Customer Reviews: Graduate
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4.6 out of 5 stars
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VINE VOICEon June 1, 2006
I heard "Download this Song" on LAUNCHcast and I was like "what"? Is this guy actually encouraging people to download his song? Then I caught the lyrics trashing the big record labels.

So I checked a little deeper and MC Lars is on Nettwerk Records and they state on their website "as per Nettwerk copyrights, we have never sued anybody and all our music is open source to encourage fans to share it with others and help us promote our Artists."

That was enough all by itself to get me to buy the CD. As it turns out I've really enjoyed a lot of the songs "especially Space Game". I DID see a copyight warning on the CD jacket however. Maybe they will want to eventually stop you from just "downloading that song".
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on March 26, 2006
Without a doubt, MC Lars' "The Graduate" is one of the most original and musically innovative efforts I've heard from a single artist in years. Released on his own label, this full-length album follows Lars' equally awesome 2004 release, "The Laptop EP."

MC Lars is not rap in the traditional sense, but what he likes to call "post-punk laptop rap." His songs reflect the best of many genres, spanning old school hip-hop acts like Public Enemy and Run DMC, to punk rock, techno, metal, and every alternative in between.

Songs on the album range from being socially conscious to hilarious, or both. "Download This Song" is an excellent, catchy anthem against the record industry featuring Jaret from Bowling For Soup, and sampling Iggy Pop's "The Passenger." "Generic Crunk Rap" lambastes the current state of rap and hip-hop, while "Hot Topic Is Not Punk Rock" features Lars with The Matches totally ragging on the trendy clothing store (ironically, you can buy "The Graduate" from Hot Topic).

"The Roommate From Hell" is a funny track about Lars having a roommate in college who's the devil - literally. "Internet Relationships (Are Not Real Relationships)" holds a few lessons for those obsessed with instant messaging and MySpace, and "Rapgirl" is a emotional and personal story of a romance and a broken heart from Lars.

My personal favorite song has to be "Space Game," simply because it has a kick-ass beat and features extremely cleaver and funny lyrics about science fiction. Fans of MC Lars will recognize older songs "iGeneration" and "Signing Emo." I'm not too happy these were added to the album, since it makes it feel more like a "best of" CD, but I understand that Lars needs to show off his range of talents to newer listeners.

My only other criticism is that Lars did not include "Wal-Mart Nation," a powerful tirade against the retail giant he recorded for the documentary "Wal-Mart - The High Cost of Low Price."

Nevertheless, "The Graduate" is the creative sum of Lars' brilliant lyrics, collaborations with other musicians ("The Dialogue" with Ill Bill being the best), and samples from a wide range of musical genres. MC Lars' mockery of American pop culture is not just for entertainment value, but to advocate social change, or at least try to get listeners to pay attention to the world around them. In the midst of a society eager to dumb down and deceive its youth, to have such a political and talented artist such as Lars is a true gift to this generation.
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on March 22, 2006
ok, so, for being an avid meta head that really doesnt like rap, i love this album, i got it and within one lsiten, i know it would be one of the best albums of the year. every song is original and different than just about all other rap out there. Lars knows what he is doing with rap, unlike everyone else in the genre with exception of a few.
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on April 3, 2006
It's not easy when you've created your own genre with only a laptop and lyrics. MC Lars knows just what's going on in the world and has insight into many modern issues and complications. I first found MC Lars while surfing I was amazed at what I found. Without even buying his album I bought one of his T-Shirts. He's simply one of the best artists I've ever heard. Not becuase of his mad looping-computer generated-music skills, but because he honestly knows what he's signing about. This, coming from someone, who is a large fan of emo music and such.

Lars knows what's up and every song reflects something that we have all encountered as youth in the "iGeneration." It's a fun album and I must admit being hyped up when listening to it. It's almost nice to know somebody else out there knows what's going on in your life, maybe even better than yourself.

MC Lars is going to be one of the next biggest things. He doesn't cater to any particular genre, but instead, created his own. I don't care if you're a metal head or a hardcore crunker, you will adore this album. It can supply to many interests, including those which despise popular music. Myself being that category as well.

