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Shenanigans We’re Waiting for at WWE Payback

With Brock Lesnar out of the picture for Payback, Raw’s champions definitely have a chance to shine. With Wrestlemania’s antics still in play and the recent Superstar Shake-up, we’re not doing to see the mid-card Title, that was recently traded to Raw, defended. Instead we’ll be watching for Smackdown Live’s United States Championship.

There are currently 4 titles on the line, including the Raw Women’s Championship between Alexa Bliss and Bayley. Who will prevail? Well, here are our predictions…

Cruiserweight Championship: Austin Aries vs Neville
While Neville’s current alliance with recent heel turn TJ Perkins, his 2nd meeting with Austin Aries could prove fatal.
Based on the main show worthy bought they had at Wrestlemania, this should be no different… except the end result. Aries has been a fantastic addition to the division and is over-due for the belt.
Winner: Austin Aries

Tag Team Championship: Hardy Boyz v Cesaro and Sheamus
WrestleMania took a major turn when The Hardy Boyz not only returned to the roster but also won the tag team championship on their first night back… DELETE!
Traditionally, WWE would usually pit these babyfaces against a couple heels but this time its different. The Hardys have been paired with Sheamus and Cesaro.
Can the new Odd Couple manage to Usurp the Deletion Brothers?
Honestly, I don’t think so. It feels like there’s more to this storyline that hasn’t been revealed for the Hardys and there seems to be a more important storyline in store for Sheamus and Cesaro.
Also, The Legendary Hardys should be ending a long time fued with a bigger team like Gallows and Anderson before the drop the belts…
Winners: The Hardy Boyz

Women’s Championship: Bayley vs. Alexa Bliss
With the Universal Championship out of the picture, there is no bigger match than the Women’s Championship between Bayley and Alexa.
Since her arrival on Raw, Alexa has managed to plow through the competition and immediately thrust herself into contention for the Raw Women’s Championship within a matter of weeks. She stole the spotlight on Smackdown and quickly became one of WWE’s most important competitors.
But is this Bayley’s time? A feud with Sasha Banks seems pretty inevitable at this point, which could be perfect for her as a champion.
In the same right, it may not be a good idea to keep Bliss out of the title picture for much longer. For the sake of not breaking the momentum…
Winner: Alexa Bliss

United States Championship: Kevin Owens vs Chris Jericho
Drink it in, man, because this is going to be one for the books. Former BFFs KO and Y2J will go head to head for the belt. While we’re still in the early stages of the Superstar Shake-up, Owens’ trade to Smackdown seems to be the best outcome.
So far, Owens’ open challenges could become a regular thing, much like Cena’s. That topped with the opening for someone to steal the spotlight on the blue roster, Owens could become an even bigger superstar in WWE.
With that said, Owens winning the United States Champion would be the best decision for the obvious booking. With Jericho’s departure likely at hand, its kinds obvious who should carry the strap.
Winner: Kevin Owens

Other Shenanigans:

    • Bo and The Wyatts: Its no secret that the Wyatts have had their ups and downs lately. Randy Orton has definitely caused a lot of static and caused us all the question the strength of the family after his brutal win over Bray at Wrestlemania 33. While the return of Erick Rowan has helped, there’s something that can be an even bigger pay-off. We want to see Bo Dallas return and join the Wyatt Family during the House of Horrors match as the uncontrollable psycho. His previous heel turn shows us its possible and it just makes good sense…
    • Sasha vs Bayley: We’ve been patiently waiting, as far back as Fastlane, for Sasha to prove Alexa Bliss right and turn on Bayley. While Sasha has helped Bayley along her path to the Championship, It would definitely help our Champion Bliss prediction. And who doesn’t love Heel Sasha?!

  • Roman Snaps: It been a long road since Wrestlemania for the Superstar. First he retires The Undertaker at Wrestlemania, then he’s booed out of the building on Raw, then taken apart by Braun strawman, finally has to endure the passing of his real life brother and WWE Superstar Rosey. Is it far-fetched to think that Roman may snap at Payback? While it doesn’t have to be a heel turn, getting revenge on the man that tried to end his career won’t come about with a simple spear. Roman needs to get absolutely brutal with Strowman. I’m talkin’ worse than he did with Triple H in 2015. It would be a much needed surprise for the superstar.

