This album was released on September 27th this year. It’s been a while since I’ve covered a Nerdcore project, so I figured it’d probably be a good idea to check out this album, especially since I’m already a fan of Duncecap. I’m not actually familiar with the other artist, Vinny Vinny Video, so I don’t really know what to expect from him, but I have faith that I’ll enjoy this project to some extent. It’s got features and placements from several artists that I like quite a bit, so I’m looking forward to it. I personally don’t really play video games anymore, but I used to spend all of my free time playing games like Soul Calibur and Kingdom Hearts II, so it’s not like their references are gonna go over my head. Even though I’m not a gamer anymore, I can still hold my own in a conversation about the subject. As my former friend Benny used to put it, I dabble.
One thing that immediately stood out to me about this album is just Vinny Vinny Video himself. He’s a really mysterious artist to me. I may be wrong here, so don’t quote me on this, but I feel like he’s an alter-ego of Lt. Headtrip. I apologize if I’m wrong, but the way Vinny pronounces his words just sounds really similar. In the description for this album, Vinny is described as “an oddly familiar, yet new character.” This is his debut appearance as an artist, but he sounds like someone who’s been rapping for a long time. His flow is too intricate for this to be his first album. Again, I apologize to both Vinny Vinny Video & Lt. Headtrip if I’m wrong. Anyway, the album begins with Vidja Games Intro, which is a pretty short track consisting of a catchy hook from Googie. It serves its purpose as an introduction to the full project really well. The first full song is called Try Again, and it’s got a pretty dope Chiptune beat from Fresh Kils. The first verse from Vinny is fucking fire. His flow and writing are top notch. The storytelling here is really well done. Basically, the whole first verse is about how Vinny spends only four bucks to become the king of the arcade.
I step to the boss with two lives left
Last time here he chewed my head
And I die on the spot like a noob, I’m dead
Got 25 cents to prove my cred
Whole arcade comes ‘round to see me
Beat this boss or bow in defeat
I sink my shot while the crowd is screaming
Top of the leaderboard now “VVV!”
I think the hook here is pretty good, and the second verse from Duncecap is great as well. They both covered a lot of aspects of video games. Dunce mentioned guys clipping through walls, enemies respawning, autosaving, and not rage quitting even after dying 90 times. This is top tier Nerdcore music. You can tell they have experience with video games. I think the song is dope as hell. M for Mature has a really cool beat from Mega Ran. I think it’s pretty funny how they censored Duncecap’s profanity in the first verse with the sound of a frog ribbiting. The verse itself is very good.
I can play one handed
I like to tank, or DPS to cause damage
I live for that K.O. with a sliver of health
And leave on the payroll like a giver of wealth
So professional, E-sports with an E-cig
Back in the days I used to be less decent
Now with my feet kicked, I expand on the passion
At a point it all clicks like Maniac Mansion
The hook is pretty good too, and the second verse from Vinny Vinny Video is great as well. The song didn’t blow me away like the preceding track did, but I definitely still really enjoyed it. I don’t really have any gripes with it. I think it’s dope. Track 4 is called Moves Down, and the production from Lt. Headtrip is relatively lowkey. The first verse from Vinny is dope, and the simplistic hook is pretty cool too. I really like the second verse from Dunce as well.
Whichever play style fits
Check behind you first when the level begins
The road less traveled has all the Easter eggs
And, dude, it's cool to check a map to enjoy the game
Trophy hunting might kill your good time
Have a blast in last then get the "should finds"
Remember that you're always in control
Too many deaths can distract from the goal
I don’t love this song quite as much as the preceding couple just because the production doesn’t stand out as much, but the rapping is very good. I fuck with the song. The following track is entitled …Continue? This project probably would’ve felt incomplete without a Mega Ran feature, who I pretty much consider to be the GOAT when it comes to Nerdcore. I’m really glad they got him for this track. The production from Duncecap sounds like something I’d hear in an underwater level; I really like it. His verse on this track is really dope too. I really like this couplet…
I never had a system, always mooched off a friend
Selfish when I would get one, "you can watch and pretend"
The second verse from Mega Ran is really well written too. Vinny Vinny Video of course came through at the end with a really dope performance as well. I really don’t know which one of them had my favorite verse. All of them did a great job here. I think this is one of the better songs on the album even though it lacks a memorable hook. It’s really dope. Track 6 is called Take It Witcha, and it has one of my favorite instrumentals on the whole album from Lt. Headtrip. It’s a really detailed beat. I think it’s awesome. The way Vinny n’ Dunce were trading verses on this track is really cool too. The whole song is about handheld consoles, hence the title.
