This album was released on June 21st this year. As you can probably surmise from the title, it’s a compilation of singles that were formerly exclusive to Mega Ran’s Patreon supporters. If I didn’t make it clear enough in my review of The Dewey Decibel System, I’m a pretty big fan of Mega Ran. I guess you could call me… a Mega Fan.
Even though I didn’t really care for The Dewey Decibel System very much, I was excited to check this project out. I wasn’t necessarily expecting it to be a great project overall, but I knew that it’d have at least a few songs that I really loved. Thankfully, I ended up being completely right about that.
This shit is actually really fucking good. There are a lot of songs on here that I really love. Unfortunately there are a few songs that I didn’t care for. There’s only one song that I think is legitimately bad. I’ll get into that later though. First I wanna praise everything that I liked about the project. It begins with Put Your Cups Up!, which is easily one of my favorite tracks on the album. The beat from Kazuhiro Hayate is pretty dope, but Mega Ran’s actual rapping is what makes the song so good. This motherfucker absolutely spazzed on this track, man. He fucking slaughtered that shit. It’s so fucking good. The hook is simplistic, and I can’t really say it adds much to the song for me, but it serves its purpose as a necessary break between each verse. I wish Genius would do one of those videos in which they highlight the rhyme scheme of an entire verse for this song. He rhymed his fucking ass off. It’s not just technical skill though. He’s not Hopsin or Logic. The bars are actually well written. I didn’t even catch the reference to Wildchild in the first verse on my first couple of listens.
A wild child, boom bap got him a loot pack
You lack style, roundabout and move back
No Snapchat filter can improve that
The goons back
Snatchin’ yo hat, smashin’ the track, captain of rap
Slashin’ you hacks, glasses intact
I actually think I got those lyrics wrong. It kinda sucks that the lyrics aren’t on Genius or Bandcamp. He usually puts his lyrics on the Bandcamp page, but that wasn’t the case for this project. I know I got most of it right, but I don’t think he’s actually saying “roundabout” or “glasses intact.” I couldn’t really make out what the actual words were though unfortunately. The shit is still fire though. That Lootpack reference is awesome, and the way he was rhyming was dope as fuck.
Kazu’ beats got me feelin’ like ’92
When I was on mom’s stoop with a St. Ides brew
With my crew; we used to be named “The Firm”
Then Nas dropped that bad album and the tables turned
The song is fucking awesome. I love it. I don’t know if it’s my favorite track on the album though. I’m still trying to decide. I think I might like the following song even more. It features a verse from Sammus and a beat from Ace Hashimoto. Speaking of Ace Hashimoto, he dropped a tribute to Etika the day the news of his suicide was confirmed, and I think it’s fantastic. Check it out if you’re interested. Oh yeah I should probably mention that Ace Hashimoto is brandUn DeShay. He changed his stage name a little while ago. As you can tell, he’s gone full weeb. Anyway, the song is called Gone, and it’s fucking awesome. I love the production, and the sung hook from Mega Ran is actually really fucking good. The way he opened up that very first verse was so fucking cool though…
I hope it’s no epithets on my epitaph
Perpetually 20 minutes late I would get to class
Just in time for the second half; usually asked
About black lives and forced to speak on their behalf
I knew this shit was gonna be fire when I heard that first line. This shit is fucking awesome, man. He killed that shit. Sammus fucking bodied that second verse though. If you listen to the song—please do—just pay attention to the technical aspect of her verse. She’s rhyming her fucking ass off. It’s crazy.
I stood out like a Audi as a townie
Yeah, I went to college in my county
It kinda got me down because the
Out-of-towners always tried to clown me
Talkin’ ’bout they problems with my town
Like I was present at the founding
She fucking demolished that shit. I love the song. I can kinda relate to it as one of the few people of color that attended a private catholic school in Raleigh, North Carolina. You can’t really tell what race I am just by looking at me though, so people didn’t ask me about dumb shit like that. The annoying shit I had to deal with was white people casually throwing the N word around me because they didn’t think I’d get offended since I don’t look like the typical black person. It was just a really fucked up situation on multiple levels. Anyway, as I’ve already made abundantly clear, I think the song is amazing. The next track that I really liked is actually called Fortnite Owes Me Money! Usually anything Fortnite-related is a huge turn off for me, but that’s been kind of changing recently. I still avoid the actual game and any content related to it like the plague. I didn’t really give a shit when Phonte referenced it on the new Little Brother album though. A few people tried to say that it was a bad line, but I don’t really see why. It was literally just “build with her like Fortnite.” It’s not like “I don’t play games ‘less we talkin’ Fortnite.” I don’t think literally every line that happens to contain the title of the game is trash. The Logic line was unbelievably corny because he tried to come off hard while bragging about enjoying a shitty game that’s primarily played by children. Anyway, I’m getting really off topic. I’ll admit I was a little apprehensive when I read the title of the song, but it ended up being pretty great. This is mainly because it’s pretty much a diss towards the developer of the game. Also, the production from Batbxy was fucking superb. It was really awesome to hear Mega Ran get really braggadocios on the first verse. He doesn’t usually rap like that; he’s a really humble dude.
