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ytcracker nerd life CD Review

by December 07, 2006

Label: nerdy south records
Price: $12 + $4.95 shipping | Buy Online

If you knew me, it wouldn't surprise you that I will occasionally mess around on Podcast.net trying to find the worst podcasts just so I can mock them. If they're really bad, I'll send them to all my friends. Well, one day I came across one that used a track from ytcracker as their opening music. I had never heard anything like it. It was rap, sure, but the lyrics were totally different from anything I'd ever experienced. The hosts of the show started talking about the album (which could be downloaded free online) and described it as "Nerd Rap." Nerd Rap? This was something I had to check out in more detail!

Review Methodology

Discs are listened to a minimum of twice with at least a 24 hour separation between the listening sessions. During session one, notes are taken on the subjective experience of the implementation of the stereo mix (in this case) along with notes on other features. During session two, the original notes are compared and expanded upon during the listening experience. Additional listening sessions are added as needed. Before each session, speaker calibration is checked using an SPL meter and the test-tones on the receiver, in this case the Denon AVR-3805.

The Songs

(the first track along with anything containing the word "shout" are just talking)

1) the beginning

2) shouts

3) still dg (tanner4105 mix)

4) reintroduction

5) slope

6) padillac shouts

7) shineback

8) game theory

9) shouts

10) everyone knows

11) nerdy swagger

12) social engineering

13) downloadupload

14) untouchable

15) shouts

16) random toxicity

17) nerd life


Nerd rap, spam rap, geek rap, geeksta rap, nerdcore hip hop… whichever name you choose… are all very apropos. The idea is that spammers and hackers are the new "gangstas". On some level, it makes a sort of sense. While they may not use guns or sell drugs, their activities surely have more far reaching effects than your typical gang banger turned rapper. They rap (among other things) about their "lifestyle" which sounds remarkably similar to a typical rapper except that instead of talking about how many people they killed or dope they sold they talk about checking email, sending spam, and writing code. They even mention the IRC channel that they can be found on! With a perchance to sampling video game themes rather than 70's disco, it's hard not to smile as they rhyme about math, computer components/programs, video games, and the fact that they guys that used to beat them up now work for them (or flip burgers).

Audio Quality and Stereo Implementation

Like most rap, the audio quality is only as good as the sampled music. There is quite a bit of variation on this album. Some of the tracks are pretty clean while others show a lot of compression. Really, compression is apparent on all the tracks but is more bothersome on a few. The vocals are mostly very clear and centered in the soundstage. There is a ton of low end (as to be expected with rap) but I didn't find it overbearing (I'm of the opinion that rap should bump).

There isn't a whole lot of complexity to this music, and frankly, there doesn't need to be. Most of the Nerd Rap out there sounds like someone with a $20 mic and a Mac. Compared to that, ytcracker's release is light-years better. When comparing to a mainstream rapper, the quality of this release is not significantly less. In a lot of ways, I think the bass is a bit better on nerd life than on some of the other rap albums I own. I'm amazed when I compare this release with ytcracker's first release. The difference in quality is significant. I'm looking forward to his next release if for no other reason than to see how much better he gets.

Even on his first release, nerdrap entertainment system , ytcracker made good use of the stereo format. Some of the pans were quick and gimmicky, but given the tongue-in-cheek tone of the album, they work. On nerd life , the stereo format seems to be a bit more refined. They are more subtle and better integrated into the songs as a whole. There were few pans but the occasional sound effect would be anchored in one speaker or the other. It all seemed to work well and added to my listening experience.


None to speak of. Lyrics aren't needed as you can understand most everything (though you may need a background in programming to understand all of the references).


A few seconds of research will reveal that ytcracker was the hacker that broke into a number of high profile government websites including NASA (and if you're too lazy for that, just listen to the fist track on this album - it is right there). How you get from hacking to rap… I'm not sure. This music is still very underground and is really targeted for a select group - which must be expanding as they got what sounds like one of the voice actors from Adult Swim's Metalocalypse to do a "shout". With a bit of background in programming and a long history of wasting time in front of video games, I find that this music has a campy appeal that I can't deny. While it may not be the pinnacle of recording excellence, it had me tapping my toes, nodding my head, and smiling more than just about anything I've listened to recently. If you find yourself at all interested, you owe it to yourself to at least download his first album or his collaborations under the name STC (spamtec) - he's the best on those albums in my opinion. They're free and (I hope) spam free J . If you like what you hear, ordering this album is a no-brainer.

by Tom Andry

Subjective Score Card (notes from the Author)

All Stereo (two channel) audio reviews that I conduct are a comment on the quality of the sound and implementation of the stereo effects as well as a description of the musical style. While I have opinions about musical style, substance, implementation, lyrics, and such, the purpose of this review is to inform the reader as to the style of music (to inform those that have never heard the artist before) and to comment on the quality of the (in this case) 2 channel mix. M y subjective experience with the musical style is highly influenced by my personal tastes and preferences.

In order to better understand the rating scale below, I have included descriptions of what I consider each Rating Level to be. I shy away from half and quarter points as I think they add nothing to the rating scale. If I wanted a 20 point rating scale, I'd use one. In my experience, any rating scale more than five points only confuses the ratings, not adds clarity.

Lastly, while the Overall score is determined by the Audio Quality and Implementation scores, it is not an average of the two. The Overall rating is just as subjective as the Quality and Implementation and therefore stands alone. Do not expect to see many 4's or 5's in my ratings. Average means exactly that - the majority of reviews should fall in this category. Only exceptional products will fall within the 4 category and only transcendental ones will score in the coveted 5 range. A score of 3 indicates that most people will be satisfied with (but not blown away by) the product. A score of 2 can be considered to be recommended but with reservations. Some may still enjoy the product, but most will either not care for it or outright despise it. A rating of 1 should be avoided at all costs.


About the author:
author portrait

As Associate Editor at Audioholics, Tom promises to the best of his ability to give each review the same amount of attention, consideration, and thoughtfulness as possible and keep his writings free from undue bias and preconceptions. Any indication, either internally or from another, that bias has entered into his review will be immediately investigated. Substantiation of mistakes or bias will be immediately corrected regardless of personal stake, feelings, or ego.

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