Raheem Jarbo

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Raheem "Mega Ran" Jarbo
Random musician.jpeg
Background information
Birth name Raheem Jameel Jarbo
Also known as Mega Ran, Random, Random Beats, Big Ran
Born (1977-09-03) September 3, 1977 (age 37)
Origin Philadelphia, Pennsylvania,
United States
Genres Hip hop, Nerdcore
Occupation(s) Rapper, songwriter, record producer, teacher
Years active 2006–present
Labels RAHM Nation Recordings, River City Records
Associated acts MC Frontalot, Reef the Lost Cauze, Panacea, MC Lars, K-Murdock, Open Mike Eagle, Sammus

Raheem Jameel Jarbo (born September 3, 1977), better known by his stage names Random and Mega Ran, is an American underground rapper, Chiptunes DJ, and record producer. He is mainly associated with the genre known as Nerdcore. As of February 2015, Mega Ran officially made a name change, removing Random from any releases. [1]

Early life[edit]

Raheem Jarbo was born in Philadelphia, PA to an American-born mother and African-born father.[2] He has stated in interviews that he wrote his first song in 1993 and began producing in 2000.[3] After college, Jarbo landed a job as an engineer in a Philadelphia studio, and recorded his first demo which caught the ear of Philadelphia emcee Ohene, who had created RAHM Nation Recordings as a home for creative hip-hop music.[4] Jarbo resided in Philadelphia until a 2006 move to Phoenix, Arizona.[5]


Jarbo holds a Bachelor's degree from Penn State University worked full-time as a special education teacher, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, then as a middle school teacher in Phoenix, Arizona. Jarbo maintained both a music and teaching career until 2011, when he retired from teaching to devote himself to music full-time.[6] Jarbo's albums are currently being utilized in coursework at Penn State University, Temple University, and Virginia Tech among others.[6]


Jarbo released his debut album The Call in 2006, but is noted for releasing an album called Mega Ran,[7] a tribute to the Mega Man video game series in 2007. This album landed Jarbo a licensing agreement with video game distributor Capcom and an opportunity to perform at the Capcom booth at Comic-Con in San Diego.[8]

This album gained Jarbo a fan base within the nerdcore subgenre, as well as press coverage by Nintendo Power, IGN, Okayplayer, Complex, Exclaim, and Blender among others.[9][10]

In 2009, Jarbo released a second Mega Man-based album, Mega Ran 9, based on the PlayStation Network, WiiWare and Xbox Live Arcade video game Mega Man 9.[11] The album was released with the blessing of Capcom.[7]

In 2010, Jarbo collaborated with producer K-Murdock of progressive hip-hop group Panacea and released Forever Famicom, an album containing samples from video games from various publishers on the NES and Super NES consoles.[12]

In 2011, Jarbo created and released Black Materia, an album completely based on the PlayStation and PC game Final Fantasy VII.[13]

In 2012, Jarbo released a remixed version of Black Materia entitled Black Materia: The Remixes.[14] In March, he launched a Kickstarter campaign to release the three-part album, comic book and video game for Mega Ran in Language Arts. The goal was achieved, and Volume One was released in May, Volume Two in August, and Volume Three in November.[15]

In 2013, Jarbo announced he would release one EP per month, titled Time and Space. January, February and March's EP releases were exclusively launched on video game website Destructoid.[16] It was also at this time that Jarbo began referring to his style of music as "Chip-Hop."

In 2013, Jarbo collaborated with New Jersey rapper Mister Wilson and released Blur Bomber, an adaptation of the Archie Comics story arc for the Mega Man and Sonic cross-over in Worlds Collide .

Video games[edit]

Photograph of a man with a microphone in his right hand and an arm-cannon prop covering his left hand.
Mega Ran performing at Sabbatical in Indianapolis in August 2013.

In September 2013, Jarbo and K-Murdock performed at the first ever Halo 4 Global Championships in Seattle. The event was broadcast on Xbox Live and online.[17]

In April 2013, Jarbo lent guest vocals to a track on the soundtrack of the award winning video game Monaco: What's Yours Is Mine called "Welcome To Monaco.[18]

In 2012, Jarbo and Chicago-based developers Lunar Giant Studios released the first installment of the Mega Ran video game, loosely based on the album Mega Ran in Language Arts.[19]

In 2010 and 2011, Jarbo's music was covered in video game publications Game Developer andNintendo Power. Jarbo's album based on the game Final Fantasy VII was featured, and was included in the June 2011 issue of Game Informer and PlayStation: The Official Magazine.[20]

In 2009, Jarbo teamed with Capcom to feature on a hip-hop alternate soundtrack to hit title Marvel vs. Capcom 2. Jarbo appears on a song entitled "The Remainder is One". The album is downloadable on PlayStation Network and at Marvel Comics' website.[21]

Film and television[edit]

Jarbo's song "Grow Up" from the Mega Ran album plays during the end credits of Second Skin, an independent film which debuted at the South by Southwest Film Festival in Austin, Texas in 2008.

