Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Who is MC Frontalot, and what is nerdcore hip-hop?
A: Front's just this middle-aged nerd who spends a lot of time peering into his computron. He used the term 'nerdcore hip-hop' to describe his home-recording rap hobby (through a song of the same name) in 2000. Later, with the help of his live band, he morphed the hobby into a surprisingly sustainable music career. Now he's been doing it full-time for about ten years, and a vast roster of other dorky rappers have seen fit to join the subgenre. Some of them are considerably better at it than he is! Check them out.
Q: What's all this about a live band?
A: Though occasionally busting out a solo gig with DJ CPU, Front much prefers the onstage company of his fearless human bandmates. They are and/or have been, over the years: Gm7 (AKA Gaby Alter) on keys, The Sturgenius (AKA R. Sturgis Cunningham) on drums, Bl4k L0tus (AKA Brandon Patton) on bass, Vic-20 (AKA Ken Flagg) on keys, The Categorical Imperative (AKA Dan Thiel) on drums, Gorthon the Mercenary (AKA James Walton) on keys, and M-Audio (AKA Matt Milligan) on bass. Every one of them has beautiful and fulfilling music projects of their own and is well worth looking up. And though he's never been up on the stage with Front, do not neglect Baddd Spellah (AKA Dave Cheong), Front's longtime co-producer, drum programmer, and fifth Beatle.
Q: Okay, what happened to the old Frontalot site?
A: It was irredeemable. Hax0rz were beating the hell out of it. The kindly and dedicated crew of coding volunteers who built its back-end in 2006 did a fantastic job, but one decade and many versions of PHP later, it was not particularly impervious to SQL injections.
Q: I found my email on a frontalot.com database leak that got posted somewhere! WTF?
A: Front is very sorry about that happening. When the breach occurred (Feb of 2015), Front and his host did their best to patch up the holes, changed everyone's frontalot.com password, hacked some extra hashing into the password storage, mailed out new passwords along with the alert, and tried to inform users via news posts and twitter and facebook and etc. But Front is not surprised if none of that communication reached you. Luckily(?) PHPBB2 was always an insecure back-end, so signup had long carried a warning about passwords being mailed back to you in cleartext. We also always warned that you shouldn't use a valuable pass for the Frontalot forums. We know that's the kind of warning lots of folks ignore. We of course never had any of your credit cards or mailing addresses on file, and hopefully losing that pass and having your email exposed was not the beginning of anything very identity-thefty happening in your life. If it was, Front feels quadruple extra terrible about the whole business.
Q: How can I access the album downloads that I bought at the old frontalot.com?
A: Email The Shopkeep to discuss. We'll get you taken care of.
Q: What about the various intensely important things that used to be posted on the BBS?
A: You'll have to take a look at the Internet Archive for that. It's slow but steady, like a tortoise humiliating a hare.
Q: What about the new site? How secure is that?
A: At the moment it is literally just a bunch of static HTML. That means there's nothing much to hack, no user accounts, to databases, no nothin'. All the dynamic stuff (the front page news and twitter, the merch and download stores, the calendar, etc) are scripts and iframes that tell your browser to pull that content from other sites. The iframes that hold the stores are SSL encrypted. You can access their respective frontalot.com enclosing pages via HTTPS to see the lock icon in your address bar: downloads & merch. Or just head to the actual pages we're embedding: MC Frontalot's Bandcamp & MC Frontalot's SquareUp Shop. They won't have the frontalot.com nav across the top, but you can probably figure out how to get back here on your own.
Q: Are any parts of the old site still coming back?
A: Yes! On the reimplementation agenda are: the mailing list, The Prayerbot, the gateway for solving the Painstakingly Concealed Secret Track, the Open Source Beats Program, and a few other pieces of necessarily self-hosted dynamic content.
Q: What about the Valued Sucker Program?
A: Front's Patreon will replace that, once he gets his ass in gear and sets it up.
Q: What about the old Dorknotes section?
A: All of those were reposted on one of Front's tumblr feeds. This one, in fact. They're mixed in with other random nonsense, since that's how tumblr works as far as Front can tell.
Q: Are there other secret(ish) Frontalot social media and writing things I should pay attention to?
A: That could be. Here's his twitter that always asks Would You Go See A Band Called? Here's propaganda posters he occasionally makes regarding the 2016 American Presidential election. Here's the charmingly cantankerous film review site Stand By For Mind Control, where Front sometimes is allowed to weigh in. And all his more regularly updated feeds are linked from colorful icons on the front page.
Q: May I use Front's music in my podcast, livestream, etc?
A: Sure, so long as it is 100% noncommercial. By that, we mean nobody's monetizing it. If the host service is monetizing it but you aren't, it's probably still okay, but ask specifically first. If you make any money from something in which you've included Front's music, you need to have licensing paperwork sorted out with him ahead of time.
Q: May I license Front's music for my television, film, game, or web project?
A: Absolutely! As an entirely independent artist, Front's music licensing rates are exponentially more reasonable than those of his competitors.
Q: What about commissions? Does Front do those?
A: He does, when time permits. Hit him up with details about the scope and budget of your project and how you see an exclusive custom-written Frontalot track fitting into it.
Q: I saw MC Frontalot posting on the [fark/somethingawful/etc] forums. Was that really him?
A: Maybe! Maybe not. It is hard to tell, because internet. You can ask him, if you want, he will tell you if he ever posted somewhere before, and then you won't have to wonder.
Q: Isn't MC Frontalot just a cheesy rap parody novelty act, worth barely a moment's smirking half-appreciation?
A:Ya moms is a cheesy rap parody novelty act, worth barely a moment's smirking half-appreciation! No more questions.
Q: I thought you said no more questions.
A: All right, one more.
Q. What's the future of Public Enemy?