Saturday, June 18, 2011

Diversion 2.0 Thirty Day Song Challenge -- Day 8: A Song You Know All the Words To

Weird Al Yancovic - "White and Nerdy"

Oh come on.

How could I not know the words to this song? I was a Computer Science major in college. One of my favorite TV series is an anime. I author a blog on movies, music, and video games, and said blog is running a series on every Disney Animated Feature. You tell me whether or not I’m white and nerdy.

Like many, I first discovered “Weird Al” Yancovic’s platinum-selling single in mid- to late-2006, and was absolutely blown away by what I heard. “It’s like Chamillionaire,” I said, “but awesome!” Weird Al has done hip hop songs before, but nothing like “White and Nerdy,” which demonstrates not only clever, gut-busting lyrics, but also impeccable rapping technique from the Weird one.

Because I mostly hung out with theater kids, you can believe there were some lyric-spitting competitions whenever this song would come on someone’s iPod. I distinctly remember sitting on someone’s trampoline at a cast party, singing this song at breakneck pace to stupefied looks from the other trampoline residents.

Perhaps the most interesting (and most enjoyable) part of “White and Nerdy” is how it takes the cocky swagger of most rap songs and directs it to smaller, less-accepted achievements (“Fluent in Javascript as well as Klingon”). The contrast of a powerful-sounding dude bragging about how “pimp” his MySpace page is (ha!) makes for great comedy and great music, and the fact that it’s pretty damn catchy only sweetens the pot.

In short, “White and Nerdy” was a power anthem for those of us who couldn’t get off the Super Nintendo when we were kids, and Weird Al was well-rewarded for his efforts—the song went on to become his first Top Ten single, peaking at #9. It’s the perfect track to stunt one’s nerdiness, and I still sing the Weird Al lyrics whenever “Ridin’” comes on the radio.

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