Red light blinkin’ on the 3DS XL
I call it a Game Boy still, Vinny Vinny Video elderly as Hell
Bartender don’t got a charger for a portable console? Welp
Probably shouldn’t have sat on the couch at home all day playin’ a unplugged handheld
Personally, I always preferred regular consoles to handhelds, but I got a lot of use out of my DS back in the day. New Super Mario Bros. was my shit. Anyway, the hook on this track is pretty simplistic, but I think it serves its purpose well enough. I don’t know what I like more about this song between the rapping and the production. It’s a really fun song. I fuck with it. The following track is called Happy Place, and it’s got another fantastic beat from Duncecap. It’s one of the more melodic instrumentals on the album. The song’s got a really simplistic structure; it’s just two verses, one after another. It’s a really short track, but it doesn’t sound incomplete at all. Both of the verses are very good. I really like the opening couplet from Dunce.
Hello there, and welcome to my happy place
Where I'm anybody but me, and succeed at a snappy pace
The song is dope. The following track, Still Not a Multiplayer, is perhaps the best display of chemistry between Vinny n’ Dunce on the whole album. It literally sounds like multiplayer music. The way they’re trading bars about playing video games together is really fucking cool. I think this track has one of the better hooks on the album too. It’s a really cool song. It’s under two minutes long, but the content is so cool that I don’t even mind the brevity. The song is dope. It’s followed by Lives Left, which is another pretty short song. The production from Dunce is really cool, and I love the way they’re trading quatrains on this track.
I’ll beat a game to a hundred percent and then run it again and again
And I'd rather win than have any fun with my friends
I don’t wanna pretend; I’m a god, they can’t pwn me
I wish they’d come over more often, I’m gettin’ kinda lonely
There’s even a line from Duncecap about trolls building up the courage to use a homophobic gamer word. I think the song’s really dope overall. Track 10 is called Rumble Pack, and it has another really cool beat from Duncecap. It sounds like the background music for a desert level in a Mario game. I guess it could work for any Nintendo game actually. Both of the verses from Vinny & Dunce on this track are pretty solid. Nothing about this track really blew me away, but I definitely enjoyed it to some extent. It’s not one of my favorite songs on the album, but I still fuck with it. The penultimate track is called What a Tragedy, and it’s produced by Samurai Banana. The production here is honestly really fucking good. It sounds like something from a Castlevania game. I say that as someone who never actually played Castlevania, so take that with a grain of salt. It’s an awesome beat though. This is the longest track on the album, and, as a result, it’s one of the most fleshed out, complete-sounding songs on the project. I really like the content of this song too. It’s all about Vinny & Dunce’s inability to play video games.
I can’t play 'cause my mom and dad are mad at me
I can’t play 'cause I ran outta batteries
I can’t play 'cause it’s not Saturday
What a tragedy, what a tragedy
The first verse from Duncecap is cool, but Vinny really killed that second verse. His storytelling had me hooked. I literally said “this is awesome” out loud to myself after I finished listening to his verse.
Hold on a second, where’d the console go?
It was here last night, that’s impossible.
That’s when I saw a note, it read “come see me for a talk,” oh no
I watched while she opened my report card up
Shucks, I didn’t work hard enough
I fooled around and I missed my lessons
No more games for the next semester?
I understood and hung my head in shame
Playin’ snake on my calculator was never the same
Moral of the story is: Get good grades
Otherwise you can’t play vidja games
One thing I noticed about both Vinny & Dunce’s rapping on this album is that it almost seems like they have an addiction to video games. They kind of allude to their obsession with video games making them struggle in other aspects of life. I find it pretty humorous personally. Anyway, the song is pretty damn awesome to me. I think it’s easily one of the best tracks on the project. It’s dope as hell. The closing track is called Vidja Games Outro, and it’s almost identical to the intro of the album, so I don’t have much to say about it. It’s cool though. I definitely like it.
This is a great album. There’s not a single track that I don’t like. The production is pretty much exactly what I want from a Nerdcore project, and I guess the same can be said about the rapping. Vinny Vinny Video is a very competent MC. Like I said in the body of this review, this doesn’t sound like his first project. I think both him and Duncecap did a great job of rapping about what it’s like to be obsessed with video games so much that it starts to take over your life. I feel like this is a must-listen album if you’re into Nerdcore. It also seems like a pretty accessible entry point for newcomers to the subgenre. I think it’s really dope. Check it out.