Who was the first well-educated white smartass who realized the comic potential of hip-hop? No one knows for sure, but the prank-filled legacies of the Beastie Boys and the Bloodhound Gang are in good hands with MC Lars, a California native who uses his laptop raps to gleefully piss all over Hot Topic, internet dating, and the music biz, among other unlucky targets.
The former Andrew Neilsen is yet another indie-rock kid with a hip-hop jones, but his sense of humor quickly set him apart -- first on the 2003 debut Radio Pet Fencing, recorded on his computer, and then on The Laptop EP, which included "Signing Emo," a sarcastic rhyme about frantically searching for the next big thing in the underground. His current album, The Graduate, marks his real-life exit from academia (Stanford and Oxford) as well as a move up to bigger sounds (Bowling for Soup's Jaret Reddick guests). His irreverence remains untouched, however: Where else can you go to play "Six Degrees of Kurt Cobain"?