Rappin’ over video games? I did it first
I could just call my lawyer and have her dig in your purse
But that ain’t Hip Hop, so I’d rather give you this work
So pay respect to Ran whenever you spittin’ a verse
Albums about TV Shows? I did it first too
So I’ma slander you and hope that it truly hurts you
Make your Twitter & your Twitch followers desert you
Get a voodoo doll and stick it just to curse you
The rest of the song is pretty much just him and Gameboy Jones saying that the creators of Fortnite stole the idea for the game from them. I don’t know enough about the game to really understand if it’s a legitimate accusation or not, but I do know that some other artists have actually attempted to sue the company for stealing ideas already. Anyway, Mega Ran killed the first verse, and I liked the following verse from Gameboy Jones too. I think this was my first time ever hearing him rap if I’m not mistaken. He did his thing though. I enjoyed it. The only aspect of the song that I’m not really crazy about is the hook from MC Ohm-I. The singing just sounds really half assed and weak. I think it’s a little underwritten as well.
You stole my idea and it hurts
After I put in all of this work
Now you’re gonna get it
Now you’re gonna get it
It’s definitely not enough to really hinder my enjoyment of the song severely. The track is dope af overall. The next song is a remix of one of my favorite tracks from Mega Ran’s 2017 album, Extra Credit. The original version of Old Enough featured two fantastic verses from Ceschi & Sammus, and this remix features a tight verse from MC Frontalot. If I had to choose a version that I prefer, I’d definitely go with the original because that Ceschi verse isn’t something you just replace. The remix is great too though. So what I did was download both versions of the song, and add the two new verses from the remix to the original track in GarageBand. This makes my version of the song 7 minutes and 43 seconds long. It’s worth it though because all the verses are great. The sung hook from Mega Ran actually reminds me a lot of something Open Mike Eagle would’ve done earlier on in the decade. The Electronic influenced production from Ecid definitely has something to do with that as well. Anyway, the following track is called WALTER and I’m pretty sure it’s the only single from this album that I actually enjoyed.
In terms of the content, it’s another one of those songs that would typically appear on one of Random’s Mat Mania projects. I’m pretty sure that’s the only series he has in which I don’t actually enjoy a single project. I enjoyed a few tracks here and there from the first and third installments, but I can’t say I actually like either of those projects overall, and the second one sucks to me. I’m just really not into wrestling at all, so the songs just don’t really interest me for the most part. I did have a quick wrestling phase when I was like 8 or 9 years old, but I got over that after like half a year. With that said, you’re probably wondering why I like this song in particular. The main reason I enjoyed it is that the production is really great, and the aggressive & relatively violent bars are entertaining to me. I don’t really know which wrestler this song is supposed to be describing. All I know is that his name is Walter. The rapping from Mega Ran on this track is really dope to me, and I was really impressed by the verse from Josiah Williams as well. His flow was great. He kinda reminded me of Futuristic. I did some research on him though and he’s a Christian Hip Hop artist, so I’ll go ahead and add him to the list of rappers whose music I’ll never look into. His performance was nice on this track though. It’s definitely not one of my favorite songs on the album, but I did enjoy it quite a bit. The next track is a remix of the worst song from The Blueprint, Girls, Girls, Girls. That was the Blueprint right? I’m pretty sure it was… Wait a minute… Was that even my least favorite track from that album? Okay, I just went back and checked. Yeah, that’s definitely the worst song on the album. Anyway, I think the Just Blaze production is great. My issue with the original song was really just the hook and the content. The hook on Games, Games, Games really isn’t that much better, but it’s tolerable because the actual rapping is really good. If it somehow isn’t obvious from the title, the song’s all about Ran’s affinity for video games. I can’t really relate since I don’t play many