Guess we’ll see if everything pans out Sunday…

Comic Review : The Invincible Iron Man #2

In case you didn’t catch the review of the first issue, I LOVE THIS VOLUME. After issue #1, a lot of readers may be thinking that this is just another Iron Man story with Iron Heart slapped on the front. In my best Donald Trump voice, “WRONG!” In this 2nd installment, we definitely find the Riri is in total control of not only the armor but also this story arc.


[SPOILER ALERT] We can’t keep it secret anymore, Riri has A.I. for her suit, just as she wanted. The essence of Riri’s A.I. just happens to be Tony Stark, himself. At this point we’re still unsure of weather Tony is dead or alive (something we won’t find out until the final issue of Civil War II is released), giving rise to some very interesting conversations in the series thus far.


In this 2nd issue, I’d like to compare Riri to Miles Morales in that Bendis can tell this story and not be tied by decades of continuity. He can tell a new Iron Man story without have to deal with the Stark Industries rival of the month. A lot of readers have been put off by the Chicago violence aspects of the tale. I personally appreciate this aspect of Riri’s story. As comic readers, we always want two feet in the Marvel Universe while often forgetting that Marvel has always held a mirror to our world. As a Blerd, I realize that stories based in realism, like this one, have a particular ability to inspire readers living in those same circumstances.


We also begin to explore Riri’s training and dig deeper into the tragedies that drive her to me Iron Heart. The Tony Stark A.I., acting as a new Jarvis, takes Riri through her training. These scenes magnificently blend humor with the drama of Riri’s past, social commentary and some good superhero action!


Through the action, Riri’s character becomes poignant in that she not only realizes that through the A.I. Tony Stark has effectively made himself immortal and trying to make sense out of pointless violence (something that I predict will drive the character to superhero greatness).


Short for “Music And Gaming Festival,” MAGFest is a four day-long event dedicated to the appreciation of video game music, gaming and culture. In short: it’s lit.

Catch members of the NPCC all over the fest!

On Thursday, 1-Up runs a panel on the “Fine Line In Music” while NPC’s Richie Branson and D&D Sluggers play main stage that evening!

Friday, Mega Ran joins our affiliates FanBros for a panel on geekdom in diverse spaces. From 5 to 10p, the whole Collective will be rocking live sets at the Megaman-a-thon, which will stream live at twitch.tv/halfemptyenergytank. Richie will hold a panel on Going Viral at 9PM.

Saturday, Sammus holds a panel called “Leveling Up: Monetizing Your Music” with special guests at 12:30, 1-Up Creative Mind Frame hits the MAG Main Stage at 3, followed by KadeshFlow at 6pm, and the entire crew will be rocking at the “Nerdcore Showcase” from 6:30 to 10pm.

Hashtag us at #NPCCMAG to find out where we are! it’s a party.

Shubzilla and 1-Up Weigh in on The DJT


This summer, numerous members of the NPCC embarked on a two part two, aptly titled “The Day Job Tour” (or “DJT”). The tour was split into a West Coast and East Coast addition, the West Coast stint culminating in performances at Anime Expo in Los Angeles and the East Coast romp ending at Otakon in Baltimore. For a few of the participants, this was the first foray into the world of touring. The following series of blurbs, broken up into a few parts, will detail individual DJT accounts from various NPCCs. Here’s part two of three!

The NPC Collective Presents: PAX West 2016 Nerdcore Hip Hop Concert! September 3, 2016 at the LoFi, Seattle WA.

The NPC Collective Presents: PAX West 2016 Nerdcore Hip Hop Concert! September 3, 2016 at the LoFi, Seattle WA.



The Day Jobs Tour was the first time I got to tour anywhere. I appreciated the invitation to participate in it, but also to have my near and dear friends Kadesh Flow, EyeQ, Bill Beats with me.

When I was asked to be a part of the tour, I was surprised to be included. When Desh and I started planning, I didn’t feel confident in what I was doing with my music. Often, I would second guess myself whether it was booking a show or writing a song. It’s not a great place to be for anyone. These were feelings and thoughts that I worked thru and were able to put aside so we could work together to craft our tour route and the plans along the way.

Being on tour was the jump-start I needed for the road to creative recovery. There were four times where my friends and I performed as best as we could to audiences that didn’t know us. Those were four times where we gave our audiences a positive experience and a great show. Couple that with words of wisdom from Kadesh Flow, EyeQ, and Bill Beats, and it was what is fueling me to rise above the lows and continue to create with them and the rest of my NPC Collective family.

