**All shows 21+—valid ID required**
Doors: 7:00 PM
Show: 7:30 PM
MC Frontalot (née Damian Hess) is the original mastermind of Nerdcore Hip-Hop and still its Final Boss. Front was born in San Francisco and grew up in Berkeley. He was tall and scrawny, had trouble breathing, and could not see well. A special teacher was called in to help him attain basic competence on the monkey bars, another to give him standardized tests meant for older children. Thusly, he was the most popular kid in his elementary school. Just kidding! He got pushed down a lot and called “nerd.” Did he maybe even deserve it? I mean, really – who strikes out at kickball? He spent the next twenty years or so trying to get over it. And kind of succeeded! Flash forward to 1999: the dotcom bubble is maximally inflated; nerds everywhere imagine themselves to be popular and/or hip. Damian is getting overpaid to code web pages, which leaves him free in the evenings to play with audio software. A longtime idolizer of rappers, he has been committing his own esoteric hip-hop compositions to four-track tape since high school, revealing them to nobody. But, suddenly! Multi-track desktop studios, cheap pro-grade recording hardware, skyrocketing bandwidth, semi-anonymous web publishing: these factors converge on Damian’s rap hobby like a flock of winged monkeys. He posts an MC Frontalot web page, dubbing his output “Nerdcore Hip-Hop” because his audience is composed of several Star Wars figurines who live on his desk (and also random internet people who click on his MP3s by mistake).
Random, aka Mega Ran, aka RandomBeats... Teacher, Rapper, Hero. Guinness World Record Holder. When LA Weekly said that Ran’s “fanbase and niche audiences are growing at a rate not seen since Tech N9ne,” they meant it. A former middle school teacher, Mega Ran (formerly Random) blends education, hip-hop and gaming in amazing new ways, penetrating the farthest reaches of the galaxy with his unique rhyme style and electric performances. Ran cut his teeth in the city of Philadelphia as a moonlighting emcee and producer, performing, freestyle rapping, producing and later engineering at a studio. After relocating to Phoenix, competing in the Scribble Jam emcee battle championships and taking an early exit, Ran almost quit before he was even started, when a creative lightning bolt struck, and a fire was lit. Video games, comic books and pop culture, all such huge factors in Ran’s upbringing, would begin to seep their way into his musical output, and the results were stunning. Ran’s music and story have been shared on stages across the world, on television (ABC/NBC News, ESPN, Portlandia, Tosh.O, WWE Wrestling) and on Billboard, where four of his albums have placed on the Top 200 list, including 2021's "Live 95" debuting at #6 on the Hip-Hop Charts. His musical resume boasts collaborations with legends like Del The Funky Homosapien, MURS, Kool Keith, and Young RJ of the group Slum Village. Today, Mega Ran is no longer a teacher by title, but maintains a rigorous touring and recording schedule, traveling the world to entertain and educate through the gift of rhyme.
Heroes For Hire
Magnetic The Shaman