September can be considered a tumultuous time for people. Farmers having to get their crops off the field before the first killer frost, businesses getting ready for the big shopping rush and for children, they have to go back to school. This years main course; Language Arts. It's teacher, Random a.k.a Mega Ran. Listen up children because class is now in session.
Language Arts volume 1 is the brainchild of Raheem Jarbo a.k.a Mega Ran and he mixes his three passions of gaming, teaching and nerdcore into one solid package. The rhymes on the album are a mix slow, soulful lyrics like City of Angels, goofy and fun like Wake Up and the surreal such as Buggin. Being the teacher, Buggin is a retelling of the famed Kafka novella The Metamorphosis.
The album both begins and ends with narration by Kyle Hebert (channelling his DBZ narrator role perfectly) giving a synopsis of what has happened and what's to come. His narration is a perfect fit as an introduction to the Language Arts story. Hebert is not the only person to lend his voice. Other prolific nerd-core artist such as MC Frontalot also bring cameo lyrics.
The story so far is that Raheem Jarbo (loosely based on Mega Ran himself) is a struggling teacher in the roughest part of town. By day he is teaching the kids the classics such as Kafka while by night he is a struggling musician, trying to make a name for himself. However, trouble is brewing in the distance as a brand new game is pulling kids from school. With kids dropping out to play this game, people start to believe that “Mr J” may not be suited to be a teacher. It is up to him to bring the kids back to class.
Of all the songs on the album, I find myself going back to City of Angels. It is an incredibly beautifully soulful song. This song shows the spiritual side of the main character. He wants to make his life better. He has dreams of getting out of this part of the city and ensure his girlfriend and his mother's safety and security. Where he doesn't have to fear for hoodlums breaking into his place. City of Angels is by far the best song on the album, and dare I say one of the best songs he has ever made.
At the end of the CD Mega Ran delivers a brief Language Arts lesson in his usual style. On song 11 of the CD (a song that doesn't play during the game) he gives the listener a lesson on adjectives. This song really showcases Mega Ran's ability as a teacher.
Mega Ran has crafted a wonderful story here. While it is not exactly original, he has given it enough of a unique spin for it to seem appealing. Mega Ran's story telling is one of his strong suits and the story of Language Arts is very gripping. You want to know what happens next. Will Mr J win, or will the game win and force him to give up on his dream. The only way to find is to tune in next time, on Language Arts volume 2.
Final thoughts? Get this album. Mega Ran has come a long way from his Mega Man days. The beats are solid, and the story is quite solid. This is a great buy if you are a fan of nerdcore. You can buy the CD at his website or check out some of his other work over at his soundcloud page..
Next week, I am visiting Shibuya to play a game. Will I win, or will I lose my soul to the Reapers? This is Daimo Mac and I am lost in the music.
One more thing. For those of you who are aware, Ashleigh Ball (of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic) has a band called Hey Ocean (which Predates MLP : FiM by a few years) and would like to do a World Tour. To do so, they have started a Kickstarter to make their dream a reality. Their music is really good and I would love to see these guys on tour. If you can please donate. You can find their Kickstarter page here.