I don’t even know the area code for Middle-Earth, but this crew is reppin’ it something fierce. I always say don’t step up to the microphone unless you’re prepared to throw down and own it like some motherfuckin’ Mithril. Actually, I don’t say that, but I’ve been meaning to start. Bouncing out in true crew style like they were the Wu Tang Clan, the Warp Zone troupe (with some friends) take turns spittin’ verse like they didn’t need to rehearse. Even the harmonizing on the “Misty Mountains” chorus sounds dope. Ill? Fresh?
Rare is the group who appreciates the nuances of Middle-Earth and freestyle rap. I dare say not since Eazy E’s early work with NWA have we seen such passion for Tolkien verse (at least I think Eazy was all about Tolkien … he was always talking about “Tolkien on a big phat fattie …”). Long story short, it’s been a minute since we’ve had good rap paired with “The Hobbit.”
And since we at NMR appreciated the fine flows of Warp Zone, we thought we’d ask one of the founding members, Brian Fisher, a thing or two about going out dressed in costume when it isn’t Halloween and rap-battling the Na’vi. Based on this video, I think it would go pretty well for Warp Zone.
Who are the main players involved in this? Give up some shout-outs.
Brian Fisher: So we have the entire Warp Zone troupe cast in this one, including: Michael Adams Davis as Bilbo, David Odom as Legolas, Ryan Tellez as Gandalf, Michael Schroeder as Bombur and myself as Thorin.
We also have some cameos from other YouTubers. TJ Smith, from YouTube.com/tj plays Ori. Jirard Khalil and Greg Wilmot from YouTube.com/thatonevideogamer play Gloin and Bofur respectively. Everybody sang their own parts and wore multiple hats, pun intended. Ryan wrote the song, Schroeder directed and edited, and I produced.
When you guys were heading out to film did any neighbors see you in your costumes and just shake their heads?
Well, since we shot on location in Middle-Earth, the neighboring inhabitants were quite receptive to our garb. But seriously, we actually shot at a buddy’s place that was pretty isolated so we didn’t get many onlookers. However, our local neighbors have gotten quite used to us running around in costume, so it probably would have been treated just like any another day, with formalities like “Hi, how are you?”, “Who are you parodying this week?” and “Can you take the hobbit cloaks out of the dryer?”.
Who was the toughest character to write rhymes for?
Bilbo, believe it or not. It took some time to figure out his lyrical style and flow. Ryan wanted to explore new territory thematically and make sure it wasn’t too generic. I think he nailed it and Bilbo’s rap is one of my favorite parts. Especially his fast rap section, which Davis rocked!
What are you guys planning next?
On the music front, we have a Sherlock a cappella video and a “League of Legends” music video planned for next month. Next week we have our third annual Very Warped Christmas special, which gets more and more twisted every year, so that’s something to look forward to as well. And, you know, if you’re gonna check that out, maybe watch the first two as well.
At any point are the “Lord of the Rings” characters going to have an Epic Rap Battle-style showdown with those blue dorks from “Avatar”?
Interesting pairing. Well, we might leave that up to our buds Lloyd and Pete over at ERB. But I think if it were to happen, it would probably have to focus on the Elves and the Navi. They both have pointy ears, long majestic hair, and archery skills so it seems like they’d have plenty of beef to carve up. Legolas vs Sully could be pretty hilarious, though I can’t decide if Legolas would be disgusted or jealous that the Na’vi mate through their hair. Let’s revisit when “Avatar 2” comes out!
Here are a few different takes on Tolkien and fantasy: