stoop Sale: very catchy tune. Frontalot doesn't often journey into the storytelling genre, but he's a master at it when he does. Money line: "And that's when you have to endure / the regret that accompanies said decision-making: / all the other wishes in the world that you've forsaken."
  4. Just Once: this track is a crackup—could this be a problem he'd like to have? Money line: "Just once, I don't want to hump tonight. / Why can't we hang out and talk?"
  5. Front the Least: a track of modesty. Money line: "And the worst thing about my mistakes is they're all reruns."
  6. Nerd versus Jock: playing to the audience, to be sure. Solid effort. Money line: "Look at now: demand for nerds. Old jocks: stock on clearance."
  7. The Sketches: this is the first album of his where I don't generally skip through the interstitial sketches. They're funny and I'm glad to have been introduced to Wyatt Cenac.

I'd recommend this CD to anyone intrigued by nerdcore hiphop, the genre of rap that MC Frontalot created in 2000. He's an amazing wordsmith and produces some really funky beats as well.