A year and change ago, nerd-based rapper, Eugene Ahn aka Adam WarRock was rocking an in-store show at my comic shop, Super-Fly Comics and Games. WarRock was then still up and coming and hustling hard with his debut album, The War for Infinity. The album was a great opening foray into the nerdcore hip hop field. Since then, he’s been on tour with MC Chris, played all over the country, released numerous free tracks and EPs and received a huge amount of press and Twitter love because of it. But on his latest LP, You Dare Call That Thing Human?!?, WarRock has proved that he’s ready to take the next step toward the title of “Internet’s foremost comic book rapper”.
The first thing listener will notice is how WarRock has tremendously stepped his game up on “You Dare..” From the opening track “Human” to the closer “Inhuman”, WarRock has taken his styles from his first album and completely tempered and refined it. Every song on “You Dare…” shows the growth and focus WarRock has gained from months on the road performing in front of crowds. Every track sounds full and realized, as if WarRock is now sure of his career change and is putting both feet in the paint. The solid, confident stance WarRock holds throughout the entire record is staggering, yet totally expected. Top to bottom, “You Dare..” envelopes you into the psyche of Ahn and takes you on a ride to where he comes from.
Standout tracks like “Retcon”, where WarRock talks about his origin story using comic book terminology, “The Kids Table” and “Booster Gold” (featuring Dr. Awkward and Mikal kHill respectively) takes on internet trolls and haters full throated, “I Kill Giants” is thoughtful and introspective, talking about his growing up in the south while comforting a unnamed person that is going through some kind of serious medical procedure. The whole album’s feel is harder hitting due to the production of Vince Vandal. The musical choices leave room for WarRock to stick and move around every corner of the tracks, unleashing the many lyrical styles in his repertoire.
Guests on “You Dare..” reads like a who’s who of nerdcore: MC Lars, Doctor Awkward, Dual Core, Beefy, Tribe One and more, as well as an appearance by comedian Baron Vaughn (USA’s Fairly Legal, Black Dynamite) The cover was created by Mitch Gerads, who has worked on books like Dr. Who Annual 2011, Stan Lee’s Starborn and Activity and the layout was done by longtime collaborator Rusty Shackles. The whole album is really well done and can stand up to anyone dropping hip hop records today, nerdcore or otherwise. All in all, Adam WarRock has proved with “You Dare Call That Thing Human?!?” that he has arrived and is ready to prove to non-believers that he is a force in underground, nerdcore and hip hop music and will be for a long time.
5 Infinity Gauntlets out of 5
Check out the whole record streamed here via Bandcamp. Adam WarRock with be on tour with Kirby Krackle in February, Mega Ran and Willie Evans Jr. in March and doing a showcase at SXSW.
Filed Under: Reviews