In the year 20XX, two being come together to form the ultimate rap duo: MC Cliff B and DJ Stuck Down A Mineshaft. Together, they rock the nerdcore hip-hop genre with their rhymes about video games, tabletop roleplaying, fatty foods, Jerry Seinfeld, public radio, weekdays, diseases, bleeps, bloops, etc.
- Nerds know a lot about words.
- Rappers must know a lot about words to succeed.
- QED, nerds are the best rappers.
MC Cliff B - Rapper #1
DJ Stuck Down A Mineshaft - Also Rapper #1
- Pat Benatar Told Us To Stop Doing This (June, 2011)
- Hey Fartface, (June, 2012)
- Pat Benatar Told Us To Stop Doing This The Remix: 'tar Harder! (June, 2012)
- Burritos 'Till I Die (June, 2012)
Nerdcore Powers Activate!
[+ Show ]
The world of music is enormous. Trying to compile an exhaustive list of genres, sub-genres, cross-ge...The world of music is enormous. Trying to compile an exhaustive list of genres, sub-genres, cross-genres and the like results in concussions from foreheads slamming against walls. Most artists don’t even like to attempt classifying their own work. 2D6 is different. 2D6 is nerdcore hip-hop, plain and simple.
MC Cliff B and DJ Stuck Down A Mineshaft With a Broken Leg (DJ Stuck) have been friends since they met in high school at Austintown Fitch, where they inexplicably sat at the less-than-cool table and discussed topics like anime, pop-culture, games and whatever else crossed their minds.
In 2003, DJ Stuck introduced MC Cliff B to the world’s 579th greatest rapper – MC Frontalot, the name-giver of nerdcore. Music from MC Chris, most well-known for his work on The Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim cartoons, and MC Lars quickly followed, until they were both engrossed in music that would go on to shape their musical careers.
Not that it was nerdcore that turned them on to music. MC Cliff B spent eight years in choir before deciding to work on original music. DJ Shaft produced a few songs for www.SongFight.org under the name Everyone Likes Hats (winning two of his battles) and adopted his current moniker while working as a college radio DJ hosting a segment titled “Music For Geeks.” When they started working together on music, they still weren’t sure if they were going to tackle it seriously as a duo. “I put out a couple of EPs,” related MC Cliff B. “DJ Stuck did a featured appearance on one of them, but we still weren’t completely sure. We wrote together for over two years before we played our first show. It was at The Leaping Lizard in Cincinnati, and we only played it because our friend was getting married and they asked us to play at their wedding.”
It was a good thing they did, because they’ve become known as a hard-working band that will play any gig, regardless of what genres the other acts represent. Their combination of talent and energy may be most comfortable with like-minded artists, but they’ve played with bands that perform everything from punk to metal – including last month’s NeoFest at The Lemon Grove.
Part of their growing popularity can be attributed to the trending of nerd culture as a part of popular culture, and that doesn’t really bother them a bit. “It’s great for us as artists,” they said. “It helps us reach a larger demographic so we can capitalize on it. Some early adopters are slightly resentful of it, calling it ‘geek sheik’ and complaining that ‘this used to be ours.’ But we’re happy because it lets us reach as many people as possible.” MC Cliff B, who is a moderator on www.NerdcoreNow.com, continued, “and nerds aren’t as off-putting and offensive as a lot of other groups.”
Another reason they’re accepted by the local music scene (besides being local musicians, obviously) is the effort they put in to making the shows fun. Whether it is dressing up in strange outfits or tossing an assortment of objects into the crowd during their performance, the duo is always trying to do something unique. “We do something different each time,” said DJ Stuck. “We’ve done Mad-Libs and we’d like to pull off a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure during a show.”
Their performance is far from a put-on – they’re as nerdy off stage as they are on stage. When they were asked for their nerdiest moments, they had to sift through a laundry list before coming up with a favorite.
“I ran a panel about obscure video games at an anime convention while cosplaying Dracula from Castlevania,” reported DJ Shaft. MC Cliff B brought up dressing as Dr. Robotnik (from the Mega Man series of video games), but changed his mind after some thought. “I was having sex and I yelled out ‘Leroy Jenkins!’ She started to laugh, but it unfortunately interrupted her climax. There was also the time I laughed like Krusty the Clown at the exact moment I started to climax. That was extremely difficult.” Extremely difficult, yes, but also fully nerdcore street-cred worthy.
Since a lot of hip-hop’s lyrics revolve around sex, the question of their growing popularity and how it has impacted their love life had to be brought up. It was quickly cut short. “I haven’t gotten laid because of a performance,” laughed MC Cliff B, “I’ve gotten laid despite performances.” DJ Mineshaft added, “I’ve gotten hit on, but I didn’t hit that.”
