Rhymesters Put Heart in Nerdcore

    The Mack ‘N Biz
    Just the Tip
    UNSIGNED

    If normal-dude jokester Asher Roth had the guts to take himself seriously, he might sound something like the Mack ‘N Biz. UCSD’s own nerdcore hip-hop duo is about to release their first full-length mixtape, Just the Tip — and while the album may be more filler than killer, they do show off the chillaxed type of honesty and slick, popped-collar production that no gimmick group could hope to pull off.

    On tracks like “Fuck Class,” Andy Mack and AJ Biz bring a frat-boy swagger to the macho sensibility that has too long been the province of grim-faced gangstas owning the genre. It’s the album’s standout track, full of shoutouts to campus landmarks like Porter’s Pub and that one weird-looking guy who works at the parking office.

    The duo struts through verses, trampling a sea of triumphant synthesizers: “Fuck class, I don’t wanna do that/ I just wanna get high and rap.” Their direct approach is admirable, and when they pull it off, the complete lack of self-consciousness is a powerful contrast to clowns like Roth.

    The stuff about love, though, becomes embarrassing: “Electric Bitch” brings ghetto misogyny to the suburbs, while “Dreamin’ Bout You” could only be meaningful to a 14-year-old. Their venture into politics fares no better, with “State of the Union” mired in cliche, a whiny tirade against capitalism and George W. Bush, the easiest asshole to hate on the face of the Earth.

    Ironically, their most mature songs are about the most immature topics, like the technicalities of getting fucked up. Now that’s a rap we can relate to.

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