Chess & Hip-Hop

After discovering WuChess earlier today, (and their video contest), I uploaded to youtube perhaps the most amateurish rap video ever put on the internet. Full video, lyrics and bonus lyrics/poem after the link:

chess heretic

I’m no chess purist, I confess,
a chess heretic at best
I’m all about the chess variants, newschool
four-player chess is best with suicide rules
tick-tack-check plays quick
Nightmare Chess, Chessheads or Proteus?
lets go to board game geek to check out the latest chess geeklists
or refresh alphabetical index
I’ve got icehouse pieces to play Martian Chess with,
Used to play a lot of Terrace
I get my dice from chessex
my game room is a mess
So in case you couldn’t guess
I like my board games complex
and it doesn’t get much better than a good game of chess


Yes, you can see my eyes reading. I’ve never been able to memorize more than a couple of lines at a time. I’ll also admit I spent far too long writing and recording this tonight. It’s embarrassing really.

Here was my first set of lyrics:


chess loser (or humble hip-hop)

uh, uh, uh, en passant…1

I can’t play to perfection, though I’ve got a chess book collection
“How to beat your dad at chess”, I don’t play to impress2
I confess, my mid-game is a mess, I’m a fourteen-hundred at best
you can’t be a chess king if you don’t know you Elo rating3
I’m not a chess master, and no, I can’t play any faster!

You can probably beat me easy
with one brain tied behind your back
baby you’ve forked my queen, and your rooks are stacked!

my rank and file are an eyesore
trapped my bishop on line four
you sure knocked me off my high horse
(queen-side-knight, of course)

now I’m screaming mayday!
cause it’s Elvis Costello’s heyday 4
and it’s checkmate in three moves, no way!

I brought my queen out too early
I’ll try not to get surly
loose her in a trap you’ve set with your scheming
thinking so far ahead I’m daydreaming.

I’m lost in analysis paralysis
it’s disastrous and precarious
you probably think it’s hilarious
sharing your win with “esoterics, paranoids, hysterics” 5

“You wanna come over later, we’re playing Chess at Derik’s.”

“I’ll call you when I get home,
I’m busy right now playing shredder on my iPhone.”6


1. If you know the correct pronunciation of en passant, this probably makes more sense.
2. I actually have the book How to Beat Your Dad at Chess. I bought it after I finally beat my dad though, so I’ve never read more than a few pages.
3. Here’s the Wikipedia entry on the Elo rating system.
4. “With the kings and queens of the dance hall craze/Checkmate in three moves in your heyday”, Elvis Costello in his song Human Hands Funny thing is that I’ve actually only heard Sondre Lerche’s version from the Dan in Real Life soundtrack. (Highly recommended.)
5. “As you watch yourself caring/About a minor sporting triumph, sharing/Your win with esoterics,/Paranoids, hysterics”, from the lyrics of Chess, the musical, written by Tim Rice in the song “Endgame”.
6. I have Shredder chess bookmarked on my iPhone. I usually just play the puzzles in the bathroom.

One Reply to “Chess & Hip-Hop”

  1. Sweet! Only thing that would have made this better is a beat in the background, and maybe if I would have understood more of the references :)

    Anyway, Phenow commented on my blog which surprised me that someone from work read it, so I figured I’d comment on yours.

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