Their lack of a “rockstar attitude” can be attributed to the idea that nerdcore music is usually much more comedic than serious, although some people are hoping that changes and the larger music community will begin to take the subgenre more seriously. “Within the nerdcore community there’s a big division between people who only want comedy and those that want it to be a more legitimate art form,” said MC Cliff B. “Some of us are legitimately trying to put out good hip-hop, but stay nerdy. Our [2D6] niche is comedy, but I’m working on a solo album. Why can’t I do both? I can have a dynamic and interesting flow while still staying relevant to the nerd community. I’m legitimate as far as skill level. At the end of the day, though, we’re here to entertain the audience. As long as we do that, we’re succeeding.”
Their CD, “Pat Benetar Told Us to Stop Doing This!” is certainly entertaining enough. With absurdly long song titles like “Homeward Bound is the Story of Some Dumb Animals Who Should’ve Stayed Lost,” it’s hard to know what to expect unless you listen to it. The titles have almost nothing to do with the content, as DJ Shaft explained: “We like to troll people sometimes, so we use really long names that have nothing to do with the song. Sometimes there’s a tangential relationship, but mostly it’s just fun.” The entire CD is available for free online, which you can find through their Facebook page (do a search for “2D6-music”), so there’s absolutely no excuse not to give it a try.
They’re even better live, and you can check them out November 4th at O’donold’s Irish Pub & Grill. I’ll be there, and I’ll buy the first person to mention this article a delicious beverage. If you miss that one, they’re headlining a LemonRock Thursday show at the Lemon Grove on November 24th.
Nerdcore hip-hop duo ready to take on world
[+ Show ]
The hip-hop project 2d6 got its start writing rap songs about National Public Radio, anime favorite ...The hip-hop project 2d6 got its start writing rap songs about National Public Radio, anime favorite Sailor Moon and board games.
Now it's working on a second album, which will be called ''Hey Fartface.''
DJ Stuck Down A Mineshaft, one half of the Youngstown / Canton-based dueo, explained the pair's songwriting and musical progression.
''On our new album, 'Hey Fartface,' we talk about subjects like grammar, vampires and Sigmund Freud,'' he said. ''Our production values as far as beats and mixing are concerned, have gotten a little bit better. There is not a lot of 'genesis' with our music, we just sing about stuff we love and think is dumb.''
Mineshaft and Cliff B. share vocals in 2d6, which takes its name from a slang term for gaming dice. The duo released its first album, ''Pat Benetar Told Us To Stop Doing This,'' in 2010, and ''Hey Fartface'' should be released this spring. The group has also appeared on numerous compilations.
The idea of 2d6 began when vocalist Cliff B. was writing and recording a solo album under the name MC Cliff B. He asked DJ Stuck Down A Mineshaft to sing some verses, and the musical chemistry of 2d6 was born.
"We had such a good time that we decided to do this project on a more permanent basis,'' Mineshaft said. ''Our first show in Cincinnati on June of 2010 was sort of the beginning of the band.''
"Nerdcore hip-hop" is the most obvious term to describe the band's music, but 2d6 draws influences from many musical genres.
"As far as nerdy music is concerned, we love all kinds of artists and we could probably both agree on acts like MC Frontalot, MC Chris, The Grammar Club, Deltron 3030, Jesse Dangerously and Mustache Required," Mineshaft said.
Some of Mineshaft's personal musical influences include artists like The Aquabats!, Das Racist and Jonathan Coulton.
The band is currently writing new material and working hard recording its second album. 2d6 also has collaborated with Youngstown dance artist Brandon Martin (a.k.a. Dr. Goo) on a few tracks.
"We wrote one called 'Dear Dr. Wrong Pt. VI: The Wrongening,' which is about a new dance invented that's done to the tune of the traditional Hebrew song 'Hava Nagila' (which translates to 'Let us rejoice, Let us be glad'). We wrote another song called 'We Object To Jane Austen's Use of Long Wongs," which is a track dedicated to the likes of J.K. Rowling and the long defunct Californian band, Bad Credit," Mineshaft said.
Mineshaft says 2d6 has been working tirelessly in between recording a new record and playing live shows across northeastern Ohio. Countless fun in the future is always the No. 1 option for 2d6.
"In the future, I think we'll probably buy a big thing of ice cream and probably eat the whole tub," Mineshaft said.
