What up everybody. Ya boy Ran is back from his California leg of the Mega Ran tour with some STORIIIIIIIES to tell! Where do I begin??
(disclaimer--this is a long blog. grab something to eat or drink, get a comfortable seat, and read.)
Well first I'd like to say that the pictures from this little excursion will be posted very soon. theres a lot of them...
Okay, so last week I was saying this would be the longest weekend of my life..so here's why.
I had to go to school for orientation/teacher traning..Then after that, drive to San Diego for my first show at the House Of Blues.
This show was with The Megas , who guest with me on the "Boss Battle: Metalman" song on "MEGA RAN."
also on the bill was Quarter-Circle Jab (yeah, a slow fireball if you're into Street Fighter), and they rocked it as well.
The Megas also called me back up to perform "MetalMan" with them live, and that was awesome (don't worry, we got video).
I got into San Diego with about 30 minutes before showtime.
and no matter where we went, parking was always a major issue, so I don't need to mention that anymore.
The show went well at the HOB, until a gentleman that worked there decided to speak to me on the side and ask me to 'tone down the language,'
because I was 'offending some of the guests.'
Well as we all know, I'm a pottymouth, so I wasn't having that!
no, not really. I tried to tell him as matter-of-factly as I could that they obviously weren't listening if they thought they heard inappropriate language from me.
and he's like "not even the N-word?" he said it as if he pulled the Trump card on me.
"no, not even the N-word, buddy."
Now I'm not one to throw the race card around *reaches in pocket* but I know how these cats think...he sees a brother up there rappin...and assumes he's gonna hear those words.
anyway.. I was gonna leave after my set, but I'm glad I didn't, because I would've missed QCJ, and a lot of fans who wound up buying CDs and signing the mailing list.
So, after that, we run right over to the San Diego Sports Club for another show.
This show was more of an opportunity to meet and build with so many of the folks I've chatted with online for so long....Maja, IllGill, Zealous1,
and the man, YTCracker.
I'm not ashamed to admit that if I had never heard YTCracker's NERDRAP ENTERTAINMENT SYSTEM in 2005, then Mega Ran wouldn't exist.
So I feel like he fathered that album and didn't even know it..it was a real pleasure to meet and build with him...and he even knew my Gov't name.. he does his research. That's the 1 difference between nerdcore fans and 'underground hip hop' fans and showgoers;
Nerdcore cats actually do some research.. folks were asking me about being a teacher, and about "Fundamentals," and RAHM Nation, and all types of stuff.
I usually have to introduce other crowds to who I am at other shows.
Anyway, I got there late (my bad fellas), but I still got on and had to cut my set short.
it was the first time I had performed "BubbleMan," a song I was afraid to do without a hypeman, because of the ridiculous breath control needed for it.
I heard someone say a while ago that you shouldn't record a song that you can't perform live the same way....
well I didn't listen.
But it went well. after a lot of practice, I learned how and when to breathe, and it worked.
That night, after performing twice in a night, I also made history.
DN3 had the audacity to challenge me in Street Fighter II, and I had to do him in in a 3 round battle. I had Ken, he had Guile. after repeated attempts to cheese me,
The Spin Kick prevailed.
So, i decided to take my undefeated record and retire...
DN3 tries to blame it on the Xbox controller (how come losers can't just lose?)
so I'm 1-0, unbeaten.
End of the longest day of my recent memory.
Wake up time: 7:00AM
Saturday begins with a trip to a local Thai food spot... great great food!
Then we made the trek to Comic Con, at the San Diego Convention Center.
It was like Halloween and Christmas at the same time in there...
people in costumes and toys...everywhere you could see.
However, in a huge place like that, there's bound to be confusion.
See, Seth, who works for Capcom, and has been such a great sport with all the Mega Ran stuff,
sent me an email with his phone number on it, and told me to contact him when I got there and he'd bring the ID badges out.
He sent this email to my GMAIL account.
Before I left..I checked my email...my Yahoo account.
