Nerd culture is becoming more prevalent and celebrated in today’s society. Topics such as anime, comics, sci-fi, and video games that once caused people to be targets of ridicule, are now a focal point in today’s ever-growing social networks and content creation avenues. We’ve seen the proliferation of events, podcasts, sketch comedy channels, art, and businesses of all sorts gravitate towards these topics.
Music is no exception. Nerdcore is a sub-genre of hip-hop that draws subject matter and inspiration from classically “nerdy” topics. The term is a portmanteau of “nerd” and “hardcore”. The subject of anime alone has been referenced in various hits from artists such as Kanye West, Childish Gambino, Megan Thee Stallion, Lupe Fiasco, Lil Uzi Vert, Migos, Soulja Boy, and so many more.
H.A.G Entertainment is in a unique position that allows us to connect with upcoming artists that let their “nerd flag fly”. We first met Mark Cooper, a nerdcore rapper and producer from Detroit, MI, while attending Dream Convention 2021. Dream Con is an anime, gaming, and content creation convention held by notable YouTubers RDCWorld. Mark Cooper and the H.A.G team were both volunteering to staff the event.
Mark’s large catalog of work consists of verses and cyphers with many references to Transformers, Power Rangers, Halo, Naruto, Tron, and a variety of game systems and titles. Mark is on the fast track to stardom and a talent one should definitely pay attention to. He’s performed at many reputable events such as PAX South, Liberty City Anime Con, MAGFest, and Blerdcon just to name a few.
His newest work, Gerald’s Field, is the final chapter in a 5-part saga titled Player One. The epic story follows the journey of our protagonist, Mark, who’s trapped in a video game wielding his Nintendo Power Glove as his only weapon in his fight to escape. Gerald’s Field will be released on the Ultimate Tuesday, February 22nd (2/22/22).
What is your earliest memory of you making music?
For my 14th birthday, I wanted a keyboard for some reason. I honestly didn’t know how to play it at all lol. Each day I would push one key at a time. Eventually, it turned into chords and then became super effective in my career.
What is your favorite part of making music?
My favorite part of creating music is being able to combine the right harmonies of different instruments. It feels like a puzzle that you are always excited to solve to see the finished product of your creation. It’s
What are some artists that you would love to one day work with?
Well I would say, Daft Punk, Eminem, Royce da 5’9, Thundercat, Gorillaz, Mike Shinota.
Who are some of your favorite artists right now? What about all time?
T-pain, Eminem, Drake, Pylot, Essenger Mega Ran. All time? Micheal Jackson, Phil Collins, Bee Gees, Daft Punk
Who are your musical inspirations? Are there any specific elements from certain artists that you have adopted?
Rapper wise- Eminem, Royce Da 5 ‘9, Joell Ortiz, Joyner Lucas, Joe Budden Producer Wise- Cool and Dre, Alchemist, Blizzard the Mad Scientist, Kanye West, Daft Punk, 80s movie scores . The elements I’ve adopted were the storytelling, bar heavy, and melodic cinematic sound.
For someone interested in becoming a musician, what advice would you give them?The best advice I would give is to make sure no matter what to always have fun making music and keep it that way. Fame can come and go but love doesn’t if it’s real.
If you could start all over again, what is something you would change or wish you would have known?I would Change My health habits, continued playing sports. took Music lessons.
What is the hardest part about being a musician?The 10,000 hours of mastery, temptations to procrastinate, executing and completing more then one project. Not to mention the entire business side.
What is something you would like the audience to keep in mind as they listen to your music?My music is full with nostalgia type topics that you and/or family has either experienced or grew up with. It’s fun for all ages and it’s a roller coaster experience.
Please enlighten us on how you improve your craft. Aside from just practice makes perfect, are there any techniques, exercises, strategies or routines you implement to stay up on your game?I always like to set goals and challenges for myself to create following certain obstacles. Ex. make a beat tape using only samples from video games or tv shows. Those types of challenges really diversify my producer experience and I match the same challenges with my song topics as well.
What attracted you to the nerdcore music genre? What subjects of interest do you most relate to and when did these interests develop for you?Well the nerdcore genre gave me a sense of belonging music wise. As a Blerd it felt like it was a place I could make the type of music I’ve always wanted to make. My relation to this type of nerd culture would be all the above. I generally focus on things I grew up with like power rangers, dragon ball z etc. I still watch the current stuff to this day so of course that’s a source of inspiration.
What is your favorite anime of all time? Who is your favorite character from that anime?Dragon Ball Z and Goku,
What is your favorite game of all time and what are you currently playing?Halo, Dying Light 2
Has anime, manga, comics or video games taught you any lessons that you try to keep in mind as it pertains to your music career or life?Tons of lessons. Never give up when things get tough, friendships are forever, never leave the house without eating lol
What is your approach to storytelling? What inspires you to create intricate stories in your music and what do you do when you feel creatively stuck?
Storytelling is just a creative way to express your imagination to an audience. So with mine, I would make
stories relatable in some way to everyone. If I ever get creatively stuck I go back to watching/ doing the things I love to do.