The overwhelming greatness of this album should not have surprised me the way it has; I have always been a huge fan of Mega Ran’s work and message. Yet here I am at like, 3 in the morning, absolutely nerdgeeking out over his amazingly solid Langage Arts Vol. 1 project like… I’m not already aware of how great he was already. Its a hell of an accomplishment to create good music; thats enough within itself nowadays. Nevertheless, Random takes it to the next level, creating engaging video games for you to play (with soundtracks to match), making appearances at E3, showing up Central Social Aid & Pleasure Club in Santa Monica and other general awesomeness to support his new album.
Random, who is known for his sampling and rapping over old school 8-bit video game songs we love so much, takes a break from the Nerdcore (and the Jeremy Lin raps) to tell the stories of his teaching career and how he found his way to music fulltime. Each track tells a story or has some meaning behind it; some of those stories and themes connecting with the song after it for a nice and cohesive “I dont have to/want to skip a song” feeling. Its been a while since an album has adressed social issues while being incredibly introspective and still comes off as a lot of fun in the end.
If it isnt the quality production on the tracks (City of Angels, Buggin’ [The Metamorphosis]), its the clever raps and wonderful stories in the songs that grab your attention. The Constant is a well done musical dedication to Random’s love for all things Hip Hop, while KillCount is a hilarious ‘shots fired’ at Grand Theft Auto and the toll it can take on the unsupervised childrens (“have you ever wanted to shoot your friend in the face?”). While Classroom Blues is a wonderful third-to-first person view of the struggles both students and teachers face, the stand out track is his Language Arts EOM Remix, a wonderful redux of his original with that added jazz touch I love, composed to capture his kids interest on their very first day of school.
If his rhyme skills and clever wordplay are any indication of what kinda teacher this man was as some point, then damn. I wish he was my teacher. School might not have sucked so much. Listen to the tracks below.
Anyways, he’s got so much going on right now that you should know about, so I’ll try to run you through it as fast as I can. Random is in town as you read this; he has a show at E3 today and has one more show in Santa Monica before heading back out for more touring. Make sure you play the video game Random’s developed along with Lunar Giant Studios for the album – it’s REALLY fun to play and has been a long time in the making. The album is out now and hes got all kinds of special deals going on if you buy it; check the website for more details. If you’re around and you love this stuff, you should check it out.
Meanwhile, enjoy his very important lists of links, and enjoy.