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q&a Tag

NPC Q&A : SAMMUS!!!

Sammus steps up to the plate next to answer the NPC Q&A!

Not only one of the fiercest and smartest MCs I have ever heard in ANY genre, but also one of the nicest people I’ve met in a long time (but don’t start acting crazy on her now because she will tell you what’s up).

Somehow she always makes time in her busy schedule to help the cause so get to know a little bit about Sammus

 

1. What are you nerding out on currently?

Recently I’ve been watching a lot of Portlandia. I know I’m super late to the game, but in my defense working on a PhD for the past few years is a pretty good excuse. I finally ended up watching Portlandia on Netflix at the end of the semester and immediately connected with the show because the town in which I was raised and am currently living while I attend graduate school – Ithaca, NY – shares a lot of similarities with Portland as it is portrayed through this utterly ridiculous sketch comedy show. Also, shout out to Mega Ran for the feature of “Splash Woman” on the episode “Aimee.”

 

2. What are your most recent games played?

I’ve been playing a lot of SNES games lately on my tablet. F-Zero is probably my favorite right now — super fun and I love the music! Because I like to balance out the light with the dark, I’ve also been playing lots of Blackthorne.

 

3. What music is on your playlist?

I’ve been spinning Open Mike Eagle’s latest project, “Dark Comedy” nonstop! I have also been listening to quite a bit of Homeboy Sandman, Dam Funk, Fleet Foxes, and instrumentals from Ivorian producer Chuk le Garçon. Finally, I’ve been bobbing my head to Mega Ran’s track “Infinite Lives” featuring D&D Sluggers.

 

4. What do you do in your downtime?

Downtime?

 

5. Any past/present involvement in community activities you’d like to speak about?

From 2008 – 2010 I worked as a teacher in an underserved community in Houston, TX. From 2011 – 2012, I served as the Community Service Chair for the Black Graduate and Professional Students Association at Cornell University. Since then I’ve been devising new ways to get involved despite my schedule – this weekend I will be performing at the Southside Community Center as part of their annual Juneteenth celebration.

 

6. What are you trying to learn to do right now?

I’m currently trying to learn how to mix and master tracks professionally. As a producer and the person responsible for recording my own vocals over the past three years I’ve had considerable experience with basic mixing, but I am now trying to commit more time and energy to it. Although I find mixing to be tedious and annoying, it’s also been frustrating leaving the job to other people as I’ve done for the last two projects. I’m hoping by year’s end, I’m a one-stop production-recording-mixing shop.

 

7. What should Nerdy People of Color get out of this website and collective?

First and foremost I think Nerdy People of Color should visit the website and follow the stories of its members for inspiration. I am constantly inspired by all of the great work of my peers in the NPCC. Nerdy People of Color should also check out the website to stay updated on what we’re doing – more specifically when we’ll be in their areas so that they can come out, support, learn more, and hang out!

 

8. Favorites:

a) Movie? Recently, I was a guest on The FanBros Show and was asked this same question. At the time I said that “Good Burger” was my favorite flick, but I’ve since reconsidered – I actually think “Hot Fuzz” just may be my favorite film. #TheGreaterGood

b) Food? My mom’s porkchops. Actually, anything my mom cooks.

c) Website? http://sammusmusic.com

 

9. What’s upcoming for you?

I just released a seven-track Metroid EP that’s been getting a lot of love thanks to my friends and fans so now I plan on promoting the project until I can promote it no longer. I’m going to be shooting the video for the EP’s first single, Power-Ups, on July 1st, promoting the second single, Crown, heading to perform at some out-of-state-shows, and preparing for my third full length-album, which is currently untitled.

 

10) Talk about a person or event who made you who you are today.

I often talk about my older brother and his influence on my personal growth, so I’d like to start talking a little more about the role my younger brother has played in my life. Although we didn’t always get along, my little brother was definitely my road dog for my childhood and a lot of my teenage years – especially as my older brother began to spend more time outside of the house with jobs, school activities, and band practice. So much of the geeky stuff I consumed was because of his influence. We spent countless mornings and afternoons watching everything from Pokémon to Reboot; I shared all of the stories of the cartoon and video game characters I created with him, often exclusively; we spent whole summers seated next to each other watching poorly animated Hanna-Barbera cartoons and catching mistakes in everything form the plotlines to poor animation. One thing I’ve always admired about my younger brother was that even though he is incredible at doing so many things, he has always remained humble and generous. I remember sometimes playing against him in Street Fighter, and knowing that he was holding back so that I could at least get in a few hits. It was so nice having such a dope partner in geekdom growing up and I often draw on those memories for inspiration.

The NPC Q&A : Doug Funnie

I met Doug Funnie almost two years ago when I went to go check him and Mega Ran out at a performance in Dallas at the Double Wide Bar downtown. A random encounter ended up turning into a frequent collaborative effort between two Dallas musicians long after so check out one of Fort Worth’s extremely talented hip hop artists… our own Doug Funnie!

