Geeking out with Random, aka Mega Ran
A friend of mine equipped me with Random’s cd, Forever Famicom, for the first time a week or so ago, and after listening to his brilliant brand of hip-hop over 8-bit beats, I reached out to Random to see if he minded if I threw a few questions his way. He awesomely obliged and joined me on my quest. This is our story… after the break…
What were your favorite games from the 80’s/early 90’s, and what are your favorite games that you find yourself playing that are being released now?
My faves were Super Mario 3, Tecmo Super Bowl, Mega Man 2 and 3, Zelda: A Link to the Past, FF7 and Metal Gear Solid.
Today, I love the Batman Arkham games, Uncharted, and Skyrim.
The Black Materia album is a wonderful addition to anyone’s Final Fantasy collection. At the end of the song, “One Wing Angel”, you talk about the rise and history of Mega Ran. Can you talk a bit more about how Capcom found you and, instead of slapping you with a huge lawsuit, they offered you a sweet deal working their Comicon table?
Thanks. I feel like Black Materia was such an awesome story, and so at the end I decided to weave my own story into the universe for anyone who hadn’t known.
I was putting my music on myspace, and I made up a self-written press release about the Mega Ran album, and I was even afraid to mention that it was based on the Mega Man game, for fear of a lawsuit. Back then, MySpace was the end all be all, and no one wanted their page deleted after working to build up sizable friendlists. I made a new blog where I would talk about the album just to keep it off MySpace, and then I got a message, on MySpace, of course, by a gentleman representing Capcom. He told me that instead of threatening to sue me, he was writing to congratulate me on making such a cool project, and told me they’d been playing the album in the office. Wow. After that, it was a month from Comic Con, so they asked me to come out and made me a part of the weekend’s festivities. Awesome, unreal moment.
Mega Ran 10 was released on some sweet blue vinyl, are there any plans to release your previous and any future works on vinyl?
The vinyl is taking soooooooooooo long to come, and that’s okay, as I know it’ll be worth it, so if I decide to do this again, it’ll have to be set in motion well before the CD release, that’s for sure! One thing I realized on the road this fall with mc chris, was that there were a lot of fans who asked us for vinyl, even younger fans. Vinyl will truly never die. So I’ll help it along as much as I can. I wanted to make sure the last Mega Ran album was especially special, and with vinyl, I think we’ve done that.
What are your feelings on nerdcore hip hop, as in what direction do you think it is going in and if it is picking up a larger following?
Nerdcore isn’t going anywhere. it’s managed to tap into a group of fans who have just been dying to get behind something, to support something, to feel something real. For that reason, they come out to the shows, they support the merchandise, and tell others. This is a group of people that hip-hop has purposely ignored for a long time, and I’m happy to see it now. Suddenly it’s cool to be a geek.
MC Chris picked you up on his Race Wars tour, that had to have been sick. Anything you want to share about the tour or about you and Chris hanging out?
The tour was amazing. I learned so much by watching Chris work, either onstage giving his all, and keeping the crowd laughing with his anecdotes, to watching him after the show, not leaving until every fan had a photo with him and some time to chat. He has a crazy work ethic, and he’s where he is for a reason. What surprised me most is how down to earth he is, despite his successes. I learned so many lessons from him, Lars and the rest of the crew, that was a life changing experience, and I can’t wait to do it again sometime.
A friend of mine created a Schaffer the Darklord online radio station, and it was through that media where he discovered Random/Mega Ran, and then passed your music along to me. The digital age makes it easy to get your music out there. What are your feelings and thoughts about Pandora, Grooveshark, LastFM, etc. and even torrenting?
Because of that story, and many others like it that I hear at shows, I am all for torrenting, Pandora, Spotify and all those other sites. Torrent the music if you must, but if you enjoy it, you have a job to do, and that’s to tell someone, and come to the show when I’m in town. Spread the Love, as I said in a song I made a few years back about the subject:
I look at that purchase you make as a vote for me. if you can’t vote, due to your money situation or something else, then you can still vote in other ways. Make sure you come out to a show, and shake my hand.. even tell me that story that you torrented my music.. I don’t care, ha. But with me being a new full-time rapper, I’d really like for you to make that purchase, but as long as you do your part, I’ll do mine. Just don’t have me playing to the soundman and door guy in your town, while you’re 2 doors down getting drunk.
You have been commissioned to have some of your music played in actual games, tv shows and in movies. Do you have any plans to get your music into more of these forms of entertainment? or even produce original soundtracks?
I do. This year, since I put out so much music in 2011, I plan on resting a bit and focusing on more unorthodox projects, including book writing and soundtracking. I have several friends in the gaming world, most indie game developers, and I’m pushing to become a part of a soundtrack team that can do some cool things with game music. If given the opportunity I would love to create an original soundtrack. K-Murdock and I were chatting about hopefully doing that for an indie developer soon, hope that pans out. I’ll be back at GDC (Game Developers Conference) again, networking hard.
Since you came out with Forever Famicom DLC and Forever Famicom DLC 2, I feel compelled to ask your standpoint on the current video game industry. I personally feel that they are releasing unfinished games and charging you more money for DLC in order for you to get the full experience. Do you think this is just a natural progression, the plight of greedy companies, or the fault of the overall grand scale of games in general and having to sacrifice to meet deadlines?
That’s a good point. I haven’t thought much about it.. I personally haven’t bought many DLC packs, besides new maps and the like in shooting games, but you have a really good point. single player campaigns on $60 games on DVDs or Blu-Ray discs should not be under 5 hours, that’s just insane. I don’t mind paying extra for more content on a game as long as its worthwhile. I do think people rush to meet deadlines and gameplay suffers sometimes because of it. That’s the same in the music industry, but we did ours to keep the fun coming. I don’t think there was anything I felt like we couldn’t do on the original Forever Famicom, I just thought that it was so popular with the fans that we owed them some more! I think game developers should just feel the same way…you sold millions, why not keep it going? Just keep adding onto the game every 3 months or so, so people never get tired of the game and never trade it in.
I just listened to Forever Famicom DLC 2, and a personal thank you for writing, not only one, but two songs for Castlevania. I was curious if you were going touch those games in one of your c.d.’s. Is there any game that you have been meaning to write about, but haven’t? Possibly Battletoads, or even Blaster Master?
Those songs were all fan commissioned on that album, for a price, to fulfill our kickstarter program… SO… if you have a special request, you can send me that, along with a paypal payment, and we’ll talk 😉
Is there any chance we could talk you into doing a show in Kansas City, MO. ?
I hope so. I keep hearing that I need to get out there and play. We hit Lawrence, KS and Columbia, MO on the last tour.. If you can tell me a good spot, I can get my people in contact to try to make that happen! Otherwise, see the previous question and hit my paypal up 😉
I’m truly grateful that Random took the time to answer a few of my questions, and I look forward to hearing any new 8-bit beats and fantastic story telling from him in the future.
Be sure to checkout Mega Ran’s latest album The Memorandum here:
Mega Ran 10 here:
And for more information, tour dates, and to listen to some more music, head here: