I Hate My Blog, II: MC Frontalot, Baddd Spellah, Lex The Lexicon Artist, and Gm7 on ‘Net Split’

MC Frontalot’s new album Net Split: Or, The Fathomless Heartbreak of Online Itself dropped this weekend. (Or, is it still dropping? Is the moment of album-drop an indivisible quantum thing? Probably no one cares.) Five years in the making, Net Split is in some sense a concept breakup album, in which the Godfather of Nerdcore Rap wrestles with all the aspects of the Internet that are increasingly awful: memes, trolls, dating, stalking, dating/stalking, and of course, comments. It’s hooky and at times heart-wrenching, and here I chat about it with Frontalot, co-producer/beatsmith Baddd Spellah (Dave Cheong), guest verse-ologist Lex the Lexicon Artist, and frequent collaborator/keyboardist Gm7 (Gaby Alter).

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NOC Rewind: Marc Bernardin on ‘Batman 89’

Since it’s the 29th anniversary of Tim Burton’s Batman starring Jack Nicholson and Michael Keaton, we’re rewinding back to this classic Hard NOC episode from 2014 when we had a pre-Fatman on Batman Marc Bernardin as a guest!

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This is Donald Glover’s America

Coming off the heels of wrapping the second season of Atlanta on FX and a successful stint hosting SNL — as well as being the musical guest — he captivated the internet with the release of the music video “This is America.” Now, he’s currently portraying a young Lando Calrissian in Solo: A Star Wars Story before going on to voice Simba in the live action Lion King adaptation for Disney. It may be safe to say that 2018 is shaping up to be the year of Donald Glover.

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Lewis Tan Shatters Through The Badlands

It’s been a hell of a year for Lewis Tan. And for the next seven days, it’s going to be one hell of a week! An O.G. and official Friend of the NOC, Lewis Tan is back on Hard NOC Life.

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We Need #WonderWomanTAS

As Wonder Woman continues to break box office records, there still isn’t enough content featuring everyone’s favorite Amazon. That’s why artists Jermaine Dickerson and Taylor Cordingley have each been championing for a Wonder Woman animated series.

Both artists stop by Hard NOC Life, along with Keith’s DCTV Classics’ co-host Desiree Rodriguez, to talk about how an animated Wonder Woman can finally be the intersectional, feminist, and diverse series we’ve all been waiting for!

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Ira Madison III Talks Catwoman and the 25th Anniversary of ‘Batman Returns’

On June 19, 1992, Batman Returns premiered and was unlike any comic book superhero movie that came before — or after. Starring Michael Keaton as Batman, Michelle Pfeiffer as Catwoman, and Danny DeVito as Penguin, Batman Returns was a beautiful dark twisted fantasy that doubled down on Tim Burton’s gothic tendencies and created one of the most enduring female characters in superhero cinema.

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Wonder Woman, Now the World is Ready For You

After shattering box office glass ceilings with a $200 million global debut, Keith breaks down the latest, and most successful, entry in the DC Extended Universe with two Wonder Women in their own right: N’Jaila Rhee (@BlasianBytch) — who also wrote the official NOC review — and Britney Monae (@HiBritneyMonae). Together they rank Wonder Woman against other comic book superhero movies and why the “No Man’s Land” scene is the best, discuss the problems with the last act of the movie, break down the argument that Gal Gadot is a person of color and/or a Zionist, and determine which Chris is the Ultimate Champion White Actor Dude Named Chris.

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Waiting for the Into the Badlands Finale

The second season of AMC’s Into the Badlands concludes on Sunday, so our intrepid live tweeter Laura Sirikul joins Keith to look back on one of our favorite shows! Of course, they can’t help juxtaposing Ballands and Iron Fist, but they also explain Daniel Wu’s previous comments about whitewashing and why Oliver Stark needs to be a guest on a future episode. They also share their predictions about the finale and how Keith decided to mashup Badlands and Hamilton for #IntoTheHamLands.

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May the 40th Anniversary of Star Wars Be With You

Hard NOC Life is back with a special episode dedicated to the 40th anniversary of Star Wars! Keith is joined by the hosts of Desi Geek Girls, Swapna Krishna and Preeti Chhibber, to talk about their experience meeting Riz Ahmed and Mark Hamill at Star Wars Celebration, Rogue One and the increasingly diverse galaxy, the need for more women of color in Star Wars, and why Rebels is the best!

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Journey Into the Badlands with Co-Creator Al Gough

In the first part of a special podcast crossover with DC TV Classics, Keith chats with Into the Badlands co-creator Al Gough. They talk about Al’s start in Hollywood with his writing and producing partner Miles Millar; working with Hong Kong cinema legends like Jackie Chan, Jet Li, Donnie Yen, Michelle Yeoh, and Daniel Wu; how difficult it is to accurately portray kung fu on broadcast television; and the importance of representation and why the onus is on producers and directors to find and cast diverse talent.

