In the Phone Booth with Random aka @megaran

By: @medafORACLE

Life is much like a classroom. We have a setting. We have tests. We fail some. We pass some. Some individuals excel while others fall behind. Some students work harder than others. Some strive to be advanced in particular or all subjects. Life and school have many similarities, but; the one thing life doesn’t have that the classroom does are substitutes. In life there are no substitutes.
“The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it.” ~Henry David Thoreau
Today I speak with a man who knows this first hand. Having being in the classroom himself  beyond the learning experience but as a teacher also, Mega Ran understands the importance of learning, teaching and sacrifice. Let’s step “In The Phone Booth“…..

@medafORACLE : First and foremost thanks for taking the time to step in the phone booth. Its greatly appreciated. For those who aren’t too familiar with you, tell them a little about yourself.

@megaran : Thank you. My name is Raheem. I perform as Random, or Mega Ran. I’m a former teacher who is an emcee, a producer, a motivational speaker, and a pretty cool guy for the most part.

@medafORACLE : One of your monikers is “Teacher Rapper Hero”, being an actual teacher before; if you could choose one element of Hip Hop to teach in schools or in your classroom which would it be and why?

@megaran I would love to be able to bring the element of dance into the classroom. With physical health being such a hot-button topic these days, I feel like a phys ed for kids who aren’t into sports. No twerking though, hahaha.

@medafORACLE : Over here we like to keep the boxing and Hip Hop Bridge intact. As you and I know being an emcee is a very cerebral, time tasking and thought provoking job. In boxing, being a pure boxer is very similar. Putting together punch patters, timing and defensive counters (in battling the defense portion would be a rebuttal). Out of today’s fighters or past, who do you think would stand well against the likes of a Pharoahe Monch as far as smarts, patterns and timing?

@megaran Wow, I’d say someone like Sugar Ray Leonard might be a good match, he was just as smart and quick. That’d be a dream match.

@medafORACLE : In boxing, as an up and coming fighter with sites on the big stage, you have to take tough fights for little to no pay in small venues locally. Campaigning is very important in this aspect. How did you manage to not only be able to quit teaching and do music full time but; also continue to grow your fan base and brand without a huge PR or promotional team to campaign for you?

@megaran It’s been an uphill battle. I was fortunate enough to be working at a career that I not only loved, but that offered me the free time to travel over the summer. So I’d use that time in the beginning to tour and make connections.

I made an album about a video game (Mega Ran, 2007), and Capcom heard it and got involved. From that, I was really lucky to take the connections I had made and parlay them into even bigger opportunities, while maintaining my career as an educator for as long as I could, until one fateful day in 2011, when I decided to hop off the ledge and make the leap of faith. It’s been a crazy ride ever since. 

@medafORACLE : You have a lot of fans in the gaming circuit. Being a gamer yourself, what is your favorite game of all time?

@megaran Man there’s so many, can I pick one from each generation? Haha. Nah I’d say my faves are Super Mario 3, Final Fantasy 7, Uncharted, and Mario Kart.

@medafORACLE : Alright, so; imagine in a perfect world, gaming companies create a Mike Tyson’s Punch Out (in 8 Bit) but with emcees. Who do you think should be the top 5 emcees to face and who would be the last guy you’d have to face to be the game?

@megaran Aw that’s a great question.

Okay the top 5 to face would be:

Ice Cube
LL Cool J

And the last boss would be Rakim, no question.

@medafORACLE : Ok, worst gaming system ever created? AND that gaming system creates a version of Def Jam’s “ICON”, what rapper wins “Worst Icon Ever” in being the guy who cant rap AND OR fight??

@megaran Worst system ever? Neo Geo. That joint was like $750 and the games were like $200!

Worst icon ever? Um…. Soulja Boy.

@medafORACLE : Next portion of the previous question is……..would you play that ish??? LOL

@megaran Hahahaha no thank you. I’m good on that.

@medafORACLE : Again, brother; thanks for stepping in the phone booth. Any last words you’d like to leave with the readers? Also what can the fans expect from you this year? If you have any tours dates coming up, what cities can they go see you live?

@megaran Thanks so much man, much love for having me. I appreciate the read. I always say that you are the music, so support what you love to keep it going. I’m working on a few new EPs, a sequel to my TRAP (Television and Radio Are Poison) album, and of course more gaming stuff.

I’m on tour right now, come on out to catch a great experience.

2.21.14 @ Flashback Lounge, Watertown, NY
2.22.14 @ Singers, Syracuse, NY
2.23.14 @ Broadway Joe’s, Buffalo, NY
2.25.14 @ Super Fly Comics, Yellow Springs, OH
2.26.14 @ The Comet, Cincinnati, OH
2.27.14 @ Sabbatical, Indianapolis, IN
2.28.14 @ Subterranean, Chicago, IL
3.1.14 @ 42 Lounge, Milwaukee, WI
3.3.14 @ 7th Street Entry, Minneapolis, MN (w/e-dubble)
3.4.14 @ Pixels, Ames, IA
3.5.14 @ Star Clipper Comics, St. Louis, MO
3.7.14 @ The Boiler Room, Dallas, TX
3.8.14 @ Hole In The Wall, Austin, TX
3.11.14 @ SXSW (Official Showcase) Flamingo Cantina, Austin, TX
3.12.14 @ SXSW, Room 18D, (The Nerdy Music Panel) Austin Convention Center. Start Time: 3:30 PM

more dates to be announced. Hit me on Twitter at @megaran . Peace!









