VPCIII Report | Round One | Fandom

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VPCIII Report | Round One | Fandom

This years hotly anticipated Vocalist, Producer Challenge is underway with the first round officially launched.

The third (semi) annual Vocalist Producer Challenge, or VPCIII is underway with the announcement of the first challenge. Teams consisting of one producer (music maker) and vocalist – who haven’t necessarily worked together before – will team up to compete over a number of rounds. The intention is to fulfil the task set out in each round.

This years event kicks off with Round One: Fandom At Its Finest

Overall Theme: Fandom is a strong part of nerdcore hip hop. We all have our favorite movies, book series, comics, video games, etc. As such, the first round of VPC III will be about that very fandom. This challenge will involve you all playing in your favorite sandboxes. Enjoy.

Vocalist Challenge:

Work with your producer to pick your favorite game, book, comic, movie, whatever. Your challenge is to write as either an existing character you love or an original character in a world you love.


This is not a biopic. You are not performing a report on the original series of Star Wars. You are IN the universe. You are a part of it. One person, whether already existing or original. Rap from that perspective.

This needs to be a character rap. Think about the aspects of who you are and how you work in the universe. What would your motivations be? Just trying to sleep with Faye of Cowboy Beebop? Fine, but how would she react.

Avoid the theme of “I got transported to this place, this is crazy?” or “I’m in the Psychonauts Universe, this is what I also wanted!” These are songs about being part of that universe, exploring its adventures and themes.

Producer Challenge:

After working with your vocalist on figuring out what piece of fiction you’ll be working within, utilize aspects of that world in your production.


The beat either must include audio aspects of property being rapped about (such as soundtrack, sound effects, clips from the show/game/movie). In the case of comics with no video/audio adaptations, look for appropriate material to integrate into this (fighting sound effects, melodies that feel ‘in theme’ with the property, etc).

The beat must be originally created for this competition. If you’ve already released a Chrono Trigger mixtape of beats, and the Vocalist wants to do a CT song, sorry but we need a new one.

Avoid just taking the theme and putting the lightest drums over it and having the theme play through start to finish. If you choose to sample score, main theme, or soundtrack aspects, it would be best to work the production angle and re-arrange the song within itself to optimize for hip hop. We want to hear you in the beat, not just the X-Men theme song as it was originally scored.

Example of where this already exists in Nerdcore

Mega Ran – Splash Woman

With clear percussion enhancement, core song editing, and obviously lyrically presented as being from the perspective of Mega Man, this is EXACTLY the type of track we’re looking for here.

Again, the track doesn’t HAVE to be a remix of a theme, or part of the score of the property but utilizing effects, vocal cuts, and/or an intro with adjacent subject matter works just as well.

Entries must be submitted to VOCALPROD3@GMAIL.COM by no later than 11:59 ON OCTOBER 5, 2014 to be considered.

Coming up!

We’ll be taking a look at the teams announced this far and comparing and contrasting this years competitors.


Will Harrison

About the author | Will Harrison

Founder of The Unheard Nerd. A husband and father of two girls, Will is a fan of Nerdcore Hip-Hop, a comics fiend, a podcast host and champion of independent nerd culture. | Follow will on twitter: @TheUnheardNerd

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    September 15, 2014



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