In 2010, Jarbo's song "Splash Woman" played on episodes of TNA IMPACT! and on the ABC special "The Ten Most Fascinating People in America" hosted by Barbara Walters. It has also been featured in the "Aimee" episode of IFC's Portlandia and Comedy Central's Tosh.0. [22]

Jarbo hosted a weekly hip-hop reality show on his YouTube channel called "Life After Lesson Plans".[23] In the final episode he details leaving teaching for music full-time to tour with mc chris.

In February 2012, Jarbo recorded and released a song called "Mega Ran's Jeremy Lin Rap", dedicated to the rise to fame of NBA player Jeremy Lin. The song went on to be a viral smash, amassing over 150,000 hits in two days on YouTube, and appearing on the ESPN show SportsCenter.[24]

In August 2014, Glasswork Media released a documentary titled Mega-Lo-Mania chronicling a recent tour by Random aka Mega Ran. Filmmaker Michael Cardoza traveled alongside Jarbo and soul/funk band, The Lo-Classics, through three cities to film the documentary.[25]


Jarbo has toured the U.S. as support for mc chris, MC Lars, Louis Logic, Homeboy Sandman, Open Mike Eagle, and others. He has performed at the SXSW Music Festival in 2008-2013, the Nerdapalooza festival in 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013, and San Diego Comic-Con 2011-2013.[26] He embarked upon his first European tour in July 2011, and in December 2011,[27] provided support on the More B.A.R.K. Less Bitin' Tour of Japan with DJ Asu Rock, K-Murdock, and jazz-hop artists Substantial and Marcus D.[28] Jarbo returned to Japan after a successful Kickstarter campaign. Jarbo performed at the Penny Arcade Expo (PAX) in 2013. He is also performed at the east coast's music and gaming festival, MAGfest, in January 2014.


  • 2001 - Archetype
  • 2005 - Fundamentals EP
  • 2006 - The Call (RAHM Nation Recordings, LLC)
  • 2006 - The Call: The Remix Tape (RAHM Nation Recordings, LLC)
  • 2007 - Mega Ran (RAHM Nation Recordings, LLC)
  • 2008 - Patches and Glue (RAHM Nation Recordings, LLC)
  • 2008 - The 8th Day (RAHM Nation Recordings, LLC)
  • 2009 - Mega Ran 9 (RAHM Nation, Capcom)
  • 2009 - TeacherRapperHero: The Random Mixtape (self-released)
  • 2009 - RANDOMONIUM (River City Records)
  • 2010 - Forever Famicom (Neosonic Productions)
  • 2010 - Heroes, Volume One (Random Beats Music)
  • 2011 - Black Materia: Final Fantasy VII (with Lost Perception)
  • 2011 - TeacherRapperHero Vol. 2: Two Weeks Notice (self-released)
  • 2011 - Mega Ran 10 (Self-released)
  • 2011 - A VERY RANDOM CHRISTMAS (Random Beats Music/ One Beagle Music)
  • 2011 - The Memorandum (with Mr. Miranda) Random Beats Music
  • 2012 - Black Materia: The Remixes (Random Beats Music)
  • 2012 - Mega Ran in Language Arts (RandomBeats Music)
  • 2012 - River City Random (self-released)
  • 2012 - The Ghouls 'n Ghosts EP (with Richie Branson)
  • 2013 - TRAP (self released)
  • 2013 - Castlevania: The Nocturnal Cantata (Joypad Records)
  • 2013 - Blur Bomber (with Mister Wilson) (Random Beats)
  • 2013 - Ghouls 'n Ghosts 2 (with Richie Branson)
  • 2014 - The Call: 8 Bit Anniversary Edition (RandomBeats Music)
  • 2014 - TRAP 2 (Self released)
  • 2014 - A Gamer's Anthem (w/The Regiment) (HiPNOTT Records)


