Northern California rapper MC Lars is set to release his fourth full-length studio album, the Zombie Dinosaur LP, this summer. After a three-year long stint in Los Angeles, Lars has returned home to the Bay Area, self-producing his new album with help form friends in Berkeley and San Francisco. The ZDLP revisits the satirical, uptempo style of his 2004 debut, the Laptop EP, featuring guest appearances by Watsky, Kool Keith and Less than Jake’s Roger Lima. Zombie Dinosaur tackles such topics as postfeminism in Game of Thrones (“Dragon Blood”), disappointing reunion bands with very few of their original members (“Sublime with Rome is Not the Same thing as Sublime”), hipster parenting (“Hipster Mom”), and the current state of EDM (“Signing Dubstep”). The project was funded entirely by Lars’s third Kickstarter campaign, by which he raised over $42k to create and release the ZDLP through his own label, Horris Records.
In the ten years that have followed the Laptop EP, Lars has independently produced and released three other solo full-lengths, four EPs, various mixtapes; collaborated with KRS-One; mentored and developed the career of fellow Stanford alumni K.Flay (with whom he collaborated on the 2009 Single and Famous EP); opened for Nas and Snoop Dogg; played multiple summers on the Vans Warped Tour; headlined club shows across the US, Canada, Japan, Australia, New Zealand and Europe; presented at two different TEDx conferences; and performed at Carnegie Hall with a full string section (where Lars debuted the video for the lead single for 2012’s Edgar Allan Poe EP, “Flow Like Poe” at Scholastic’s 2012 Art and Writing Awards). Lars has developed and grown Horris Records in this past decade as well, signing his first artist Weerd Science (the solo hip-hop project of Cohered & Cambria’s drummer Josh Eppard). Lars has continued to produce music videos for himself and his friends, including a cameo credit on past musical collaborator “Weird Al” Yankovic’s 2014 “Lame Claim to Fame” (for which Lars was given a special shout out in the Grammy Award winning’s Mandatory Fun’s liner notes).
Having been labeled one of the pioneers of the underground “nerdcore hip-hop” subgenre, Lars has recently expanded from the studio to the classroom. With residencies at USC, and in the UK and across the US in Nantucket, Florida, California, Alaska, Kansas, Lars has found joy in educating young people about “lit-hop”, a subject term he coined highlighting the connections between classic poetry and the cultural history of rap.
Lars has also continued to work closely with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, teaching workshops on preventing self-harm and the positive ways to use music as creative therapy for depression.
It’s been quite a decade.