Monday, December 3, 2012

Mega Ran

Mega Ran
Musical Artist
Various Albums

Plot Summary: N/A

Critical Evaluation: Random, aka Mega Ran, calls himself a “Teacher. Rapper. Hero.”  His music is an ideal selection for teens, especially for the self-professed geeks and gamers. His masterful storytelling covers subjects from games and gamer culture to the classics of literature. His rap narratives are underlain with charged hip-hop beats (often chip tuned) that accentuate the subject of each song marvelously. Born Raheem Jarbo, Random started his career as a middle school English teacher before focusing on his music. This history is represented in his three-album epic called Language Arts. Narrating the struggle faced by both students and teachers in schools around the country, the songs often include tongue-in-cheek references to outright and dead-on criticism of our myopic school systems. Interspersed between these true to life and forward leaning narratives are songs that tell the story of literary classics, including Flowers of Algernon and Kafka's Metamorphosis. While taken individually, these songs are a fun homage to the original material, but when taken as a part of the album, in its entirety, these tracks are a fitting part the overarching story. Random's talents really come to play for the interests of teens in his video game themed albums.  As Mega Ran, his chip tuned beats support lyrics about popular video games and the ups and downs of a young gamer's life that any geek/gamer will empathize and enjoy. His self-titled Mega Ran albums, celebrating the iconic video game series, as well as Forever Famicom and many other video game albums, are tastefully done featuring beats crafted from the music of the very video games they reference combined with expert lyricism that leads to an experience that is genuine and infectious to anyone who's life is often defined by the enjoyment found in video games.

Reader's Annotation: N/A

Author Information: N/A

Genre: Rap (Music), Hip Hop (Music)

Curriculum Ties: Language arts, literature

Booktalking Ideas: N/A

Reading Level/Interest Age: 14+

Challenge Issues: N/A

Challenge Defense: N/A

Reason for Inclusion: Mega Ran himself cares about the literary skills of teens after working as a junior high language arts teacher when he saw the disinterest many inner city teens had in reading. He always loved music so he decided to try to reach out to them with his unique form of rap and hip hop that focused on classic video games and also rap songs about books they had to read as required readings in school. A lot of teens can enjoy his music and find it fun. Plus, it is also rap music that doesn’t focus on the violence of ghetto life, sexually themes, or even use bad language.

References: Feel free to sample some of Random’s music at the following links:

Buggin' (The Metamorphosis) -

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