Sunday, October 31, 2010

JON HEX REVIEWS...The War for Infinity

The War for Infinity

Artist: Adam WarRock, featuring Tribe One

Producer: Ruckus Roboticus

Geek fandom/culture has seen an explosion in popularity in the past ten years and with it, a trend of blending geekdom with other influences. While geek hip hop is not entirely new, Adam WarRock’s The War for Infinity may be the first time it was exceptionally brilliant.

Adam WarRock is the alter ego of Eugene Ahn, who left a law career to devote himself full time to hip hop. After listening to Infinity, you will agree it was for the best. The lead track, I Am Him, tells the backstory of the character Adam WarRock and certifies WarRock’s geek credentials to anyone who gets the reference. It also serves as prologue because the album (with the exception of a few tracks) is a story in rhyme, each serving up a chapter in the battle between WarRock and his archenemy Demonos (played by Tribe One).

WarRock has an impressive way with words. His voice stays clear, keeping the story from taking backstage to the stunning beats laid down by Ruckus Roboticus. Tracks like Heroes Requiem show off his storytelling ability, which is a rarity in mainstream hip hop. Requiem not only name-drops dozens of superheroes and iconic character, but presents them in a character-true cosmic battle sequence. Crooked Deal shows a Faustian deal with allusions to shady record company practices.

The strongest songs are when WarRock and Tribe One play off each other, a meta battle of words between characters and artists. Battle (Introductions) is a cosmic rap battle that only serves to fuel Demonos’ rage and give a glimpse of the awesomeness of Battle (Finale), the ultimate showdown between the two cosmic adversaries. It feels like a sonic mega event and you will listen to it again and again.

Some may be put off by the idea of a story concept album, but shouldn’t be. This is hip hop as it when meant to be: a demonstration of a love, whether it’s of a people, a culture, the streets or the way stories are presented. For an even deeper experience, drop the cash for the Deluxe version, which contains exclusive remixes of songs from WarRock’s Tracklog, his musical sketchbook offered free on his website Listen to the track log, buy the album.

Rating: A+ An engaging story backed by superior beats.

Purchase The War for Infinity CD at

Purchase The War for Infinity CD/Digital Deluxe Download at

Monday, October 11, 2010

New York Comic Con 2010: Saturday

I only realized NYCC was coming around when I read Adam WarRock's post on his set with Kirby Krackle at the NYC Nerd Rock Festival. It wasn't that long after SPX, so there wasn't a lot of time to plan a trip to one of (if not) the most popular destinations in the US, but I tried to rally the troops. Troops had other he plans, then the weekend & Saturday passes for the con sold out. Always next year, right?

Enter James Rambo, a friend of mine who works at Victory Comics in VA. Victory set up a booth at NYCC and had an extra professional pass. As soon as Rambo offered, my mind was set and I decided I was going, sans plan. I hopped an early morning (cheaper) train and was in NYC an hour before the con started. It reminded of SDCC circa '06, and had a lot of cool booths set up and interesting merch being sold, like the new Steve Rogers tee and disco lightsabers. I spent a few hours just wandering around and talking with Rambo and Julian Lytle, who had a table in Artists Alley.

I was able to buy a copy of The War For Infinity from Euge (Adam WarRock) after running into him between show floors. He is a cool guy and still talked to me after making the worst pun ever using his name. He saw Chris Claremont and HE brought up how bittersweet it was to see the man, forever cementing my high opinion of Euge. Then I ran into Jen Vaughn who was at the con just to visit, mostly. I met her at SPX when she was selling Adam WarRock tees she designed. For those who don't know her, I'm sorry about that, because she's awesome. We met up with David Wolkin of Comics Alliance and wandered around the con saying hello to Jen's friends before the Comics Alliance panel started. She gave a nice bio before getting to each person, so I didn't have to ask what they did or stand there like a prop.

As we passed the signing row looking for Marvel artists, David mentioned how much he didn't like the whole celebrity culture. Jen and I kind of threw it back in his face ten minutes later by asking Scott Adsit to pose with us when we spotted him by the entrance. I was like, "Scott Adsit!" He turned but was a few feet away and suddenly Jen was next to him like a ninja. She handed him copies of her mini-comic to make it less likely for him to blow us off. Told you she's awesome. Anyway, the three of us got to the panel, where Euge and Kevin Church were already seated. It went something like this: I met Chris Sims face-to-face and got to crack a joke in a public forum. WIN. The con winded down after that. I picked up OCTOPUS PIE: THERE ARE NO STARS IN BROOKLYN from Meredith Gran at the Dumbrella booth. She remembered my face from SPX and I was glad someone remembered my face without confusing me for someone else.

After a bad first impression with the NY subway system, I made it to the Nerd Rock Festival and met up with Euge. We then went over to meet up where Chris Sims, Kevin Church, Robin Kimball, Benjamin Birdie, and Jen had posted up for the show. Robin did an interesting thing with her ears and glowsticks that I got a pic of. Sticks with you. It was quite a fun time and Kirby Krackle rocked way more than I was expecting (I was there for Euge). With Euge's set over, we broke apart and I decided to stay for the rest of the show. Not the best decision. The rest kind of sucked. But altogether, it proved to be one hell of a Saturday and the best decision I've made since deciding to stop watching HEROES.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


...that I worked for Marvel and they still owned the license to G.I. Joe, because I would make this happen:
Real American Hero action!