If you put video games, the 80’s, hip-hop, soul music, jazz and standup comedy into a blender and hit “puree,” you’d have something close to The Mega Ran Experience.
Before being chosen as LA Weekly’s “Rapper Most Likely To Be Big in 2014,” The Penn State graduate and self-proclaimed “TeacherRapperHero” made waves by going way left of his backpack roots by combining 8-bit video game sounds and hard hitting hip-hop tracks, and has become a trailblazer in the budding genres of chiptune and nerdcore hip-hop, while maintaining a career as a middle school teacher. Ran’s first album “The Call” was a critical success, featuring tracks with some of the underground’s most respected heads.
Ran cut his teeth in the city of Philadelphia as a moonlighting emcee and producer, performing, freestyle rapping, producing and later engineering at a studio. After relocating to Phoenix, competing in the Scribble Jam emcee battle championships and taking an early exit, Ran almost quit before he was even started, when a creative lightning bolt struck, and a fire was lit.
Retro video games were the catalyst. Random began the transformation into Mega Ran, his alter-ego, an ode to the classic video game character Mega Man. After creating a tribute album and receiving an unprecedented level of support and blessing from Capcom to continue, Ran was reborn and became a trailblazer in the budding “nerdcore” and chiptune subgenres, while coining his own term to describe what he had done, “Chip-Hop.”
Various video game developer co-signs and admiration from the genre’s toughest critics have led to placements in TV, movies, university coursework, and of course, games. Random’s music and story have been shared on stages across the world, on television (ABC/NBC News, ESPN, Portlandia, Tosh.O, WWE Wrestling) and in leading music, gaming and tech publications, print and online.
Today, Random is no longer a teacher by title, but maintains a rigorous touring and recording schedule, traveling the world to entertain and educate through the gift of rhyme. With 3 million YouTube views, over $50,000 raised on Kickstarter, and a legion of smart art fans he calls “Team Mega” beside him, the future looks brighter than ever.
Now that’s Random.