Haven’t heard of nerdcore hip-hop? Give 2D6 a roll
[+ Show ]
"DJ Stuck Down A Mineshaft and Cliff B comprise 2D6, and they wield words like a rapier rather than ..."DJ Stuck Down A Mineshaft and Cliff B comprise 2D6, and they wield words like a rapier rather than a bludgeon."
"On stage, Cliff is the straight man to Mineshaft, who bounces around the room spitting lyrics with slippery inflections over maddening synth melodies lifted from video games."
"The duo revels in nerdiness, but more importantly, they have fun with it and they get the crowd involved."
"Yes, braininess fuels 2D6’s fun, and you’ve got to appreciate the dense rhymes peppered with big words."
2d6 is bigger and better on sophomore release
[+ Show ]
Hip-hop duo 2d6 caught a lot of ears last year with its curveball of a debut album, “Pat Benatar Tol...Hip-hop duo 2d6 caught a lot of ears last year with its curveball of a debut album, “Pat Benatar Told Us to Stop Doing This.”
The Youngstown-based rappers — Cliff B and DJ Stuck — introduced nerdcore to the area, layering witty rhymes about geek-chic culture over video-game beats.
The act is back with new material with its sophomore effort, “Hey Fartface,” released this week. In advance of a show Saturday night at The Lemon Grove, Cliff and Stuck answered a few questions about 2d6.
Q. How does the new album vary from the debut? What themes does it explore?
Stuck: Our theme for this album? That’s ridiculous. Don’t be ridiculous.
Cliff: Well, there aren’t too many thematic differences. The biggest alterations we have made to our sound is actually learning to rap WELL. That, and we have more guests willing to work with us on this album. But, as far as thematically, we have songs about grammar, doctors, nostalgia for 1992, the existential discussion of what constitutes a real band versus a fake one, and others in which we would be ruining the surprise if I were to tell all of them. But this has higher quality wordplay from both Stuck and myself, as well as better beats by Stuck and better mixing by me. All in all, while there might not be too much diversion from a winning formula thematically, “Hey Fartface,” is a better quality product.
Q. 2d6 has been quiet for a few months, and I’m assuming that’s because you two were busy working on “Fartface.” But it looks like a lot of shows are planned to push the CD release. What can we expect?
Cliff: Well, it’s not so much that we were quiet, we just were out of the area. We’ve been in Columbus four times this year, up in Sandusky once, in the area a few times. Generally, up until summer began, we were only doing one to two shows per month, with Stuck’s chosen profession, as well as attending my college courses. And while we knew “Fart-face” would have a summer release, we weren’t sure exactly when it would be coming out, so we just planned a bunch of shows. And recently, we were asked to perform at the Cleveland Music Festival, August 9 through 12th. We’re going to be performing on the 12th, alongside a bunch of really talented artists. So, in a way, we will be promoting “Fartface.” But what you can expect is what has become standard for 2d6 — lightning-fast rhymes, candy-slingin’ and a high- energy debacle of rap music, which happens to be nerdy.
Stuck: If we aren’t performing live, we are barely a band. Even when we work on our new album, we still perform live shows. It’s our bread and butter.
Q. Your song and album titles often have no rhyme nor reason. That being said, tell me about the existential meditation on humanity that is inherent in the phrase “Hey Fartface,.”
Stuck: You’re serious. Stop being serious. Can we talk about knockwurst? Stuff is straight up taaaas-tee.
Cliff: Yeah, there’s absolutely nothing existential about “Hey Fartface,.” Remember, the comma is part of the title. It’s a copy editor’s nightmare, I’m sure. But, if there’s anything to be said philosophically about the name, it’s that an 8-year-old’s mind is a funny thing. When Stuck was just a young Stuck, he wrote a letter to his sister asking her to quit being mean to him, and “Hey Fartface,” is how it started off. Stuck tweeted a picture of the letter, and a musician we are friends with, Shael Riley, said we should use that for the title of our next album. Two things come to mind after reading that last sentence. The first is that I can’t believe tweeted is now an adjective in use that does not just refer to noises made by birds. The second is that “Hey Fartface,” really does capture the essence of 2d6: 27-year-olds rapping with the sense of humor of an 8-year-old.
1) We're Talkin' Tasty!
2) Dear Dr. Wong (P.S.: I Love You)
3) Crowd Song
4) Imagine Your Love Being Devoured By A Fat Man In A Gravy Stained Shirt
5) Homeward Bound Is The Story Of Some Dumb Animals Who Should Have Stayed Lost
6) Fuck That, Imma Chill
7) How Will I Ever Explain To My Friends Why I Have Tire Tracks Down My Back?
8) Bit Pop
The list can be shortened or lengthened as necessary.