Technician vs Technician : Erislandy Lara vs Austin Trout


By: @medafORACLE

Since the days of late 80’s and early 90’s Hip Hop has always had it’s technical side of things when it came to rhyming. As in any form of art you have those who are not so spectacular but are good at what they do and then you have those who are very technical and have a special gift to make the art beautiful. When you think of said “special gift” one should automatically think of Eminem; very advanced and extremely technical with writing. For example….

”You’re about to see peace destroy
It’ll never be restored
When I unleash these beastly hordes on your cd stores
Wanna stop it? you gon’ need a priest, at least three swords
A license to ill from the beastie boys, three Ouija boards
A squeegee and please be warned, don’t ask what the squeegee’s for
All the holy water, acid raps that’ll eat these floors” ~Eminem

This is a very technical display of how fluent and beautiful the English language can be. When it comes to Hip Hop, any true Hip Hop head will appreciate such calculated approach to writing rhymes. Boxing is no different. We have fighters who brawl and make it ugly, consider them the Wacka Flacka’s of boxing. On the other side you then have the technical fighters who purely box and whom we would call the Eminem’s of boxing. Unfortunately like Hip Hop, boxing has what are called “casual fans” who don’t appreciate the technical and beautiful side of the art. It is considered “boring” to them.

Every few millennia……ok well maybe not that long but, every so often we get two very technical emcees on the same song together to just push the English language to its limits. When it comes to boxing, there is no gap that needs a bridge because it too happens not so often when you get two pure, very technical boxers in the ring at the same time. Usually its “Brawler vs Boxer” or “Boxer vs Horrible One Dimensional Fighter” or if we’re all so blessed enough to witness the Ishe Smith vs Carlos Molina of fights described as just “Two Absolutely Terrible Fighters vs One Another”. So what if I told you as a Hip Hop fan that Pharoahe Monch would battle Eminem? As a true Hip Hop head I would salivate at the thought of this unparalleled display of technical rhyme writing.

On December 7th, at the Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn, NY I am excited to say that we have this very example of earlier mentioned technical skill. Erislandy Lara will challenge Austin “No Doubt” Trout for the vacant WBA “Regular” Championship. This fight is a true boxing fan’s dream to watch. Two pure boxers in the same ring, at the same time, bobbing, weaving, side stepping, quarter stepping, rolling, taking away distance, pivoting, parrying, slipping and countering with crisp combinations. If you’re a pure boxing fan then this is a fight you are salivating over.

I, unlike MANY casual boxing fans; don’t think this is a stink fest of a fight. For one, both men have a near hatred toward each other which already leads to fireworks. Aside of the extreme level of dislike they share for one another, this is just a BEAUTIFUL fight to watch. If there was ever a day the boxing God’s answered our prayers for a good fight; December 7th is it. Let’s just take a step back on the Hip Hop comparison of this fight for a second. In a battle between Eminem and Pharoahe Monch, it would be very difficult to say who wins because the skill level of rhyming would be so high. I for one would NOT want to judge this battle. I would be considered lucky enough to just listen to the different patterns puzzled together. The only way one could lose this battle is to be less aggressive. If you have a beautiful display of patterns put together but you’re talking about the refreshing autumn breeze while the other is trying to rip your head off with beautiful patterns AND punchlines, then prepare to take an L. This fight between Trout and Lara will be no different

How will this fight play out, you ask? Well just like a battle between Eminem and Pharoahe Monch, the more aggressive fighter will win. If this is what is needed for a W, then the odds are not in Lara’s favor. As a true boxing fan, there’s one thing I cannot stand to see and that’s a pure boxer who doesn’t display his boxing skills enough. I guess you can say Lara is that one “thing” I cannot stand. As technically sound as he is, he seems to get on his bicycle quite often. This doesn’t mean this will be an easy fight for Trout, though. IN FACT, this will be the very thing that will be somewhat difficult for Trout to adjust to. As a natural counter fighter and pure boxer he will have to chase Lara all night. The skill set that Trout does have over Lara is footwork. He has the ability to actually cut Lara off unlike Angulo in his bout against Erislandy. In being able to cut the ring off, you can expect a lot of pocket fighting from Trout and an abundance of counters ending in pivots, side steps and rolls to get out. This will be quite the “convenient store robbery” type fight from Trout…in and out. Expect a healthy dose of aggressive jabs from Trout that night as well. Against Canelo, we all saw the skillful aggression Trout can provide in the ring when he has to. We can expect a lot of this on December 7th. What’s my prediction? I have Austin Trout victorious in an extremely difficult fight to judge via split decision.

Lara-Trout Flyer