So DN3 (who was also a good sport in all this) lugs his turntable setup down a good few blocks to the Con,
and the guards send us to the wrong gate to check in...
not once, not twice... fee times a mady (if you remember old SNL, you'll get that)
so at this point, everyone's pissed off, and we just wanna get in. I found out that the buzzword around the Con was
"Exhibitor" (noun) a person who provides an exhibit for a display etc
Example: He is one of the exhibitors at the flower show.
once I learned that, they let me go wherever I wanted to...
I get my passes..and DN3's pass isn't in his name, but another name...
you really couldn't make up a funnier name than that. so for the remainder of the trip, DN3 was Rich Flyer.
I still think he should use that as one of those AKA's.
when we finally get into the spot, it's crazy.. Capcom's booth is set up like a big wrestling ring...
Great time at the Con, once we finally got settled...saw some celebrities there;
-Kevin Bacon (a fellow Philly-ite)
-LeVar Burton (Reading Rainbow, Roots...Star Trek!!!!)
um...and I'm sure I saw some others, just don't remember.
what sucked for me was that I didn't get a whole lot of time to actually walk around and see the booths
because I made a promise to myself that I wasn't gonna leave the autograph table until I signed and sold them all...or got kicked out for the next guy :)
so I did finally get to sell them all and explore, so I got some great pictures..again..will be uploaded ASAP.
Thanks to everyone who attended Comic Con and copped a CD!
OH-- and if you were there and have one of the flyers of all the daily events (yellow), I need a copy of one for my scrapbook!!! it's got my name on it :-P
seriously, mail it to me..contact me.
the rest of that day we just chilled out and recovered..hit up a nice Mediteranean spot, the Med Grill, and I had some great salmon.
Sidebar- San Diego is a BEAUTIFUL city! oh man... it's gorgeous. I really want to move there. ok, getting back--
DN3 rolled out the next day, which meant for the next 2 shows, in LA, I was on my own.
Before we left San Diego, we went to Imperial Beach (the most Southwesterly City in the US--literally a stones throw from Mey-hee-co) for a sandcastle competition. That was really interesting to see. they had some really cool sandcastles. there I had a funnel cake for the first time in almost a decade, and this thing was HUGE. (got pics)
We hit the road towards Tinseltown, and learned something about Mapquest and Los Angeles County:
Never pay attention to the estimated travel time.
you can almost always either a) triple it, or add an hour to it, which ever is greater.
example.. 22mins Mapquest= 66 mins real time.
I hear people talk about LA traffic, but seriously, it's no joke. I did some LA driving last year, but I really didnt remember it being this bad..
I mean, it doesn't matter what time of day, there's guaranteed to be some point of your drive which you're sitting still.
So that night, I had an event at Room 5, Elevation West with special guest DJ, DJ Houseshoes. if you don't know Shoes, all you need to know is that he was the DJ for the late great J Dilla.
Shoes is mad cool..a cocky dude...but he got skills...hey. It ain't braggin if you can back it up.
After the show, he was a little more concerned with a little Elevation of his own if ya know what I mean...
but I'll leave that alone..
but we chatted and he definitely was a nice dude.
I did my thang on stage, of course I had to do something for Dilla, so I broke out my rendition of "Shoomp" and that got the place going (again, we got video).
I also ran in to veteran MC and Stones Throw recording artist Percee P at the show, who was really supportive as well, we chatted for a good half hour about the business, and LA Hip-Hop culture...my grind, his grind...everything.
I gave him a few tickets to my show on Tuesday, and he came through and showed love.
Oh yeah and a quick plug, his album "Perseverance" drops in September.
After the show I spent a lot of time afterwards speaking to the event goers, mainly getting information on how to travel in LA without getting caught in traffic.
no dice on that. But, I did get directions to Roscoe's.
so the next day, Monday, we hit up Roscoe's for lunch, and we had (you guessed it) Chicken and Waffles.