  • 2005 - "Beats & Rhymes" on The Chancellor (RAHM Nation Recordings, LLC)
  • 2007 - "Gnosis" & "Faculty Meeting" on Legend of … The Chancellor (RAHM Nation Recordings, LLC)
  • 2007 - "No Grudge" on Nina Simone by … Ohene (RAHM Nation Recordings, LLC)
  • 2008 - "Black Box" by MC Frontalot on "Final Boss" (Level Up/Nerdcore Fervor)
  • 2008 - "Don't Look Back" on Escape Plan (Deep Scene Productions)
  • 2008 - "Grown" on American Scholar (RAHM Nation Recordings, LLC)
  • 2009 - "The Remainder is One" on Marvel vs. Capcom Mixtape (Capcom)
  • 2010 - "To Whom Much is Given" on Back and Forth (Koyto Mixtapes)
  • 2010 - "Dustman" by MC Esoteric on "Fly Casualties"
  • 2011 - "Me and the Mouse" by MC Lars on "Indie Rocket Science" (Horris Records)
  • 2011 - "Easy Mode (Remix) by Kabuto The Python on "The Kvetch Sessions: I Hate Everything" (Scrubclub Records)
  • 2012 - "The Tell Tale <3" by MC Lars on "The Edgar Allen Poe EP" (Horris Records)
  • 2012 - "Play It By Ear" on "Gigantic, Vol 1" by Small Pro (Diamond Music Group)
  • 2012 - "The Promise ft. MegaRan (Halo 4 Remix)" by "Dj CUTMAN" (Halo 4 Soundtrack Remix contest)
  • 2013 - "Game Over" by SkyBlew (self released)
  • 2013 - "Big Kid Remix" by Doug Funnie
  • 2013 - "Jazzy NYC" by Mister Wilson on The Mister Wilson Show
  • 2013 - "Blurred Lines Freestyle" by Mister Wilson on The Mister Wilson Show
  • 2014 - "World 3-8 - Smash Bros" by 1-up on Nerdcore Emulation Station (NES)
  • 2014 - "Outsiders" by Mikal kHill on The Snuggle is Real (self-released)
  • 2014 - "Plight of the Shoobies" by Skyblew on Skyblew's UNModern Life (Random Beats Music)


  1. ^ Jarbo, Raheem (February 10, 2015). "Just Mega Ran". megaran.com. Today I decided to change my name officially to just Mega Ran. It’s too confusing with at least 6 other acts named Random, and some sites don’t allow an aka… so, it’s officially a thing. Working on changing it on every place. 
  2. ^ Thill, Scott (April 13, 2009). "Random's Mega Man Raps Pay Off, Nerd-Style". Wired. 
  3. ^ [1]
  4. ^ [2]
  5. ^ [3]
  6. ^ a b Anthony, Anthony (September 26, 2012). "Independent Artist Raheem ‘Mega Ran’ Jarbo Swapped Books for Game Consoles". Black Enterprise. 
  7. ^ a b Capcom Gets Random With Mega Man
  8. ^ "Top Hip-Hop albums of 2007". Hip Hop Linguistics. [dead link]
  9. ^ Mega Ran's Nintendo Power Farewell Rap
  10. ^ PAX East Feature - Random aka Mega Ran Interview
  11. ^ [4] Mega Ran 9
  12. ^ Operation Nerdcore: Mega Ran & K Murdock's Forever Famicom
  13. ^ Rap Music, Final Fantasy VII and Some Pretty Visuals
  14. ^ Shadowrun Returns on Kickstarter, Mega Ran Too
  15. ^ The Video Game That's Also a Rap Album That's Also a Comic Book
  16. ^ Exclusive: Time and Space: Mega Ran's New Fan Request EP
  17. ^ [5]
  18. ^ [6]
  19. ^ Lunar Giant Release First Installment to Mega Ran in Language Arts Game
  20. ^ Final Fantasy VII Rap Explains Why Nerds Love Aeris
  21. ^ Marvel Vs Capcom 2 Hip Hop Mixtape
  22. ^ Second Skin | Top Documentary Films
  23. ^ [7]
  24. ^ Cherner, Reid (February 9, 2012). "Jeremy Lin now has his own song and a following". USA Today. 
  25. ^ Jarbo, Raheem (August 21, 2014). "Mega Lo Mania: A Nerd Rap Documentary". megaran.com. 
  26. ^ Mega Ran Storms The UK For Tour
  27. ^ More B.A.R.K. Less Bitin' Tour
  28. ^ Phoenix Rapper Mega Ran Hitting The Road With Nerd-Rap Star mc chris

External links[edit]