video games anymore. I still enjoyed the song though. I just think it’s really well done. Hearing him nerd out about something he loves is just wholesome and really endearing to me. It’s a dope song. It’s followed by one of my favorite songs on the album, The Grind. This is a Bits & Rhymes track featuring MC Pennywise. I guess he’s going by Penny the Great these days. I think MC Pennywise is a cooler name personally, but whatever. Anyway, K-Murdock sampled the iconic Great Fairy’s Fountain theme from the Legend of Zelda for the beat, and it sounds fucking gorgeous. The song would’ve fit in perfectly with Bits & Rhymes’ original Famicom Forever album, which I think is still my favorite Mega Ran project to this day. The song is Ran & Penny rapping from the perspective of Link, who seems to be living his life on hard mode. It’s a really well done track. The next song that I liked was Still Dreaming, which featured two verses from O_Super & EyeQ. The Chiptune production from U’Nique Music is great, and I really liked the first verse from O_Super. He did a great job with the hook too. I’m pretty sure this was my first time hearing him rap, but he did his thing. Of course Mega Ran did a great job with the second verse. EyeQ is another artist I’d never heard of before listening to this project, and I was thankfully quite pleased with his performance as well. There’s not really anything I dislike about the song honestly. It’s not one of my favorites, but it’s definitely one of the better tracks on the album in my opinion. It’s dope af. I thought the following song was even better though. It’s called Beginnings, and this is a Kingdom Hearts themed track. Now that I think about it, I think this is the first time I’ve heard Mega Ran make a Kingdom Hearts track, which is kinda crazy. It has one of the best video game soundtrack’s I’ve ever heard, and I’m not talking about the licensed Disney theme songs. This is another Bits & Rhymes track, and K-Murdock did a fantastic job with the production. This song is kinda overdue in my opinion. We should’ve been had a Kingdom Hearts song. What I need is for Murdock to sample that Night of Fate track. That might be my favorite song from the series. Wait no… Well… Okay, it’s one of my favorite tracks from the series. Anyway, just like with most Bits & Rhymes songs, it’s Mega Ran kind of summarizing the story of the game in the form of a rap song, and it’s fucking awesome. It’s definitely one of my favorite tracks on the album. It’s dope af. The following track, Outrun the Sun, is another standout song from Bits & Rhymes. This one features SkyBlew, who I’ve heard a few features from in the past. Anyway, this song samples a song from the arcade game OutRun, and it’s sooooo fucking smooth. It’s great. K-Murdock is a really underrated producer, man. I love his beats. SkyBlew sounds really great over it too. He did a great job. The song is awesome. The content is uh… It’s woke. They’re rapping about deep shit. Mega Ran says “All Lives Matter” towards the end of the track, which obviously rubbed me the wrong way. I get what he’s trying to say though. I’m pretty sure he means it the same way ScHoolboy Q meant it on Black THoughts. That’s the track he said it on, right? Or was it Str8 Ballin’? I can’t remember. I haven’t listened to that album in a long ass time. I’m getting off topic. The song is dope af. Anyway, the final track on the album, GODHOOD, is another one of my favorites. I thought the production from Rifti Beats was really great, and the content is super personal and sad. The whole track is Mega Ran rapping directly to his negligent father that he has a shitty relationship with. It’s one of those songs that’s so personal that I feel like I’m being invasive just by listening to it. It’s great though. Like I said, it’s super emotional stuff, so it’s very gripping. It’s well written too. If you know Mega Ran, you know he’s a great writer. He was an English teacher for a while. I’m not exactly sure how many years he taught, but I’m sure it was a fairly sizable portion of his life because it’s influenced a lot of his work. Anyway, I’ve covered every single song from this project that I actually like, so now I have to mention the handful of songs that I didn’t care for. Thankfully there was only one song here that I thought was flat out bad. It’s really bad though. I’m not exaggerating when I say this; I think that Apex Legends is legitimately the worst Mega Ran song I’ve ever heard.