Amazing album. And he has cool t-shirts too.
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on July 3, 2006
Great CD. All the songs are witty and have something to say. The style of the CD is varied, covering all genres in one way or another. If you're the kind of person who understands sarcasm and is a bit critical of parts of social culture, then this ones for you!
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on July 7, 2010
MC Lars, The Graduate
4.64 stars out of 5

In general, the album consists of inventive, often-funny, lyrical ideas.
Though I like a lot of Lars' material, this is the album that initially introduced me to him, and remains one of my favorites of his.

"Download this Song", "Hot Topic is Not Punk Rock", "Generic Crunk Rap" and "Signing Emo" all brilliantly take aim at the mainstream music industry that Lars is decidedly not part of. [This stems in part from the DIY component of his punk-rock influences; musically-speaking, Lars effectively blends this with various other genres.] However, Lars is still upbeat and positive, rather than morosely tearing into The Industry, sometihng some indies seem to have a habit of doing too much of as far as I'm concerned.

"iGeneration" is an anthem with a large club beat to match the scale.
Its new-generation lyrical theme (and the heavy Internet-media component thereof) somewhat connects it to "Download this Song".

"Hot Topic Is Not Punk Rock" effectively raises the common worry of rebel/outsider imagery being appropriated without bringing the core attitude along, as well as posers more generally.
"Generic Crunk Rap" bemoans the sorry state of a lot of mainstream rap - not just a plug for smart indie rappers such as himself, but also a tribute to great classic MCs. (Grandmaster Flash, KRS-One, Run-DMC, Rakim, Chuck D and De La Soul are specifically named here, but Lars has mentioned other genre favorites elsewhere.)

"21 Concepts" has Lars rapping out his bad unfinished song ideas over the Tetris theme music. I mean, come on, that's geek-classic. Some of the mentioned ideas at least made it to the stage of the "21 Concepts" b-sides compilation, and work fairly well there, some never appeared at all.

"Roommate from Hell" - drops a lot of Satan references to explain how bad his new dorm-mate is. mc chris cameos as the title character. Funny concept executed very well.

"Ahab" has Lars channeling his English degree in order to rap about Moby Dick. "If I Had a Time Machine, That Would Be Fresh", "Internet Relationships (Are Not Real Relationships)", "Space Game" are also wonderful celebrations of geeky culture topics

"The Dialogue" (with Ill Bill) is an effective integration of comments on their musical influence with some comment on general sociopolitical themes. Respect, y'all, both where you came from and where they come from.

"Rapgirl", one of the slower pieces, is apparently a reference to Kristine Flaherty (K. Flay). [the 'Suburban Rap Queen' lyric refers to Flay's title.] evidently a former romantic partner (who to this day is still a friend and business/artistic collaborator. Love how he disclaims his disclaimer in the intro, by the way.

"Six Degrees Of Kurt Cobain" is my only 'meh' for the album, but hey, thirteen out of fourteen ain't bad.
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VINE VOICEon June 30, 2007
Hell, MC Lars should be president. I hate to be the one who breaks this to you, but mainstream hip-hop really sucks. So do mainstream rock, electronica, mainstream films....pretty much everything you see or hear that you don't discover for yourself or through a friend with good taste. No rapper seems to understand this better than MC Lars, who incorporates all of these sounds that suck and twists them until they're relevant again. It turns out that white rappers don't have be laughingstocks after all; just when they try to convince you that they are black.

Lars raps about the things he cares about and understands: science fiction, romantic confusion, musical passion, punk and metal, the state of hip-hop music etc. Through clever sampling (remember the old-school "Tetris" theme?), hysterically funny and relevant lyrics with absolute truth behind them, and pure passion MC Lars is taking the music game back for the fans one song at a time. On the opening track, "Download This Song", he lambasts the pigheadedness of the music industry's attitude about file-sharing ("Hey, mister recordman what's wrong with you?/ Running your label like it's 1992") to a shockingly generic techno track. Shocking because I actually enjoyed it.....a lot. It turns out that even the most played-out sound can be made new again with solid song-writing and genuine energy from the artist making the music. I don't entirely know what Lars' secret is, but anyone that has me bobbing my head to a lame synth riff over a dance beat has got my respect as an artist.

