Mega Ran - RNDM Album Review

Mega Ran is everything Real Men Report is about. He's a rapper whose beats and inspiration come from old video games. Also, he's a wrestling fan. Basically, I love Mega Ran as a man. It helps that I also like him as a rapper. I genuinely believe he could be 10 times bigger if he went with the "normal rapper" path. But that's not what he (or the fans) want. A man who's following his dream despise the consequences deserves my absolute respect. Anyways, I wanted Mega Ran to give me nice lyrics and subject matter, over cohesive, yet varied production. That's exactly what he gave me, but he did it on a level I wasn't expecting.

1. Same As It Ever Was
I love this song. Amazing start. There's something about an intro that has the rapper spit on nothing but a piano. This song vaguely (VAGUELY) reminds me of "Doo Rags" by Nas. Back to the song, Michiru Yamane did a great job with the piano. Even if the melody is not as sweet as I wished it was, it's still pretty great. But the real star of the song is Mega Ran. I liked how he opens up and just tells us what's going on with his life. There's something poetic about what he's saying. The way I see it, he loves how his buzz is slowly building up. However, questions like: "Can I pay rent this month?" or "How will I give my future wife the life she deserves?" invade his thoughts every now and then. Amazing start to the album.

2. Infinite Lives (D&D Sluggers)
Good track. Really like the message, and again, Mega Ran sounds great on the beat and gives us some pretty heart warming lines. I do have some problems with the song. First off, I hated the hook. D&D Sluggers' singer actually had some enjoyable vocals, but the way they delivered the hook was borderline annoying. Beat wise, I really liked the beat. I should mention, I wish the 8-bit sounds would have been a bit louder. In spite of this, I think this song is pretty good.

3. Rushmore
Dope ass track. While the beat didn't grab me, it still bangs!  MR comes with mad flows and personal subject matter. Only complain come with the hook's delivery (again). Hook is pretty personal if you think about: Ran wants to be important and inspirational, to the point where his face is put on Mount Rushmore. However, the hook is delivered without emotion. Not a big deal, but it would have made the song 3 times more epic.

4. Introvert Bars
I really liked this "interlude". Wish it was longer. Dope beat, nice storytelling and a funny ending. Too short to review. Really enjoyed it though.

5. Your Favorite Song
Mission succeeded, Mega Ran: I can't stop playing this song. The beat is chill, laid back and sweet. Love the verses: Ran telling us his dreams with nice lines and flows. The hook is also great! Super catchy. Nothing to complain about.

6.  The Meeting
Man... great song. Ran's old alias "Random" comes for a visit, and they discuss different topics. including why Mega Ran has separated himself from political rap, his early failures and the death of Random/Birth of Mega Ran. All of this is delivered with passion and some voice effects, over a nice, emotional beat. Also, Edy Blu absolutely destroys the hook and vocals. Amazing track!

7. Mackerel Sky (feat. RoQy TyRaiD)
Nice song. The beat feels very house influenced. While the beat is good, it needed some hard drums. It didn't feel as epic or bouncy as it could have. Hook was alright. Nothing special. Still, Ran does great. However, props to RoQy TyRaiD! I've never heard of him, but he DESTROYED the beat. He sounded great, dropping nice lines with different flows.

8. O.P. (feat Richie Branson)
Nice banger! Beat is a bit ordinary, but it's still pretty damn good. Hook is not particularly catchy, but it's nicely delivered, so I have no problems with it. Mega Ran really shines through, with clever lines and fast flows. Richie Branson didn't really impress me, but he did have some nice lines.

9. Laughin' At Ya
Dope track. I love the beat. Feels atmospheric while also being mainstream. I also really enjoyed Mega Ran's content and delivery. He talks about being fired, breaking up with his girlfriend and dealing with haters. What I didn't like: the auto tune. It's only used every now and then, so it's not like it's all over the song. But it felt completely out of place. Without the auto-tune, this might be my favorite track of the album. Still, it's pretty damn good.

10. Alternate Endings (feat. Open Mike Eagle)
Dope song. Both Ran and Mike spit some nice 16's. I also love the hook, super melodic and catchy. I really like the beat, but it dies down a bit during the verses, and at times it can feel empty (making the song move at a slow pace). Still, once you get over it, you get a super cool song.

11. Revisions
Super dope, important track. If you didn't know, Mega Ran used to be a teacher. Well... with this track, he gives his opinion on the educational system, spitting hard, clever lines. The beat is also super chill, fancy and beautiful. Hook didn't impress me, but Elle Winston did. Amazing vocals.

12. A Poet
Let's get it out of the way: I didn't like the beat. I liked certain aspects of it, but as a whole I found it to be tedious and a bit boring. That's until I realized what Mega Ran was saying. I won't spoil anything, but let's just say the song's about his personal life. And he delivers big time. We also have some nice spoken word at the end of the song. Extremely personal stuff. Props to Ran for this one.

13. The Promised Land
Nice allegory. Mega Ran dropping some knowledge. Like this track. Ran makes an interesting point, over some chill instrumentation. Don't hate anything about this track, but it didn't impress me. It's just a good song.

14. Space Defense Team(feat. Kool Keith and Wordburglar)
Dope track! Feels like some old school sh*t. Beat bounces. Ran does his thing (kill it) with dope bars and flows. To be honest, I didn't like Kool Keith on this one. He sounded uninterested, and I wasn't really impressed. Wordburglar though! First time hearing him, and I liked him a lot! Dope lines, and a unique voice. Anyways, really like this one.

15. Miss Communication
This track is good. It feels like it doesn't belong though. Feels like the type of song you send to your girlfriend. But putting it on the album? Ehhh. It's not a bad song or anything, but it kind of came out of nowhere. Made the album lose cohesiveness.

16. Believe!
Emotional track. Ran talks about losing his dad in a positive way. As someone who lost his dad at a young age, I can relate. Beat is super nice, with a marvelous bassline and claps, making it feel like a super old beat. As I said, the song is about Ran losing his dad. And he snaps! Crazy lyrics, and he rides the beat like it's nothing. However, I wish the song didn't have the choir singing. It made the hook feel a bit "preachy". Still, super dope song.

17. Losses (feat. Joell Ortiz and MURS)
Happy to see Mega Ran has a song with Joell Ortiz and MURS. It doesn't disappoint. They put everything aside, and focused on spitting. They all paint images in my mind. Dark images. They talk about the hood, gang banging and the innocent people who get affected by these problems. Nice outro.

Verdict: With RNDM, Mega Ran breaks the walls that were holding him back. I don't see this album as a Nerdcore record, I see it as a dope ass Hip Hop album. Is it perfect? No. It's biggest flaw is the fact that it's just not cohesive. But I don't really mind, because it's consistently good. With the exception of 1 or 2 songs, I could play this album front to back without skipping one song. Ran brings crazy skills and content, over beautiful beats. This is his most complete work to date. Period. While far from perfect, RNDM is one of the most interesting albums I've heard this year.

Favorite Songs
- Same As It Ever Was
- Your Favorite Song
- The Meeting
- Alternate Endings

Least Favorite Songs
- Miss Communication
Score: 3.5/5

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