Subscribe to DC TV Classics or download part two of this interview here.

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Iron and Rage with John Brougher

Last week, we hosted a special live-streamed edition of Hard NOC Life with filmmaker John Brougher about his new short film Iron and Rage. John talks about his inspiration for creating his own #AAIronFist and why representation of Asian American humanity on screen is so important.

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An All-Star Lineup Discusses Whitewashing and Asian Erasure

Doctor Strange. Iron Fist. Ghost in the Shell. It’s hard out there to be an Asian American actor. Or an Asian American consumer of media. Or someone who would prefer to see more Asian Americans on screen (and behind the scenes). That’s why guest host Valerie Complex (whose #IAmMajor clapback recently went viral) gathered an all-star panel to talk about being Asian in Hollywood: feminist pop culture writer Clara Mae, Geeks of Color Creative Director (and Finn Jones’ favorite person on Twitter) Asyiqin HaronMan in the High Castle actor Lee Shorten, and (the man who should’ve been) Iron Fist’s Lewis Tan.

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BuzzFeed’s Susan Cheng on the State of AAPI Pop Culture

It’s been nearly a year since we were hit with the double whammy of Tilda Swinton and Scarlett Johannson. Now with Iron Fist and Ghost in the Shell just around the corner, we’re joined by BuzzFeed News’ entertainment reporter Susan Cheng to let us know where Asian Americans currently stand in the greater pop cultural landscape.

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Bryan Thao Worra on Lao Science Fiction (From CTRL+ALT)

In our final live edition of Hard NOC Life from the NOC Reading Lounge at CTRL+ALT — the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center’s pop-up culture lab in the former Pear River Mart location in SoHo, award-winning poet Bryan Thao Worra discusses the literature of the Laotian diaspora and explains why the Asian American literay canon needs more speculative fiction.

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Star Wars Goes Rogue with Val and Bria

Rouge One is the biggest movie on the planet, and we finally devote a whole show to talk about the most diverse (or is it?) Star Wars ever filmed. Joining in on the fun is Tosche-Station.net writer, and Star Wars superfan, Bria LaVorgna and Black Girl Nerds’ movie reviewer, and occasional NOC contributor, Valerie Complex. [Spoilers throughout!]

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Dwayne Perkins and Lynn Chen are Dying to Kill

The new horror film Dying to Kill, starring stand-up comedian Dwayne Perkins, will make its debut this Tuesday, December 13 on Hulu. On this week’s Hard NOC Life, Dwayne — who also co-wrote the film — is joined by his co-star Lynn Chen, as well as the film’s writer/producer Koji Steven Sakai, and writer/director Raymond C. Lai to talk about the process that went into making the film.

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#SupportPOCpods: An Open Letter From Podcasters of Color

In the aftermath of the United States’ 2016 presidential election, many white Americans are asking how a candidate so inexorably tied to white supremacy was able to secure a seat as the leader of the free world.

People of color in the United States, however, are somewhat less surprised. We’ve seen, felt, and suffered under white supremacy as long as we’ve been alive.

Discussions examining the conditions resulting in the President-elect’s ascension have largely been variations on a limited set of themes, and are often confined to the world of political machinery. Was it the relative political weakness of his opponent? The failure of mainstream media to do its job?

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Snakehead Filmmakers on the Search for Sister Sze

The filmmakers behind the upcoming independent movie Snakehead — director Evan Jackson Leong (Linsanity) and producer/actor Brian Yang (Hawaii Five-0) — join the show to talk about media representation, building community through crowdfunding, and the evolution of independent Asian American film.

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Update Our Hard NOC Life Podcast Feed on iTunes

If you’re already a subscriber to the audio version of Hard N.O.C. Life, first THANK YOU! We know not everyone has the time or bandwidth to watch us on YouTube, so we started a podcast you can find and subscribe to on iTunes. Recently, we switched up our podcast feed to Soundcloud, so if you’ve subscribed to the original podcast, you’ll need to update your feed by going here.

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Mako Mori Battles Giant Kaiju

It’s not a secret that I wasn’t the biggest fan of this past summer’s giant-robots-punch-giant-monsters-in-the-face flick Pacific Rim. In fact, there was a whole segment of “Hard N.O.C. Life” dedicated to me disagreeing with Jenn about the merits of the movie.

That said, I do realize that I am in the minority in this opinion, at least among the fanboy set. I get that. I ain’t hatin’. Whatever floats your jaeger, right?

One of those fanboys who loved this movie more than me is my friend, artist Jamie Noguchi. It’s probably safe to say Jamie loves this movie more than most — even Guillermo Del Toro. Probably. Jamie feels so strongly about this movie (because SWORD!), he wrote a song about it. Wanna hear it? Hear it go.

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