He’s the only rapper to be licensed by Capcom. He’s been traveling and recording nonstop for years, and headlined tours and performances all over the US, including as the first rapper to appear at ComicCon. But before all of that, Mega Ran was Raheem Jarbo, a school teacher who taught his students that they can find meaning in their passions.
Even before that, he was a kid from Philly, soaking up his neighborhood and escaping into video game worlds. Now, Mega Ran put his life into a book, Dream Master, which I’ll be reviewing soon. To celebrate the release, Ran was kind enough to answer some of our questions about his creative process during the pandemic, and what he’d like to tackle in the future.
KeenGamer: Dream Master is a new type of media that fans haven’t gotten from you before, but it’s still true to your style: autobiographical storytelling in a relatable way. What concerns did you have about fans not making the jump from music to print?
Mega Ran: As you said, I think anyone who’s been to a concert of mine knows that storytelling is a big part of the experience, so I don’t think it’s too different, on top of that, they’re intelligent! I’m a strong advocate of literacy so I know that anyone who’s been mildly interested in what I do would find this as the next logical step in the Mega Ran story.
KG: You completed a book and have consistently released music throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. What sort of impact has that had on your output?
MR: It’s made me much more aware of the finality of it all… like, knowing that things can end in a moment’s notice has pushed my productivity into overdrive. I’ve been such a perfectionist throughout my career and that has held back a lot of content creation ideas… so I’ve just decided to dive in and I couldn’t be happier. I’m in the best shape of my life creatively, ideas are just flowing at an all time high.
KG: You’re known for having killer live performances and fantastic concerts. Obviously, shows aren’t possible right now due to health restrictions. Has there been any upside to sticking to the studio?
MR: Thank you! Yes, I think this break has made me rethink everything, from performances to touring and beyond, and was a much needed break for me, as I’d been going almost non-stop for the past 7 years. I’m ready to hit the road recharged once things are back to a little more normal.
KG: You’ve now killed it with music, written and released a book, been in video games, and appeared on TV and film. What do you want to do that you haven’t done yet?
MR: A stage play. I’ve dreamed about it, and I think it’s time for me to try to make it happen.. either the book or a cinematic album I’ve made, like Language Arts or Black Materia, one of these will hit the small stage sometime soon. I also want to compose music for a game, so hopefully that gets scratched off the list too.
KG: The final chapter of “Dream Master” is a beautiful piece about how you’ve been impacted by your career and fans, and your optimism for what is to come. So, what’s next for Mega Ran?
Thank you so much! Next is back to the music… Black Materia Remake is finally out, I’m working on becoming a better streamer, video editor, producer and working on my own physical health goals. Not where I want to be yet by any means, but I’m closer than before. So I’ll keep at it. Thanks for reading and listening!
KeenGamer would like to thank Mega Ran for his time and answers. In addition to Dream Master, his latest album, Black Meteria Remake, is out now, and the rest of his discography is available on streaming services and BandCamp. On top of all that, he streams weekdays on Twitch.