It's also worth noting that there is no profanity to speak of on this album. That is not to say people won't be offended by the lyrics; just the stupid ones who mimic cultures they don't understand in an attempt to be "cool". Posers, if you like. "Hot Topic is not Punk Rock" pretty much says what there is to say in the song's title to the sounds of real hardcore punk music. Likewise, "Generic Crunk Rap", where Lars whispers apologies to his heroes for the bad music he's imitating ("Chuck D/ I'm sorry but we're killing hip-hop"). Best of all, there is "Signing Emo" where a fictional group, Hearts That Hate, and all the real bands like them are soundly mocked with a chorus so laughably cheesy you won't believe it's not a real top 40 radio hit.

But it's not all about making fun of bad music and record labels. Lars proves his hardcore geek cred by calling out the likes of Boba Fett, Q, and General Zod in his tribute to killer sci-fi, "Space Game". In my favorite moment on the album, Lars implores DJ HAL to "bring that beat back". HAL predictably responds, "I'm sorry, Lars, but I can't do that"; the end result is a sweet guitar solo. "The Dialogue" is another favorite where Lars collaberates with rapper Ill Bill to exchange verses about the music they listend to growing up. It's a song about mutual respect for other cultures while staying true to where you come from; something many other musicians could learn a lot about. The catchiest tune on the album is probably "iGeneration" which anthemically celebrates the state of our lives in the now in the way only a true nerd can while simultaneously referencing The Who.

There's plenty more to talk about -high-voiced MC Chris ("Aqua Teen Hunger Force" fans will know him well) appears as Satan on a helium binge in "Roommate From Hell"- but I could be here all day singing the praises of this album. This sort of fresh musical perspective only comes along every so often so if you want to hear clever, intelligent rap music that incorporates rock, electronica, and modern geek culture into one laugh-out-loud funny, ridiculously listenable, and irresistable package then you've already missed out on too much. Buy this album, buy his T-shirts, attend his concerts, and tell your friends; the voice of our people has arrived.
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on March 13, 2009
In case you're one of the few who do not know ho MC Lars Is: MC Lars lays down the pop culture references and post-punk-laptop-rap in an original fusion of awesome rapping and fun. Rapping about girls, roommates, time machines and even providing his own social-consumerism commentary on the "crunk" culture; no topic is too out there. Even if it involves a rap about Ahab and his hunt for a whale, MC Lars never fails to entertain. And it isn't just his lyrics that are original, but he samples music from Iggy Pop and Supergrass, and his sound ranges from slow pop to punk, to crunk, so he's incredibly diverse sounding great in all styles. His phrasing and his great lyrics also provide plenty of one-liners and social labels, which are perfect for a cult following to latch onto. Highlights include:

"Download This Song"
"Hot Topic Is Not Punk Rock"
"If I Had A Time Machine, That Would Be Fresh"
"Internet Realationships"
"Signing Emo"

Did I also mention it's catchy? Really, I can't these songs out of my head, and it has tons of replay value, so you know you're getting your money's worth, if the awesome rapping doesn't entice you first. So overall, as somebody who struggles to find rap that fits my niche, since I didn't grow up in the ghetto, it's not to find a guy like rap. Now finally I can ride around with the bass kicked in. Add in a sense of humor, and picking up MC Lars' The Graduate is a no-brainer. Really, why is this guy not on the radio???
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on May 5, 2007
MC Lars' "The Graduate" is the perfect CD for geeks of all stripes. His lyrics reference geek topics from The Matrix to 2001 to Tetris to Moby Dick.

Standout tracks include "Downoad This Song", "Hot Topic Is Not Punk Rock", "iGeneration", "Internet Relationships (Are Not Real Relationships)", "Space Game" and "The Roommate From Hell".

A CD with its geek heart on its sleeve, MC Lars gives pasty geeks a rap album to be proud of.
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on May 22, 2006
Fun, hip, relevant rhymes with electro-punk beats. Think MC Chris meets the Dead Milkmen. The best tracks are: Download this Song, Hot Topic is Not Punk Rock, and Space Game.
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