(PHOENIX, AZ) Nerds and geeks of varying racial and ethnic backgrounds need not look any further to find people who look and think like they do, for The NPC (Nerdy People of Color) Collective is here.
In what began as a summertime conversation between former teacher and current hip-hop artist Raheem Jarbo, aka Mega Ran and WWE Superstar Xavier Woods, The NPC Collective is a group of professional musicians, artists, activists, athletes and creators with one of many things in common - mostly, knowing the hurt of being rejected and discouraged simply because of what you love.
"In gaming culture, an NPC (non-player character) is often a bit player in the overall story- he or she is there for no reason except to get the main character to their goal. Their backstory is never told," Jarbo says. "We are the NPCs with loud voices, and plan to use those as a call-to-arms of others just like us, to let them know that they aren't alone."
The NPC's founding members include Rapper/Producer/Ph.D student Sammus, Brennan Williams, offensive lineman for the NFL's Houston Texans, and accomplished "nerdcore" rappers Shiboo "Shubzilla" Blalack, Ryan "KadeshFlow" Davis, Jason "Doug Funnie," Emmanuel "1-Up" Aouad and many more. Aouad sums the collective up as more of a family.
"It's more of a community than a 'crew' for certain," Aouad says. "We want to assist nerds everywhere by giving them our experiences, our viewpoints and a place where they're not the minority anymore." The Collective is fully inclusive, as Davis adds. "Anyone can be an NPC."
Be on the lookout for insightful videos, blogs, podcasts, music and more from the NPC.
The first wave of members explain the collective in this video:
For more information on the NPC Collective, as well as information on how you can help, visit http://www.npccollective.com