Flavorwire Premiere: MC Frontalot Puts a Twisted Spin on Fairy Tales in “Start Over” Video


You’d be excused, but slightly scorned, for not yet knowing the name of Brooklyn’s MC Frontalot. The man, born Damian Hess, is primarily known to those loyal to Penny Arcade and Comic Con. With his 2000 song “Nerdcore Hiphop,” Frontalot gave a name to the already-popular geek-centric genre of hip-hop. In the 15 years since, he’s been pumping out the kind of consistently raucous, intelligent rhymes that warrant his fervent, if still underground, fan base.

In 2014, Frontalot released Question Bedtime, a sort of kid-friendly concept album that puts the rapper in the role of a babysitter who tells graphic — but PG — versions of fairy tales to unsuspecting (but rapt) children. Frontalot tells Flavorwire via email that the idea of a concept album came from being “less interested in individual songs,” but the exact concept was born of the fact that, even as an adult, Frontalot just doesn’t sleep. “I have a rough time with insomnia, so actually having to get to bed at a certain time fills me with anxiety.”

But still, even if he could sleep he still wouldn’t like bed time. “Bedtime is the worst. The bedtime story serves as a form of bribery, tempting imaginative children into voluntary pajamas.” “Start Over,” written nearly ten years ago, addresses that bribery. “The demand to start the story over is a child’s only available protest once the terrible price of that bargain comes due.”

It’s fitting, then, that the Alicia J. Rose-directed video for “Start Over” finds Hess in the role of storyteller (and the Big Bad Wolf, and Little Red Riding Hood, and Riding Hood’s pot-smoking grandmother) as a group of children constantly protest that his version isn’t how the story goes. Flavorwire is pleased to premiere it below.