One learns as they go when it comes to touring – this was no exception! During our travels, we discussed on strategies for effective promotion and partnerships with other artists and venues. We can do all the research we want, but that face-to-face contact makes such a difference.

Other things that I have learned:

  • I need to give myself more credit about the work I put in and the talents I have.
  • There are plenty ways to promo that we must tackle next time! There’s flyering and postering, but also getting our singles out to radio stations and podcasts so folks know where we are.
  • I want to offer more merch.
  • Pack lighter.
  • Save (A LITTLE!) of my money for In-N-Out Burgers and Marie Calendar’s. We don’t have that here in Seattle.
  • I must do a few collab tracks with my tourmates so we can vary up what we do and get each other on stage more.
  • (This is more of a reminder of the obvious than it is something I learned) I am surrounded by incredibly talented people.
  • Apparently, every Shubzilla set is leg day.
PAX West 2016

PAX West 2016


Creative Mindframe/1-UP

Soooooo where do I even start!?

This could also be labeled the “Tour where everyone has something bad happen to them.”

In all honesty though it’s a true testament to our bond as the NPCC. Regardless of all of the crappy stuff that happened to each of us individually (Flights delayed, laptops dying, questionably racist staff,lol) we never lost our cool or stopped having a good time!

I flew out directly from work and my laptop died, so I ended up using Eye-Q’s laptop most of the weekend (thanks brothaman). The tour was a ton of fun, it reminded me of those times you take kind of long road trips with your family for like 3-4 hours at a time. We played in NYC, Baltimore and DC, and since I can stay awake for a million hours at a time I did most of the driving which was hilarious because Chris would randomly have conversations with us in his sleep.

Otakon was literally the craziest and most fun / busy con I’ve ever attended. I specifically need to shout out ALL OF THE WORKERS there, seriously the joy that people had being there was contagious and made it so fun to hang out with them and chat whenever we got the opportunity. Thanks to Vince for booking us for the Matsuri – literal insanity. The crowds were so fun and they participated every time we asked them to… I know sometimes it’s like “Yo… I came to watch you perform and you’re asking me to help you perform?” but not in this case 🙂

Got to spend some time picking the brains of some really awesome people… For instance: Lotus Juice gave me some tips on a mobile production program, Diana Garnet opened me to the world of VIS manga readers and this really amazing fellow named Shin… well you just have to meet him because your mind will be blown at the awesomeness that flows from the man’s brain. I also spent a lot of time doing interviews and meeting people who were just there to enjoy their Otakon

Our New York and DC shows were in more intimate venues which I actually really like. In those scenarios I can get right up in your face with the creepy eyebrow look while I’m doing Corny Pick Up Lines, and there is no retreat…


But also finally got to do a show with Wreck The System and just chill with them which we don’t get to do a lot of! One of my favorite things about doing music is getting to interact with people I know virtually and just getting to know them in person a little bit more each time.

It was all a whirlwind of a weekend, but 10/10 would do again if given the opportunity. The only thing I wish I would have done was stayed a little bit later or maybe an extra day  (I did rectify with PAX after learning my lesson the hard way.)
All I know is #NPCCFAM we always have the best of times.

NPCC Day Job Tour Recaps, Part 1

This summer, numerous members of the NPCC embarked on a two part two, aptly titled “The Day Job Tour” (or “DJT”). The tour was split into a West Coast and East Coast addition, the West Coast stint culminating in performances at Anime Expo in Los Angeles and the East Coast romp ending at Otakon in Baltimore. For a few of the participants, this was the first foray into the world of touring. The following series of blurbs, broken up into a few parts, will detail individual DJT accounts from various NPCCs.

We’ll start with the O.G.s, the fearless leaders, Mega Ran & K-Murdock.


K Murdock:

Peace party people, K-Murdock here.  I made a one day cameo on this NPC odyssey at the very tail end of the journey, ironically at an event so close to home yet that I never had the fortune of attending… until the homies Kadesh, 1-Up  & Eye-Q summoned me to grace the stage and sit-in on a panel they hosted on behalf of the Collective.

Like I mentioned, attending Otakon eluded me even though I lived near Baltimore, where it happens, for years; I even recall 2 years back when i lived IN the city and was downtown witnessing the cavalcade of cosplay entering Bmore firsthand. My wife was even like, “uhh… shouldn’t you & Mega Ran be here?!?”  Thing is, though we have ventured a lot of places and rocked a lot of ‘Cons before, Otakon, as well as (San Diego) Comic-Con have been the two that I always seemed to miss. So when my fellow NPCs reached out to me earlier in the summer about coming out to attend, I knew this was the time to finally scratch it off my “Con attended” list.