So we drove around the Hollywood Hills next, just to see how the locals were living. We ran into some new houses they were building on the hills, and talked to a realtor who let us walk around inside the crib. Sick, Sick SICK! it was a 3 story built into the hill, only selling for 2.15 mil...not bad..
after that we hit Hollywood Blvd and decided to go on one of those stars' homes' tours. and that was actually fun! we saw Paris's crib (complete with paparazzi outside), Halle's crib (and the liquor store she hit), Babyface (who lives next door to Al Pacino)...um....Keanu Reeves, Tobey Maguire, Dr. Phil and some other folks's spots... most impressive was the dude who founded Guess, whose front yard is loaded with about 15 Ferarri's that he never drives.
man if i had that much money.... I don't really know what I'd have in my front yard..maybe an alligator pit.
Also that same day, the Rush Hour 3 premiere was going on, and although I didn't see anyone, I'm sure Chris Tucker and Jackie Chan were inside the Chinese Theater, right across from where we were.
While we were waiting we got tickets to attend a taping of "Deal or No Deal" the next day, so I thought that would be pretty cool, so the next day's activities were planned.
Tuesday morning, we hit Culver City for the taping... and we picked the right show! This was a special NFL edition (its gonna air Sept 19th, I think I got some good camera time LOL), and it featured some retired players..some of the GREATEST players to ever play (Jerry Rice, Marcus Allen, Marshall Faulk) some very very good players (Eric Dickerson, Rod Woodson, Terrell Davis) and a few guys who started in the league (Kordell Stewart and Wayne Chrebet)
no Eagles, but it was all good. sorry NO PHOTOS of that.
don't know if you guys have ever been a part of a TV taping, but it's the most tedious thing ever. they make you applaud on cue, they make you laugh on cue, say "aww" on cue and if you don't do it right, they make you do it all over again.
so that was fun, but after 4 hours, it was really annoying.
some lucky schmoe (not me obviously) in the audience won a 2008 Denali! can you believe it?
I won't give away what happens in the show, but I can say that this was the most exciting episode of the show I've ever seen..then again its the only time I've ever seen it from beginning to end.... but when you watch it....you tell me.... cause I think there was something fishy about the whole show....
now with half the day gone, there wasnt much else to do...so we decided to visit Universal Studios' CityWalk, and that was nice... Man, one thing I really will miss about being in Southern California is the weather..it was sooooo perfect!
Next was the Knitting Factory event, which was pretty...interesting. Much love to the artists who came through, because there were a few no-shows. I got rid of all my Mega Ran CDs, and that to me always constitutes a successful night. Of course, Percee was up in the spot, along with folks from all over the country who I got a chance to build with.
We left early this morning to avoid traffic (yeah right), and got back to Phoenix sometime this afternoon, wrapping up the Summer portion of the Mega Ran Tour.
whew...that was a mouthful.. and yet I'm certain I forgot something.
So to anyone I met this weekend, thanks so much for your support! YOU made this possible :)
I get calls from the homies back home and they're like "You did it, man!"
Nah, I haven't done anything.....yet.
rocking with The Megas at the HOB
selling out of CDs
the crowd at the Sports Club singing along to "Grow Up"
Meeting Marcus Allen and Terrell Davis
Percee P showing up at the 2nd show
2 words...Rich Flyer.
the runaround @ the Comic Con gates
weirdos on Hollywood Blvd...
traffic, traffic, traffic
DN3 leaving early (missed all the fun!)
clapping on cue..constantly
Oh and real quick, I'd like to say a prayer for the families of those injured or killed in the Minneapolis bridge collapse today... take a moment out of your busy day and say a word or two...cause you never know.
Raheem Mega Ran Jarbo
- Random, aka Mega Ran. Teacher, Rapper, Hero. Random manages the unthinkable by dazzling
retro gamers while garnering respect from Hip-Hop's harshest critics.
Random's unique combination of fantasy and introspective hip-hop has
found its way into movies, video games, and even coursework at several
universities. By day, he is a middle school English teacher...and he likes to speak in the 3rd person.