Doug Funnie

 

1. What are you nerding out on currently? 

I recently obtained a PS4, so I’m learning the next gen consoles and broadcasting my gameplay which is really fun to me. I’ve never had a mic for online interactions before so it’s a treat to trash talk to someone that can actually hear me.

2. What are your most recent games played? 

Metal gear Solid 5 Ground Zeros, I am a huge fan of the Metal Gear Solid series so playing another installment for it is always a treat.

Infamous: Second son.

3. What music is on your playlist? 

I found that most of my playlist nowadays are friends of mine in the nerdcore world. Like Richie Branson, Professor Shyguy, D & D Sluggers, Megaran and a lot of others. I like to support my people trying to live the dream.

4. What do you do in your downtime? 

I am trying to write my new album in my free time and building a set for a live performances, I recently upgrade my performance with a visual with it. It been working good so far but there is still room for improvement.

5. Any past/present involvement in community activities you’d like to speak about? 

I recently put a KickBall team together for a tournament for the Big Brothers and Big Sister Foundation, which was a blast but since we were a team of nerds, we lost, but it didn’t matter, we had fun. Also, I did a speed run of Super Mario 2 for Childs Play Charity in Austin Texas and complete it under 15 min, that one I had to practice a lot for.

6. What are you trying to learn to do right now? 

Build scenery like what I use to do for High School plays. And learn how to create videos for the performances.

7. What should Nerdy People of Color get out of this website and collective? 

“Always be strong, be who you are.”

8. Favorites: 

a) Movie? Back to the Future Trilogy

b) Food? Sushi. Pretty much any Asian Cuisine

c) Website? Dougfunniemusic.com

9. What’s upcoming for you? 

A plethora of Albums and mix tape releases I been working on since last year, I just haven’t had time to complete and release it. Including the all original album set to release in September. In May  I went on tour with Danger Boyco, Dj RoboRob, and Press B, which was very exciting.

10) Talk about a person or event who made you who you are today. 

My grandfather was a big influence to me as a kid. He was a bare Knuckle boxer in Panama but was a big nerd. He would have boxes and boxes of VHS Tapes I would go over to his place and we would watch “Back to the Future”, Heathcliff cartoons and Charlie Brown. I miss that guy. “Always be strong, be who you are.”

The NPC Q&A: 1-UP

 

Emmanuel at his Alma Mater

Emmanuel at his Alma Mater, Wabash U

I met Emmanuel in Dallas in about 2012 at a show, and I had no idea  that the wide-eyed, fresh faced kid I met would turn out to be one of my best buds in the scene. He’s a man of many talents, a true to life nerd, and a class act. He inspires me in so many ways when I watch the passion he pours into every project. If I’m the brains of the NPC, he’s definitely the heart, or a series of gross looking but super important veins that pump the blood to the heart. And now, meet the man they call “1-Up.”

 

 

  1. What are you currently nerding out on?

 

Right now I am playing through Final Fantasy 7… for the 6th time. I’m about halfway through disc 2. You would think that after the 3rd time knowing what happens I would be satisfied but the story line is just so good! Other than that I’ve been just watching Fairy Tail, reading whatever new anime comes out on Hulu.

 

  1. What’s your most recent game played?

 

I play Clash of Clans religiously. I am in a clan with a bunch of my friends from middle / high school that I used to Lan party with / run track with. Other than that I’ve been mostly playing Halo and Call of Duty online with some of my coworkers.

 

  1. What music is on your playlist?

 

I have so many random playlists. When I’m at work I have a jazz playlist that has a lot of big band jazz on it. I have a fav game hop playlist that has a ton of Mega Ran, Doc Awk, Michael K Hill, Mister Wilson etc. Then I have my gym playlist for when I’m lifting or running with a lot of 90’s early 2000s hip hop on it!

 

  1. What do you do in downtime?

 

I usually spend Sunday night catching up on shows I missed during the week, but in my down time I usually writing songs, recording or mixing tracks. When work send me out of town though I look up the cool places to explore in the area (last week I went to Rocky Mountain National park for example)

 

  1. Any past/present involvement in community activities you’d like to speak about?

 

I am affiliated with a group called DFW Nerd Night which raises money for local charities through a board gaming night once a month in Arlington. Every other month I set up some music and bring people in to perform and I’m also part of the voting committee (I guess you can call it) which scouts and discusses which charity to support each month. The past 3 years I have volunteered as a track coach (hurdles) for a local high school and a summer track club (Irving Elite)

 

  1. What are you trying to learn to do right now?

 

I’m learning how to buy a house haha. But really I’m learning some more in depth statistical analysis methods so I can be ready to blast through my six sigma black belt certification when I get a chance to take the class and do my project.

 

  1. What should Nerdy People of Color get out of our website and collective

 

Well Xavier said it best in his interview… I grew up around a lot of diversity so I was fortunate enough to not pay any mind to the “put a person in a box” type of comments I get. I want people to understand WHY the NPC is important. How just having a group of people together who want to show, “Hey it doesn’t matter if you’re black, white, purple or from Mars… You just have to be you because when you’re old, your memories can never be replaced and you want to be happy with the person you lived as.”

 

I just want us to be able to remind people to be true to themselves and treat others with respect, even if they are slightly different than you.

 

  1. Favorites:

 

A) Movie – Akira.

 

B) Food – Fufu and Peanut Butter Soup (African food lol)

 

C) Website – I’ll continue the trend of leading with NPCCOLLECTIVE.COM!!! And then every Friday before I go to work I read the shirk report on twistedsifter.com

 

  1. What’s upcoming?

 

I have a ton of work projects that have me traveling all over the country a couple of weeks a month this year. I also have some weekend fun with shows like Ongaku Overdrive Day after Show (May 11th Orlando), The Dallas Comicon Official Saturday Night Shindig (May 17th Dallas), A couple of shows in August – one in Orlando and then Classic Game Fest (August 17th Austin).

 

I’m slowly but surely cranking out the second volume of Nerdcore Emulation Station. Verses are trickling in now so I’ve been mixing those in the hotels / on airplanes haha.

 

  1. Talk about a person or event who made you who you are today.

 

I used to always want everyone to like hanging out with me, but I was also pretty weird / awkward growing up (but also a nice guy) so kids poked fun at me like kids do. But I have this AMAZING group of friends that I’ve been friends with basically since I moved to Indiana in the 8th grade. We were all in band together, we took the same classes together, we were on the track team together and played video games together. Basically we all just did everything together. It was probably my sophomore year high school that I had an epiphany and thought, “These guys push me to work harder, we always have a blast together, we have similar life goals… Literally if these were the only friends I made for the rest of my life… I’d be good to go!”

 

That was the point where I started just being myself and being happy with the person I was / who I was growing into and started appreciating people for the things that made them unique. Everything improved for me from school to track to band (I’d like to think I’m also a more pleasant person to be around because of it too).

 

 

 

I am glad to say I still am best friends with those guys, we all live in different states but fly to visit each other and have done secret santa gift exchanges for like the past 6 years (One of my those guys even came to hang out at Nerdapalooza with his wife when I was out there and met Mega Ran and Sammus!)

 

 

 

So that’s a long story I know but those friends are very important to me and I wanted to do their impact on my life justice.

-RJ

An NPC Q&A With Mega Ran

DSC_0222

 

Photo by Cathy Weaver

Every week, we’re going to give you an exclusive Q&A with a different member of the NPC. First up, its founder and most likely to bring a Mega Buster to a gun fight, Random aka Mega Ran.

 

THE NPC Q&A.

1. What are you nerding out on currently?

Sounds weird but I’m nerding out on my health. I’ve been in the gym hard for the past 2 weeks, now that I’m home for a stretch, trying to get a habit going. I’m already feeling better (when I’m not sore), and I can see improvements in breath control and the overall stage show.

2. What are your most recent games played?

Man I can’t stop playing Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney. I play it every night before bed and so I never get to bed on time. It’s an addictive game. Also been playing Titanfall, Guacamelee and Bravely Default. I just opened my Steam account so I think it’s curtains from here.

3. What music is on your playlist?

Mostly beats for my new album, or collaborations that I owe people… but besides that I’ve been listening to Garfunkel and Oates, Dirty Projectors and a lot of classic Snoop Dogg lately. But in the gym it’s R&B or straight ignorant rap.

4. What do you do in your downtime?

What is this downtime thing you talk of? When I’m not recording, I’m making time to see my friends, play games I haven’t put enough time in on, or planning my next music moves.

5. Any past/present involvement in community activities you’d like to speak about?

From the time I resigned from teaching until the end of last year, I worked as an after school tutor and mentor to young kids, and I’d like to get back to that as soon as my schedule opens up a bit. I love chatting with them and knowing what’s challenging today’s youth… It also keeps me young, being around the kids.

6. What are you trying to learn to do right now?

I’m trying to learn how to record myself, mix myself and fully produce my own records. Hopefully by the end of the year I’ll have it down. YouTube tutorials work wonders. I’m also picking up new equipment to add to the live show to help the experience constantly get tighter and more interesting.

 

7. What should Nerdy People of Color get out of this website and collective?

They should find a place with people like them, explaining their struggles and successes, favorite things and most hated things, and letting them know that they have a friend, a peer or even a role model out there who looks and thinks like them, and that they’re never alone.

8. Favorites:

a) Movie? Black Dynamite

b) Food? Lasagna

c) Website? This one? haha, well, maybe Kotaku or Geekologie.

 

9. What’s upcoming for you?

Recording recording recording, a few big shows coming up in Orlando, San Jose, Toronto, and more. megaran.com/shows!

10) Talk about a person or event who made you who you are today.

My Mom’s involvement in my life. She had always told me to get my education and not to let anything hold me back, so I did, I went hard at college and finished through some tough odds. When I decided to quit teaching and make music, I was afraid to tell her for months… when I did, she totally had my back, came to my shows more than ever and has supported me like a champion.

Viva la NPC!