At 76 years old, no one really expects Jeopardy host Alex Trebek to be hip. But after 32 years of hosting the still-popular syndicated game show, one might think he knows how not to alienate parts of his audience.
But if he does, Trebek doesn’t care when it comes to a genre of music known as nerdcore hip-hop.
On Wednesday’s episode, contestant Susan Cole shared her interest in the music, explaining to Trebek that “it’s people who identify as nerdy, rapping about the things they love.”
Trebek was quick to counter, with four words he might be regretting a little bit now: “Losers, in other words.”
Artists who work in nerdcore were not very happy about what they heard. MC Chris, a rapper and Adult Swim mainstay, even went as far as delivering a statement about Trebek’s comments to Billboard.
“Nerdcore is a genre that has been around for at least 15 years. I’m in my 10th year of touring, and my latest album ‘MC Chris is Dreaming’ peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard comedy charts this week.
“It’s a small corner of the hip-hop world, but it’s a real and true respite to hundreds of thousands of people that are tired of being called losers, and would rather celebrate the nerdiness instead of trying to conform to society’s mandates.”
The term “nerdcore” is believed to have originated with rapper MC Frontalot who coined the term in 2000. Artists who perform nerdcore typically share topics that interest to wider audiences, but also dip deeply into topics nerds and geeks would like — role-playing games, science-fiction, fantasy and a lot more.
Some notable nerdcore artists include Commodore 64, Schaffer the Darklord and Optimus Rhyme.
Other nerdcore artists and fans took their complaints to social media, like Geek Girl Diva, who said that while Trebek was “never” cool, the fact his statements has brought new attention to nerdcore was.
Alex Trebek is 76 years old. He’s never been, what you call, “cool”.
Think of how many people have heard about Nerdcore now. THAT’s cool.
— Geek Girl Diva (@geekgirldiva) October 13, 2016
Rusty Shackles said it shouldn’t be long before some nerdcore artists use this incident to create some great new material.
Kinda already dreading the 17 nerdcore EPs about dissing Trebek that are going to drop by Friday — Rusty Shackles (@rusty_shackles) October 13, 2016
Finally, one last poster named Deyonce was just happy to hear about such a niche music genre mentioned on a mainstream show.
Just heard Alex Trebek say “Nerdcore hip hop.” 2016 is a hell of a year.
— Deyoncé (@ScoffingYayap) October 12, 2016
Jeopardy producers nor Trebek have responded to the small bit of dissent they stirred up with the episode. But even as a “loser,” contestant Cole won the night with first place and $20,000.
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