Nerdcore Hip-Hop Artist Damp Heat
It's rare to hear something nerdy and not have it be an insulting joke or at best a great parody. Austin Texas resident Damp Heat shatters the artifacts of old with his 18 track hip-hop album “The Lich.” The concept album recounts a fairly standard tale of a Dungeons and Dragons adventure from first meeting to final confrontation. Listening to tracks on this album, which came highly recommended by my old Dungeon Master, one of the team at, it is clear this artist both loves and plays his D&D. Much D&D related media, even by players, is parody. The parody pandemic is so pervasive I can no longer cast magic missile without using “that” voice. If you play you know which one. Much nerd parody in media is fun, and full of inside jokes, but most of us don't live the life portrayed in Weird Al's “White and Nerdy.” The Album begins with a joyous party track called Tavern. The track is fun and upbeat. It also has multiple voices raping from a first person perspective and they sound the way a group of adventurers would if adventurers meeting in a Tavern and embarking on a perilous quest actually rapped. Sadly, none of the fantasy faux middle ages settings I've lost my free time in had yet invented hip hop. But if they did, someone would flow with “get that silver, get that gold, don't wanna taste dirt before I get old.” Tolkien's singing elves just got the dial turned on them like they were NPR. The D&D source material is not the only source of tracks. A later song invokes my childhood memories of Conan. “By Crom let's get drunker than a motherf&%ker, right on till the brink of dawn.” It's another great party piece and it doesn't involve a camel getting one-punched straight to sleepytown. The ongoing story touches on player to player antagonism, distrust of Non Player characters, and it even hints at the players having a backstory. The live clarinet on the track “Forest” is a nice touch as well. Damp Heat's portrayal of the final showdown against the the antagonist is both rap battle and real battle. The spells the enemy uses: Enervate, Mirror Image, Dimension Door, Dominate are all what one would expect such a foul creature to cast. Further, they are cast in the order I would expect them to be cast and at the target at whom you would expect them to be cast. Possibly best of all was the hidden reference to the fabled “Hand of Vecna.” Slipping that hand in, so to speak, without naming the great one-eyed lord of dark magic is pure genius. I've been questing for such an implicit reference, as well as the the fabled hand, since I got my first DMG in 1980. This album is well worth the listen if you love the source material as a true gamer should. And in the spirit of our age it is available online for download directly from the artist at a modest price.