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Hip Hop Hell vet brings a little nerdy to the South

You’re totally lying if you won’t admit to ever having wasted an embarrassing hunk of time perusing various online social networks. Facebook and MySpace are the classic would-be-study-time black holes.

But what if instead of a place to survey photo after photo immortalizing a wasted weekend, these virtual communities were actually used for expressing ideas, spreading wisdom gleaned from personal experience and pixilated schmoozing?

And how about if it’s more specific – like an entire network dedicated to the hip-hop culture of the Southeast?

Willie Evans Jr. of the Springfield hip-hop collective Hip Hop Hell has launched an Internet community compiled of folks with a common interest: independent arts specifically tailored to the Southeast area.

“To be honest with you, the Nerdy South sort of started as an idea,” Evans said.  “The name just popped into my head.”

Aptly dubbed the Nerdy South, the nexus, although blanketing most creative dexterities, is unmistakably united through hip-hop, Evans’ first love.

“As a fan of music, as well as an artist, I’ve always felt like the Southeast has had the ability to organize a community,” Evans said.

The site – digitally plopped at www.thenerdysouth.com – has the traditional set-up as far as launching a profile goes: a picture here, a quick biography there and a friends list.

But in addition to that, there are various videos, event listings and helpful links to other areas of interest.

At the Nerdy South’s core, however, is an initiative to let (primarily Jacksonville) people know there are kindred spirits about them.

“We have a lot of people in neighboring cities that are a lot like us,” Evans said.  “The artists tend to know about each other, but the people that are into that kind of thing might not.  They just don’t know there’s dope [stuff] out there.”

Evans hopes to intertwine the hip-hop scenes of Jacksonville, Tallahassee, Savannah, and all those tiny towns in between to form one super-community similar to the hip-hop commonwealth of San Francisco’s Bay area.

The Nerdy South began a year ago as solely an outlet for hip-hop, but it has since expanded.

“I want it to be a way for people to bring all sorts of different things to the table,” Evans said.

It now exists to combine the tiny offshoots of hip-hop subculture – even if it’s not the most popular in your city – and connect them.

The Nerdy South now houses a fairly modest 200-something members, their locations extending from here in Jacksonville to Boston and Germany.

Whatever you’re into, be it serving up clever cuisine, devouring throwback comic books or crafting self-governed films, the site encourages sharing thoughts and accounts of endeavors in it.

And you better believe there are some more features in the works for the Nerdy South.

Evans plans on adding a typically format-free live-stream broadcast ranging from interviews to pure documentation of what’s going down at Shantytown – a Springfield bar that plays as home turf to many a hip-hop enthusiast – exclusive to site members.

In addition, the Nerdy South plans to implement an online store – “a digital arm” of Hip Hop Hell Records, if you will – vending all sorts of releases from artists within the collective, as well as those recordings from other cats.

“I want to create a fantasy world where we all live across the street from each other, and we all like the same thing,” Evans joked.

E-mail Beca Grimm at [email protected].

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