The day was long, the weather was BLAZING hot, but the vibe was positive which ultimately made the whole experience for me a WIN!  My day started with 1-UP literally being my personal Uber (thanks Manny) by picking me up and driving me to Baltimore for an early soundcheck.  I had all the guys’ music and like I do with Ran, assembled it and ran through these and transitions in my laptop so as to be prepared.  We made it just in time to get a 5 minute check and then got walk around a bit, and trust me we walked as i made my daily 10K step count EASILY just walking around seeing the sights in the Convention center. Got some Fallout (the game) swag courtesy of Eye-Q and Glitch Gaming and then setup merch for the show.

The set was short but I marveled at how polished Desh, Eye-Q & 1-Up were in trading off and also guesting, choicely, on one another’s songs. It was really a proud moment to see as I feel like what myself and Mega Ran tried to start at last year’s Magfest with the NPC showcase, was further honed now and the camaraderie showed as one minute 1-Up is rapping, next he was blowing sax for Eye-Q. Then i see Kadesh come out with his trombone and riff with 1-Up while Eye-Q encourages the crowd to participate with handclaps. Tt was awesome to stand and witness firsthand, to the point I became distracted and forgot “Oh Sh!@, I’m supposed to be the DJ who keep the music moving!” ‘

After the set, which succeeded in bringing more con goers into the hall, as well as more of them to the front (so it wasn’t just a big vacuum of space between the stage and seats), the fellas sold merch, gave “sweaty hugs” and socialized with a few NEW fans of theirs. Again a proud moment to see as I witnessed that same thing the last 5 plus years touring with Mega Ran and watching his star ascend… very surreal and cool to just be THERE.  We then hung out, peeped a couple other acts including Lotus Juice- who does music for the famous JRPG series Persona, before heading to host a panel that was really cool- “being a nerdy person of color”.  The great thing about the panel was attendance for it was solid, and the questions we got to answer from the mixed array of con-goers who checked it was really cool. I learned a lot about my fellow NPCs myself that made me just appreciate being part of this talented collective even more !

After the panel, i had to drop a smoke bomb, pause being the “Sound samurai” and revert back to Kyle the husband/father as I headed home to see my VERY pregnant wife and 20-month old daughter,  who both anxiously awaited my return. I’m so thankful for because they always let me have my time to chase my music pursuits!  Ultimately, the day at Otakon was time well spent as I really got to hang out as just one of the NPCs and i felt so cool wandering around the convention center with my 4-man party of brothers in arms- similar to having your squad stacked with the best characters in Final Fantasy.  I know guys like myself & the aforementioned Mega Ran are considered the “OGs” or veterans of the crew but after witnessing firsthand what the guys up next are doing, I’m beyond content leaving the reins to them to lead to the Next, NEXT generation of nerdy people of color!


Mega Ran:

I was able to help out with two shows in the LA area with my homies from the NPC, which are always a blast to not only perform with, but to be around. The first of which was at Anime Expo (AX), widely recognized as the largest anime convention on the west coast, and one of the largest in the world.

The show was full of surprises and hitches, as with large conventions, talking to the right person who can make decisions is always a challenge. We couldn’t load in effectively, couldn’t get the crew the appropriate amount of badges, and were unclear on our show location.. But luckily with hip-hop, we’re used to thinking on our toes.

The first show was to be a part of the halftime festivities of an 18+ comedy competition. The stage was huge. The crowd was well over 500 people, ready to have a good time.

When I asked how long I should play for, they asked me: “well, about 10 minutes good?”

*record skip*

I didn’t drive 6 hours, tweet and facebook all my friends and supporters and advertise my appearance to play for 10 minutes… so I squeezed for a little more.

We wound up playing 20 minutes and the crowd loved it and wanted more.

Luckily, we were able to give it to them, as we were given a full 60 minute time block at the Lounge the next evening, also an 18+ event.

That show was a MASSIVE success, with all of the NPC leaving with new fans, new supporters and plenty of merchandise sales. It was an honor to be able to utilize my stage time and influence to put fans in front of acts that I know they would enjoy. As they always do, the NPCCs made me proud.