10 Nerdcore, Nerd-Folk, and Other Geeky Artists to Add to Your Playlist

Clockwise from left, the Doubleclicks, LEX the Lexicon Artist, SΔMMUS, and Richie Branson.
Clockwise from left, the Doubleclicks, LEX the Lexicon Artist, SΔMMUS, and Richie Branson.
Photo: The Doubleclicks, José Ginarte, Image: LEX the Lexicon Artist (YouTube), Richie Branson (YouTube)

Alex Trebek may not understand what nerdcore is, but that doesn’t make it any less awesome. The music subgenre dedicated to everything geeky is just one of the many realms of music celebrating nerds. We’ve put together a list of some of our favorite nerdcore, nerd-folk, and otherwise genre-loving artists that you should definitely have on your radar.

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We all know Janelle Monáe, Lil Nas X, and Weird Al Yankovic, but there are so many other nerdy musical artists out there creating amazing music all about geek culture, video games, and the wonders of being an introvert. These are just a few of our picks. Be sure to let us know in the comments which nerdcore artists you’ve been jamming out to during these tough times.

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SΔMMUS

SΔMMUS is a New York-based rap artist with a PhD in science and technology studies. Her music covers topics like gaming culture and Afrofuturism—she’s even released an entire concept album about Metroid. She doesn’t identify as a nerdcore artist, but said in an interview that she appreciates how the genre has brought fans to her music.

Mc chris

Mc chris is one of the staples in the nerdcore genre. You’ve probably heard one of his most famous songs, “fett’s vette”—and if you haven’t what are you doing I literally linked it right above this.

LEX the Lexicon Artist

New York City-based rap artist LEX the Lexicon Artist is the perfect blend of insight and irreverence. Her music is fun and relatable—like really, really relatable. So relatable you might start crying. She just came out with a new album, “Alter Ego,” but I’m highlighting my favorite song from her, “Artist Anthem,” because it is just too real.

Mega Ran

Mega Ran is one of the leading voices in nerdcore rap and for good reason. Currently based in Phoenix, Mega Ran is the artist to collaborate with in the industry. That’s because he can make a brilliant track out of anything. Stranger Things. Castlevania. Even Alex Trebek (hmm). He recently released a rap remix of “Toss a Coin to Your Witcher” from Netflix’s The Witcher. Even if you’re sick of that song (which is no one), it’s worth a listen.

Professor Elemental

Professor Elemental is a “chap hop” artist, a subgenre from Great Britain that incorporates steampunk and English tropes like loving tea, scones, and general pleasantries. He has a song called “Housebound Hedonist” about enjoying yourself while staying indoors—oddly prescient considering it came out in 2018. But I’m profiling his biggest hit, “Cup of Brown Joy,” because it’s an absolute delight.

The Doubleclicks

The Doubleclicks are a sibling duo who focus on nerdy folk-pop. Their songs cover things like why books are always better than their movie adaptations and how cool dimetrodons are. One of their more-recognizable songs, “Cats and Netflix,” recently got an update for 2020. You can guess what it’s about.

Richie Branson

Richie Branson, also known as the “Otaku King,” is a San Francisco-based nerdcore rap artist who focuses on Japanese culture and gaming. You’ve probably heard his work on Rooster Teeth’s genLOCK. I shared one of his newer releases, “Hentai Lamborghini,” because it’s damn hilarious.

MC Lars

MC Lars is a self-proclaimed “lit hop” artist whose work has delved into everything from Edgar Allen Poe to Game of Thrones. His songs are a fun blend of nerdcore, punk, and early-2000s emo—like “Guitar Hero Hero,” which feels like it came straight out of high school prom.

Allie Goertz

Allie Goertz is a folk artist who specializes in “nerdy love songs.” Back in 2015, she experimented a bit with a synth-based concept album about Rick and Morty, which featured the song “Dance Bitch,” but hasn’t released much since then. However, she recently remerged with a song about social distancing and has started releasing new content on YouTube.

Dr. Awkward

Dr. Awkward is a San Diego-based rap artist who’s done songs on topics like Jonah Hex, Final Fantasy VII, and The Last of Us. He’s also got some great collaborations, like this one for “Now Hiring” a song about a villain seeking a hero with Schaffer the Darklord (another great nerdcore artist).

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Video Editor and Staff Writer at io9. My doppelganger is that rebelling greeting card from Futurama.

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Ratchet when he's all hopped up on synthetic energon

How do you have an entire list of Nerdcore and not have the OG of nerdcore himself, MC Frontalot?