It’s not his fault though. I think his verse was well written enough. The problem with the song is… Well… Everything. I do not want to hear anyone rapping about Apex Legends. Honestly, that game is on the same level as Fortnite for me. The Fortnite song worked because they actually had a somewhat unique concept for it though. This track is just a bunch of nerds—none of whom I was familiar with before listening to this project—rapping from the perspective of the lame ass Apex Legends characters. The features are so bad. Again, I’m not familiar with them, so I don’t know who performed each part. I’m just gonna say that anyone who sang with autotune sounded like absolute dogshit. I think Gameboy Jones had one of the tolerable performances because I liked him on an earlier track. The rest of these rappers though… Nah. It’s a no for me. I think this song is absolute dogshit. I will say this though; I think the production was actually pretty tight. F1NG3RS did a nice job with that beat. Everything else about the song is unbearable though. I actually think it’s one of the worst songs I’ve heard this year. Definitely one of the worst songs from the month of June. Right up there with Joell Ortiz’s Shake Dat Je’llo. Thankfully all the other songs that I didn’t care for were tolerable. I think they’re all decent. They just lack replay value for me. Track 3 is another Mat Mania type song in which Ran raps over The Brood’s entrance theme. Apparently The Brood was a trio of wrestlers including The Edge and two other people who I’ve never heard of. The song is fine I guess. I just do not give a shit about the content at all, and I’m not crazy about the beat. It’s definitely not a bad song. It’s just not for me. The following track, Deliver the Message, was kind of frustrating for me.
I loved the beat from Rainbowdragoneyes, and I thought the first verse from Mega Ran was really fantastic. The features ruined it for me though. Everything I said about MC Lars & Schäffer the Darklord applies to 1UP. Well, that’s not quite true. He sounds nerdy as hell and super lame, but in a slightly different way. It’s like if Sonic the Hedgehog was a rapper. I get that Sonic is supposed to be cool in his universe, but think about it for a second. Imagine meeting someone in real life who actually spoke and acted like Sonic the Hedgehog. That person would not be cool. That person would be the laughing stock of anyone over the age of 10. This is probably confusing if you don’t know what 1UP sounds like when he raps. Trust me though. It’s not good. Even if his vocal delivery wasn’t obnoxiously lame, his flow sucks. The song also features a rapper named Philly who performs the last verse. He’s definitely not as bad as 1UP, but I still didn’t care for his performance at all. His flow was a mixed bag for me. Some parts were cool, but others sounded really weak. His delivery isn’t great either. So yeah, I didn’t care for the song overall. This is another track that I actually edited in GarageBand. The version I have is less than two minutes because I removed the two featured verses. It’s great without them. Anyway, the next track that I didn’t really care for was The Lingo.
I think this was actually the first solo Mega Ran song that I ever heard. I watched the music video when it came out. As you can probably see from the single artwork, it’s another Mat Mania type song, which is the main reason I didn’t end up caring for it. He’s basically doing what Big L did on Ebonics, but with wrestling jargon instead. It’s well done for what he was trying to do I guess. I just don’t really like what he was trying to do. It’s not something I’d ever want to listen to. If you don’t understand why, just imagine someone making a Hip Hop song in which they explain veterinarian jargon. Would you wanna listen to that more than once? Probably not, right? Because you probably don’t give a shit about vets. Well that’s how I feel about this song. I have zero interest in wrestling, so I’d never feel the need to listen to this song again. It’s not bad. I think the production from LR Beats is solid. Again, Mega Ran did a good job with the concept. It’s just not for me. The only track I haven’t mentioned yet is Serotonin. I was very intrigued when I read the title of the song because I assumed it would be about struggling with depression. The song focuses more on anxiety though. I guess that’s cool. I don’t have a really bad problem with anxiety personally, so I didn’t relate to it as much as I would have if it was just about depression. There’s not exactly a shortage of songs about depression though, so I guess it’s cool of them to go in this direction. I’ve definitely gotten anxious in the past, but I don’t think it’s worse than the average person because everybody deals with anxiety to some extent. I never had to take medication for it or anything. Anyway, the main reason I didn’t really care for the song was because of the feature. This was my first time hearing anything from LEX the Lexicon Artist. I think she’s an okay writer, but I just didn’t like her voice at all. Much like MC Lars and several other Nerdcore rappers, she just sounds a bit too dorky for me to get into her music. I looked her up and tried listening to some other stuff, but I wasn’t feelin’ it. I think this is a decent song, but, again, I won’t be returning to it. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