If there’s one thing that I feel we all need to be reminded of in the world of fandom, it’s that this stuff is for everybody. Fandom is suppose to be about acceptance of individuality as well as camaraderie over shared experiences and like-minded tastes. Nerd Love, the latest album from More or Les, is a perfect example of this. Covering fandom and all things nerd from a perspective that is inviting and thought provoking, Les brings us a collection of rhymes that celebrate the perks of being a nerd while pointing out necessary changes that need to be made in the geek community, entertainment and society itself.
The message of the title track sums up a theme and feeling throughout the entire album: one’s love of genre entertainment and nerd culture should be used to connect people and not divide them. It’s also a high energy anthem to kick things off. As the tracks continue, Les wears his love for certain intellectual properties on his sleeve. Star Trek (Klingon Neighbors, Picard Maneuver) and Marvel (Choose Your Own Avenger, 22 Pages, Danger Room) are the most prominent.
Being a Marvel zombie myself, I gravitated towards Danger Room first. It’s a fun and fast paced track (featuring LEX the Lexicon Artist) that follows a young student at the Xavier School for Gifted Youngsters as they get their first taste of the famous X-Men training facility. It just so happens that this premiere session pits the new recruit against Rogue, Collossus and Wolverine. A tough fight on its own, made even harder by the inclusion of a room that’s trying to kill you. Les does a wonderful job of enveloping you in this story that it’s less a song and more an experience of fanboy (or fangirl) dreams come to life.
Storytelling is Les’ greatest strength and is on full display in 22 Pages. The song acts as both a brief history on comics from the 1980s to present as well as a look into More or Les’ personal comic book origin story. From humble beginnings, picking up his first comics off the racks at Mac’s Milk, to his current favourites, hearing Les’ collection journey makes me think about my own. The comic boom and bust of the 90s, the launch of Alias and the Marvel Max Imprint, as well as the Image Comics renaissance are all touched upon in this loving tribute to the four-colour world of graphic fiction.
Probably the most compelling song on the album would be Hiding in Plain Sight (featuring Mega Ran). Les addresses the importance of diversity and the need for proper representation in entertainment and does so in a way that doesn’t talk down to the listener while still presenting the issue in a way that even those people who still don’t get might just figure it out. It, along with the final track on the album, Oh Brilliant!, continue that through line message about the steps we as fans need to take to make sure that everyone in fandom feels accepted.
While I’m still a bit confused by the cover of Fly Me To The Moon featuring Alexandria Coldvin at the mid point of the album (that one went right over my head, sorry), Nerd Love is just what any nerdy hip hop fan is looking for. It has all the ingredients that one looks for in a More Or Les album: clever rhymes, thoughtful message and copious amounts of pop culture references. Be sure to get your copy of Nerd Love today.
If you’re gonna geek out, GEEK HARD!