BY HOPE WILSON | JULY 25, 2013 5:00 AM

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MC Chris will headline the Revenge of the Nerds Tour 2, which will make its way to Iowa City this weekend. A man of many talents, MC Chris does everything from writing and rapping to voice-over work and the illustration of his own MC Chris cartoon. With a tour underway and two albums set to release in the fall (MC Chris Forever for adults and Marshmallow Campground for kids), he is certainly busy. The “nerdcore” rapper spoke to The Daily Iowan about his unusual career and current tour.

DI: How would you describe nerdcore to someone unfamiliar with it?

MC Chris: Nerdcore is a genre of hip-hop that has sprung up over the past 10 or 12 years. It’s hip-hop all about what “nerdy” kids enjoy. [Nerdcore rappers] tell their own stories; they reveal their own personal experiences, but they also make references to things that may be considered mainstream now but haven’t always been mainstream. I personally write about things like Star Wars, comic books, and video games.

DI: Tell me about the tour. How did it come about, and what do you hope to accomplish with it?

MC Chris: The Revenge of the Nerds Tour 2 is a sequel to a tour that we did in 2006. It’s a reference to the movie, but it’s also [coming] after a very difficult year for me. It’s a chance for me to get back out on the road [and] to prove myself as a top-notch performer. I can also bring along some great entertainment as openers. We’ve got some really amazing openers this year with Jesse Dangerously, Tribe One, and Dr. Awkward. They’re just three really great, talented guys who are not only skilled lyricists but great performers who have their own story to tell. The general theme for this tour is all about perseverance and being proud of yourself. [That] has always been a theme of my music, but this year we are really talking about it a lot and performing songs that cover these issues. It’s a really great tour. It’s been doing really well, and it’s been connecting with fans in a brand-new way that makes it entirely new for me. I’ve done this a long time, so if it can feel new, that’s a great thing.

DI: What is your favorite thing about the tour?

MC Chris: My favorite thing about this tour is that I’m sober. I stopped smoking weed, and I had been smoking for 18 years. This year, I’ve been able to mind the store a little better, handle my business, and be a lot more present, be a lot more fan-friendly as well as opener-friendly. It allows me to get to know my fans and openers and to be socializing with them and hanging out with them. Also, my performance is a lot better. I’m a happier guy, and it’s just easier to be me.

DI: Why should people see the show?

MC Chris: It’s the best show I’ve ever done. I am more capable than I’ve ever been before. My openers are amazing, and my shows are just a lot of fun because there are just a lot of great people there. It’s a great way to feel like you’re not alone. I see that comment almost every day. The best reason [to] go to a show is it makes you feel better. When you leave the show, you feel better prepared for life and to be yourself. It’s not just entertainment; it really sticks with you after you leave the venue. 

MC Chris will perform at Gabe’s, 330 E. Washington St., at 9 p.m. Saturday.

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