Tuesday, August 28, 2007

back from Florida

back from FLA..the love and hate blog.

I saw the things I love and hate about the south all in one short trip.

man oh man... where do I begin?

I guess at the beginning.

We stayed at the plush Grosvenor (if anyone knows how to pronounce that, let me know) Hotel in Lake Buena Vista, and the place was lovely...pools, karaoke, basketball courts a Wii..yup, a Wii... and a $10 a night activity fee to pay for it.

But we were right down the street from Downtown Disney, so we went there first. Had a great time, and saw a spectacular improv comedy show which gave me some great ideas... I'll get to those later.

first of all, the love was there. I played at Tim and Terry's for Nerdapalooza SE in Gainesville, FL (go Gators!)

and it was totally amazing. That campus is really impressive.
great crowd, great atmosphere (a little hot), and great times.

This was when the improv ideas came back. Back in the day, when me and Ohene were rhyme partners, during every one of our sets, O would end it off with a crazy freestyle session..all impromptu, off the head rhymes. He'd ask everyone in the crowd to pull something out of their
, and he'd incorporate it in his rhymes. So, after seeing the un-sketched sketch comedy show, I decided to alter my set at the last minute and take a page from the book of O.

This was the first time I had done it, and it worked very well..got a great reaction, and it was huge fun. We got it on tape, hopefully it'll get upped soon.
More improv fun--at the end of the night, myself, Zealous1 and Shinobi kicked a few freestyles over some sick beats, even creating an on the fly song with hook. I hope somebody got that on film!

Next day we hit up Disney World thanks to the free tickets from the timeshare presentation we went to the day before (These folks just don't know how to take NO for an answer!!) little piece of advice--if they say its a 2 hr presentation, expect 3.5.
pretty good time at Disney, I only wanted to go on one ride.

Space Mountain.

a ride that I'd heard sooooo much about since I was a kid...but had never gotten on.

Wait time.... 60 minutes.

but what the heck, right, this is the ride I've been waiting for!

20 minutes into the wait, something happened.

Announcer: Ladies and gentlemen, please bear with us, we're having some technical difficulties...we apologize to those of you on the ride at this time, please remain seated...

..on the ride??? stuck?? Awwwww Nawww! so eventually they shut the ride down and got everyone out of there. We came back 2 hours later and it was still down.

Oh well..maybe next time.

Who am I kidding, I ain't going back there again...unless I have kids.

And now.....for the hate. As I was coming back from an errand on Sunday night, I got pulled over by a police officer who SAID I ran a stop sign. Did I? I don't think so... we all do those California stops* every once in a while, right? right???

*FYI: ..>..>
a. california stop

AKA the california rolling stop

The act of not completely stopping at a stop sign or a right hand turn, but rather 'rolling' through it by slowing down some.

*sees stop sign*
*looks for cops*
*sees none*
*makes a california stop*

*hears sirens*

says 'D'oh!'

well let me set the scene...smalltown area, after midnight, on a small road, not even a 4 way stop...totally secluded area.

or so I thought.

"Gotcha!" -Dave Chappelle

Anyway, the scene couldve been much worse, because I was driving a rental car...and when she asked for the papers, I checked the glove box....

they weren't there.

I checked the floor, the back...



I Texted Ida (sidebar--is it 'texted' or text'd?), and she tells me she doesn't have them either...

this could be bad.

now I have to convince this small-town beat cop who's dying to make her quota who just pulled over a young man with an out of state license that I didn't steal this car.

Well, luckily it worked, due to the Mega-Charm (c)* I managed to get out of this little jam with only a ticket....

for $122.50!

I almost cussed, and I don't cuss.

Again, I hate to pull the race card, but us brothers know of something called DWB: and that doesn't mean Doctors with Businesses or Donuts with Black Coffee...

it means Driving While Black.

Now DWB might be a myth, or a fabric of the vivid imagination of African American conspiracy theorists all over the world, but this is what the 'experts' say:

DWB: a word play on the name of a real U.S. crime, driving while intoxicated. The phrase implies that a motorist may be pulled over by a police officer simply because he or she is black, and then questioned, searched, and/or charged with a trivial offense. This concept stems from a long history of racism in the United States, United Kingdom, and other countries. The term refers to racial profiling, which is said to be used by police and other law enforcement officials.

see also: "walking while Black," "learning while Brown," Flying while Muslim," and "Speaking while Blonde." (I didn't make these up...well I did make up the last one.)

Anyway, the rest of the trip went very well, I auctioned the only existing Mega Ran shirt off this weekend (so if you see it on eBay, don't buy it! ), which was symbolic, because it's the last show on the specified Mega Ran Tour. I don't plan to do any specific Mega Ran dates after this, as I'm ready to grow up get to work on the next project.

What is the next project?

Stay tuned....

The pros and cons go like this:

1- The Grosvenor, especially the jacuzzi
2- The Tim and Terry's crowd
3- The comedy show @ Downtown Disney
4- Quality time

1- cops
2- cops
3- cops
4- humidity

have a spectacular evening. pics coming soon....

*Mega-Charm is a registered trademark of RandomBeats. any unauthorized use is prohibited.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

What are folks saying about "Mega Ran?"

anyway, here are a few opinions about Random's Mega Ran album that are floating around the 'Net and media these days...all in one place for the lazy folks...

Above all, Random rises to the occasion by making an album that is both clever and effortless. Despite its lofty ambitions, the album's intent never overshadows the simple fact that the music is dope...anyone who ever kept a log of their continue codes is sure to geek out to what amounts to one of the most creative releases this year.
-Okayplayer.com, Aug 2007 (4/5)

Not only an interesting concept, Mega Ran is also an enjoyable trip down memory lane for many.
-Exclaim Magazine, July 2007

The bottom line is that Random manages to keep his hip-hop credentials in tact even while marrying underground battle raps to video game tracks.
-Rap Reviews, July 2007 (7/10)

In the past 20 years, Mega Man never sounded this good.
-Game Music 4 All, June 2007

Old school Blue Bomber fans are gonna hear these classic themes and flip.
-Scarlett (Capcom USA), July 2007

I guess the only question to ask now is..

Why don't you have it???

Oh...you didn't know how to get it?

Okay, I gotcha.


choose your adventure!!

Cop that soon.. we are VERY CLOSE to my 'limited quantities' number, so I suspect these won't be around very long. get 2, and leave one in the plastic.

soon, you'll wake up, and the whole Mega Ran thing will have been a dream.

now if you'll excuse me, Madden is calling. I just got my first win, and that was luck. I need some practice........

PS- and don't worry, I plan on working on the Biggie video...I'm serious! soon as SOMEONE brings the videocamera over...lol

I'll post that footage fo'sho.

'Til next time, keep shining.


PPS--this is hilarious! if you get a moment...peep it.
gives new meaning to "Karate Kid." Dude should get an Oscar.

Part 1.

Part 2.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Back from Cali

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
Bedtime: 3:30AM

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...

Rich Flyer.

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.

But anyway....

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;

-Andre 3000,
-Kevin Bacon (a fellow Philly-ite)
-Sgt. Slaughter
-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.

oh yeah:

rocking with The Megas at the HOB
Comic Con--wow
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.

-Ran out.

About Me

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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.

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