Sunday, 13 May 2012

Lost in the Music: Black Materia

He is a teacher, rapper, hero. When someone calls themselves these, they are usually stroking their own ego and try their damnedest to prove it, but when Megaran aka Random calls himself it, there is no ego behind it. He is a teacher. His subject is rapping, and how to do it without being a sexist or a homophobic jackass. That proves that he is a hero

At PAX East, he was able to do freestyle rap for a close friend of mine. Best. Swag. EVER!

     Today on Lost in the Music, we will be delving into the world of nerdcore hip hop. However these lyrics are not hateful, misogynistic or homophobic. This is stuff you can show your parents and not offend them. Now it's time to kick back, grab a Costa del Sol liqueur and listen to the cries of the planet.

     As I have said, prior to PAX East I had brushed off the Nerdcore scene due to ignorance on my part. I am not a fan of modern hip hop so I assumed that Nerdcore was the same as mainstream hip hop except with a geek twist. I was proven wrong and became amazed by the amount of talent these guys had. Thanks to a friend, I was able to get the album Black Materia and haven't stopped listening to it.

     Taking a 15 year old album and adding lyrics to the songs is nothing new. Other arrangers have done it in the past so what makes Black Materia special? It is the way Megaran strings the songs together. It feels less like a collection of songs on an album and more like a Hip Hop or Rap Opera (Hip Hopera? Rapera?)
Megaran, along side Lost Perception and a host of other singers have given the Final Fantasy VII story a fresh spin to the familiar story.

     The songs remixed songs on the album are incredible and Megaran, along side Lost Perception, did a fantastic job making them feel less like a video game album and more like the beat of a song. However, as I said earlier, Megaran and Lost Perception are not the only performers on this album. Featured here are other performers such as The Ranger doing the Cosmo Canyon track and Brentalfloss working on the Don Corneo, bringing his humorous charm and stylings to the Caligula of Wall Market.

     My two personal favourites on this album however is The Introduction, which as the title suggest is sort of an exposition of the overall in game history. Telling the story of what exactly is Mako Energy, who is Sephiroth, AVALANCHE and Shin-Ra. It condenses the entire story of Final Fantasy VII into two minutes. It is a powerful peace and I absolutely love it. But not as much as the next song.

     I am by no mean the most eco friendly person around. I do recycle and I am an avid walker, but other then that, there is not else much I do. However, this song, my personal favourite from the album brings out my inner eco soldiers. Cry of the Planet is, once again in my opinion, the best track on Black Materia. While you are listening to the song, you can't help but wonder if Megaran is singing about Gaia, or our own world. It is an incredibly powerful song.

 In the wake of last years Tsunami in Japan, Megaran made a new version of Cries of the Planet, and sold it as a single. All proceeds from the song went to the Red Cross.

     Black Materia is a fantastic album. Mixing the classic Final Fantasy 7 themes and adding rap lyrics brings a new depth to the songs. As I said previously that the game's soundtrack is good but dated. however Megaran breathes new life into these songs by giving them a fresh spin, turning the Dieselpunk and mystical inspired themes into the base of something great. This album is a real gem and you would be foolish not to have it in your collection. If you are interested in more, check out Mike “The Birdman” Dodd's interview with Megaran on Review a Day.

     Till time, I am Daimo Mac and I am listening to the cries of the planet.

**Special Announcement**
     If you are interested in seeing Megaran, he will be attending ConBravo July 27 thru the 29th in Burlington Ontario. For more information visit

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