Round Two Challenge

Round Two: Nerd Life

Overall Theme:  This is a track about the reality of your life as a nerd.  Media defines our geeky selves in very stereotypical and often times caricatured ways.  What is it like being you as a geek?  What was it like?  Were there good days?  Where is your community?  Playing the part of a character can be a real escape, but hip hop, and much music in general, is rooted in the experiences, struggles, and successes of the artists that make it.  Forgive me for this following sentence.  Let’s keep it real in round two, teams!

Vocalist Challenge:

The subject of this track is pretty broad.  As long as it is truthful, rooted in who you are as a person, then it is fair game.  This can be broad, like a full telling of your youth growing up as a geek, or specific, like the day you met the love of your life.  The main goal here is to get across the details, emotions, and experience of yourself to the audience.


  1. Avoid spinning tall yarns.  This isn’t how you would like your life to be.  This is about how it is.  Come from the heart, come from your history or your present.  Feel free to dig deep into how you felt, what your situation was, and how you evolved, changed, or reacted as a person because of it.
  2. Remember that this is a nerdcore competition.  This doesn’t have to be about a geeky experience but every person has them.  How Batman influenced them as a human being.  Their first convention experience.  If it isn’t about a geeky experience, don’t be shy to use comparisons, metaphors, and imagery to help better define and relay your experience that relate to geek/fan culture.
  3. This song doesn’t HAVE to be about the struggle.  This can be a positive, up beat song.  Everyone has good days, bad days, good years, bad years, good events, bad events.  All of these add up to who you are.
  4. Try to keep your song subject matter on point, however.  Don’t just give us a laundry list about your features as a human being.  We don’t need bullet points, we need a picture painted for us.

Producer Challenge: 

After working with your vocalist on the subject of the song, work with them to create a beat that lines up with that experience.  If you can find a shared experience or time in your lives (not necessarily shared physically) all the better.  Similar to Round 1, you’re looking to craft a beat that compliments and further relays the tale that the vocalist is telling.  This can include samples, vocal drops, sound effects, etc.


  1. Both the mood and tone of the beat must match the vocalist’s subject matter.  We want there to be a reason for your melody choices, BPM, and song structure.  If the song is a journey, think about abandoning a chorus for a song comprised of movements instead.  If it is about 3 specific times of rejection from relationships, thing about returning to a hook that applies to all of them but tweaking each verse to fit the specific scenario.
  2. The beat must be originally created for this competition.  The idea is that you’re working together to create an original piece of music that means something to the both of you and doing your best to convey that to an audience.  Sometimes the perfect beat can be found in your library to express those emotions and experiences, but more often or not it is found.
  3. Focus on using tricks to further imagine the situation and draw the audience in further.  If it was about the first time a vocalist performed in front of an audience, think about adding background party/social noises.  If it is about a bad breakup look for vocal samples of breakup voicemails.  If it is about losing a close friend, family member, or significant other, think about societally associating noises like rain, church bells, etc. 
  4. Discuss with your vocalist on what is working for you and what isn’t.  This is about your own ability to relate to the subject as well.  We all have histories that share similar experiences.  Use that.

Example of where these aspects already exists in Nerdcore

This song details the true experience Beefy has with last minute shows.  This is something a lot of live-booking artists can relate to.

The heartbeat monitor worked into the beat, the early statement by the doctor, these all enter the track to help with the imagery.  We can’t speak for the authenticity of the track, but the production design integration is very solid.

Again, the track doesn’t HAVE to be a sad track.  It doesn’t HAVE to be about your childhood.  It doesn’t HAVE to be about a geeky event.  These are all options; just as doing a track about working at a comic book store, if that is or was your job, or the best Christmas you ever had, are all in play.


If you have any concerns or question please address them to

Edit: Additional Challenge parameters below:

You MUST use multi-rhymes throughout the song.  We will make the chorus of the song exempt from this rule, however multis are expected throughout at least 50% of your verse bars (ending in an at least 3 syllable rhyme.)

Rather than just rhyming rat, cat and bat, all of which are one syllable, you would rhyme more words in each bar.

For example:

If you can’t stand the thought of a sucking chest wound

You better get yourself a motherfucking vest soon

Four syllables at the end of each bar rhyme.

Producers:  You are driving this. 
The beat has to be created to help tell the vocalists story. In either
case, if the personal story is about a traumatic trip to the dentist
it should involve creating a beat using dentist drills for samples OR
using samples throughout that tell the story, car sounds
and the sounds of traffic in the background leading up to a terrible
car crash.  If you want to write a track about how much your mother
means to you - you better go and pull some samples of your momma’s
voice to go into the song.

These samples must be executed clearly and predominately displayed throughout the track.

Posted: 1 year ago / 1 note

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