His image: unmistakable. His beats: infectious. His rhymes: a celebration of nerdom. And his phone? A G1! Ladies and gentlemen, Androidandme are proud to present our first Celebrity Android User: MC Frontalot!
MC Frontalot (nee Damian Hess) has been releasing music for a little over ten years now. In that time he has built a cult following, created a hip-hop subgenre, released 3 albums, and been the subject of an acclaimed documentary. When we noticed @mc_frontalot tweeting via Twidroid we asked if he would answer some questions for our readers about himself and his experiences with Android.
Androidandme: Can you tell our readers about yourself and how you came to be the (self-proclaimed) 579th best rapper in the world?
MC Frontalot: That number was very carefully, very scientifically determined. The fact that it hasn’t changed in 9 years speaks only to the fact that all other rappers have been improving at precisely the same rate as I have.
Anyway, yes. I’m a rapper. I became a rapper through wanting to be one, having a web page, and being lucky.
Androidandme: You have been labeled as the inventor of the term “Nerdcore”. What defines “Nerdcore” music? Does it extend to other mediums?
MC Frontalot: Nerdcore is about converting shame into bravado. It is not difficult, when compared to other branches of alchemy. All you have to do is take your feelings of inadequacy and express them through smugness. I sort of open-sourced the word, so really people should feel free to apply it to anything.
Androidandme: You were the subject of a documentary, “Nerdcore Rising“. What was it like having a film crew following your exploits on your first real tour?
MC Frontalot: I wish I’d realized at the time that the movie was going to get such a great response. I wouldn’t have been so grouchy about all the times (Executive Producer and Director) Negin Farsad wanted us to pretend to load our equipment back into the club because there was a tape problem the first time.
Androidandme: Have you noticed an increased following since “Nerdcore Rising” was made available on Netflix streaming?
MC Frontalot: Netflix streaming is clearly the thing that people like to look at instead of television these days. I think there are a lot of folks watching the movie out of curiosity there, folks who might have flipped right past it on cable. I see them on twitter and on their blogs, talking about discovering it, trying to share their discovery with the rest of internet. It’s perfect.
Androidandme: You attempted to quit smoking by treating it as a Dungeons & Dragons game. Was Breathorr Inflatagon able to survive the constant poisoning attempts?
MC Frontalot: There was a major problem with the system that I came up with. Every time I made my save vs poison and did not smoke a cigarette, I just had to suffer through nic fits until the next roll. The unpredictable punishment schedule was awful. Also, I revealed myself as a particularly bad DM, who, after several drinks, was willing to re-roll quite steadily until a poisoning landed. The solution is: save vs poison, you HAVE to chew a nicotine gum. Then your fiending doesn’t build up by random amounts all day.
Androidandme: To add to your nerd resume, you have two songs (“Living At the Corner of Dude and Catastrophe” and “Origin of Species”) available for download for the video game Rock Band. The band Rush have publicly failed at playing their own songs in Rock Band. How does the rapper in question fair against his own music in Rock Band?
MC Frontalot: I can do the vocals on Expert. The instruments, I’m more of a Medium type of guy. Hard for bass sometimes.
Androidandme: How long have you been using the Android platform? What is your primary Android device?
MC Frontalot: I picked up my G1 on tour in December of 2008. I’m typing this interview on it in my neighborhood coffee shop.
Androidandme: Are you using a third party ROM (such as CyanogenMod)?
MC Frontalot: I have to run stock, alas. It’s because of this great program called Merchant that lets me run credit cards at shows. I guess none of the bought apps with the basic encryption on them will run on the hax0r builds. If that thing weren’t mission critical, I’d be trying to figure out how to get Android 2 on here. I’m still holding out hope that someone will write a tethering app that doesn’t require root.
Androidandme: Why Android? Why not an iPhone?
MC Frontalot: I can’t type on an iPhone. It gives me the feeling of big meat fingers. I really hope they keep developing Android devices with physical keyboards. That’s my biggest feature need.
Androidandme: What are your favorite Android apps?
MC Frontalot: Google Voice is amazing. Goggles is pretty impressive. Shazam still kind of makes me feel like I’m living in a sci-fi movie. I run Twidroid and the stock Gmail and SMS clients all the time. Phonalyzer helps keep my T-Mobile bill low. ScummVM and Twisty and Nesoid for emulation. ACV for comic book reading.
Androidandme: What other tech/gadgets could you not live without?
MC Frontalot: My Thinkpad is a dear friend. I just upped the ram and put Win7x64 on there, so it’s like a whole new creature. All the rest of my gadgetry is audio equipment. I recently got a V-Studio 100, which works as a field recorder, as a control surface to remote-engineer myself from my vocal booth, and as a karaoke DJ for when I have to do a show without my band. It is the sexiest toy I own.
Androidandme: Since you are a musician, I have to ask: What do you use for your ringtones? Which MC Frontalot songs would you suggest our readers use as ringtones?
MC Frontalot: I use an antique phone ring that has a weird pattern so I can tell it apart from all the other faux analog rings that everyone in Brooklyn seems to favor. Maybe This Old Man would make a nice ringtone? I don’t understand why people use songs for ringtones. If you like a song, why would you want to hear it out of your shitty phone speaker five times a day?
Androidandme: What is in the future for MC Frontalot?
MC Frontalot: The new album is underway. It’s called Zero Day and it will be out at the beginning of April along with a national tour. Updates on that kind of thing are always at frontalot.com.
A big thanks to MC Frontalot for taking time out to answer our questions. Do you know of a Celebrity Android User? Let us know.