According to Webster, a latter definition suggests that a nerd is: “unstylish, introverted, and devoted towards academic pursuits.”

There is nothing unstylish about my nature, but for the purposes of this site, I’ll define the term as a person who has an affinity for certain forms of entertainment. For the purposes of this site, I’ll be that. A cinema nerd. A rap music nerd. A nerd divulging mythology through fiction, poetry, or graffiti walls.

Comic books were taboo in my parents’ Christian household; my collection was always stifled and intermittent. My stash was hidden in the clandestine manner young boys hid Playboy magazines; under mattresses, behind dresser drawers — ultimately found and discarded.

Comic books were forbidden, but oddly enough, my parents were addicted to science fiction and martial arts films. My mother will tell you that I am a “Star Wars Baby.” In ’77, I received the Force from within her womb. My mother also spoke fondly about Five Fingers of Death being one of my parents favorite films while dating.

One of the best things about growing up in the ’80s, was the television programming. Creative series like The Bionic Man and Knight Rider were among of my favorites. There were plenty of television series that failed; but the ultimate goal with these shows was the encouragement of fantasy and adventure. Shows that didn’t make sense, but were created to fill a void. Something that spoke to the American people and their need for imagination.

In the ’80s, there were great moments in the theater. I was filled with excitement, along with the rest of the audience, when we learned that the crew of the Enterprise would return and search for Spock; definitely my favorite film trailer.

Return of The Jedi was another memorable experience. First and foremost, at every theater, the lines were long and they were everywhere.

One of the most memorable moments of the film, was Vader’s emergence from his shuttle in the beginning of the film; the audience’s applauded, happy to see the villain return, almost with a sense of reverence. Then at the end, this same audience applauded Vader; saving his son from the evil electric hands of the emperor. In between Star Trek and Star Wars, I developed an affinity for kung fu flicks.

Before the RZA came on the scene, by way of VHS, I digested a diet of Shaolin monks, ninjas, and stories that required a protagonist avenge his dead parents and ultimately learn a secret style.

My father and I spent afternoons watching these movies; truthfully, our favorites were always the bad films, these included horrible dubbing and special effects. Some were so bad, you couldn’t help but laugh and appreciate them even more.

The family VCR made it possible for me to revisit the adventures of Daniel Larusso and his mastery of the crane kick; help Bruce Leroy find the Glow and follow San Te as he snuck into Shaolin; eventually mastering all of the chambers.

All of this was coupled with the experience of growing up in a religious household. Although I’m an atheist; I appreciate the bible for being an excellent source of invaluable stories. On evenings when my friends were involved in dalliance, my parents had me studying metaphoric text written by wise kings and prophets. Looking back, that was the blessing.

I also grew up listening to some of the best poets on wax, deciphering one of the world’s most popular books and engaged in cinematic adventures.

This nerd; he’s been born on storytelling. He just had to have the courage to tell the world his name and share the myth that he created. I can be a nerd about anything that I like, on this site, I’ll write about “the why,” the science of our favorite comics and fiction; how it relates to life.

For the purpose of this site, I’ll be a nerd; following the path of snot nosed Reggie Noble: I’ll be that, I’ll be that.

I’lI be a nerd who doesn’t subscribe to tenants of White supremacy either; willingly accepting a caste system that perpetually places him in last place, but for the purposes of this site, I’ll be Black. And when I put on my Lin jersey, this brother will be Yellow. Shit, if that Washington football team has enough money to pay off the Navajoes, they can slide me a few thousand and this brother will be Red.

In any event, you’re getting an understanding of who’re you rapping with. I’m Illmatical, embracing Nas’ definition: “the ill science of everything.” A writer from Queens; down by law.

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6 thoughts on “I’ll Be That: The Ill Science of Everything

  1. Great article. Everybody has heroes they who can inspire them. Science fiction and today’s fantasy films are just the more current stories that show us what’s possible for tomorrow. The optimism that erupted after the 1970’s carried a lot of hopes for equality and justice for all humanity. Sadly we got too caught up with a growing cynicism that we kept replacing old fences with new ones.

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  2. That’s why we need more stories that encourage change and diversity. If it’s done badly, then it’s bad. But nobody should give up on trying.

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