Raheem Jarbo

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Mega Ran
Random musician.jpeg
Background information
Birth nameRaheem Jameel Jarbo
Also known asRandom, Random Beats, Big Ran
Born (1977-09-03) September 3, 1977 (age 41)
OriginPhiladelphia, Pennsylvania,
United States
GenresHip hop, nerdcore
Occupation(s)Rapper, songwriter, record producer, teacher
Years active2006–present
LabelsRAHM Nation Recordings, River City Records
Associated actsMC Frontalot, Reef the Lost Cauze, Panacea, MC Lars, K-Murdock, Open Mike Eagle, Sammus, The Regiment

Raheem Jarbo, also known by his stage names Mega Ran and Random, is an American underground nerdcore rapper, chiptune DJ, and record producer. In February 2015, he changed his stage name to Mega Ran, removing Random from any releases.[1]

Early life[edit]

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 Savant, who had created a label as a home for creative hip-hop music.[4] Jarbo resided in Philadelphia until a 2006 move to Phoenix, Arizona.[5]


Jarbo graduated from Martin Luther King High School (Philadelphia) and holds a bachelor's degree from Penn State He has 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 focus on music full-time.[6] Jarbo's albums are currently being utilized in coursework at Penn State University, University of Michigan [7] name among others.[citation needed]


Jarbo released his debut album The Call in 2006, but is noted for releasing an album called Mega Ran,[8] 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.[9]

This album gained Jarbo a fan base within the nerdcore genre, as well as press coverage by Nintendo Power, IGN, Okayplayer, Complex, Exclaim, and Blender among others.[10][11]

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.[12] The album was released with the blessing of Capcom.[8]

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.[13]

In 2011, Jarbo created and released Black Materia, an album completely based on the PlayStation and PC game Final Fantasy VII.[14]

In 2012, Jarbo released a remixed version of Black Materia entitled Black Materia: The Remixes.[15] 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.[16]

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.[17] 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 .

In 2015, Jarbo released his latest album "Soul Veggies" which was his most commercially successful album to date. Mega Ran also toured with Bag of Tricks Cat[18] for the Emerald Knights Tour which included a trip to various UK cities.

In Fall of 2015, Jarbo released RNDM, which debuted on the Billboard Top 200 chart.

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 2009, Jarbo teamed with Capcom to feature on a hip-hop alternate soundtrack to the 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.[19]

In 2010 and 2011, Jarbo's music was covered in video game publications Game Developer and Nintendo 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 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.[21]

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.[22]

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.[23]

In June 2015, Jarbo announced via YouTube that he had been chosen to perform the ending credits theme for the game Mighty No. 9. his track will appear on his forthcoming album "RNDM" as well.[24]

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. [25]

Jarbo hosted a weekly hip-hop reality show on his YouTube channel called "Life After Lesson Plans".[26] 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.[27]

In August 2014, Glasswork Media released a documentary titled Mega-Lo-Mania chronicling a recent tour by Random a.k.a. Mega Ran. Filmmaker Michael Cardoza traveled alongside Jarbo and soul/funk band, The Lo-Classics, through three cities to film the documentary.[28]


Jarbo has toured the U.S. as headliner and 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 2008-2017, the Nerdapalooza festival in 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014, and San Diego Comic-Con 2011-2015.[29] He embarked upon his first European tour in July 2011, and in December 2011,[30] 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.[31] Jarbo returned to Japan after a successful Kickstarter campaign. Jarbo performed at the Penny Arcade Expo (PAX) in 2013. He also performed at the east coast's music and gaming festival, MAGfest, in 2014 to 2016.


Solo Albums[edit]

  • 2001 - Archetype (No Label, CDR)
  • 2006 - The Call (RAHM Nation Recordings, LLC)
  • 2007 - Mega Ran (RAHM Nation Recordings, LLC)
  • 2008 - The 8th Day (RAHM Nation Recordings, LLC)
  • 2009 - Mega Ran 9 (RAHM Nation, Capcom)
  • 2011 - Black Materia: Final Fantasy VII (with Lost Perception)
  • 2012 - Mega Ran in Language Arts (RandomBeats Music)
  • 2015 - RNDM (RandomBeats Music)
  • 2017 - Extra Credit (RandomBeats Music)

Collaborative Projects[edit]


  • 2005 - Fundamentals EP [32]
  • 2008 - Patches and Glue (RAHM Nation Recordings, LLC)
  • 2012 - River City Random (self-released)
  • 2013 - Castlevania: The Nocturnal Cantata (Joypad Records)
  • 2013 - TRAP (self released)
  • 2014 - A Gamer's Anthem (w/The Regiment Hip-Hop Duo) (HiPNOTT Records)

Mixtapes and Limited Releases[edit]

  • 2006 - The Call: The Remix Tape
  • 2009 - RANDOMONIUM (Japan Only)
  • 2009 - TeacherRapperHero: The Random Mixtape
  • 2010 - Heroes, Volume One
  • 2011 - TeacherRapperHero Vol. 2: Two Weeks Notice
  • 2011 - Mega Ran 10
  • 2012 - Black Materia: The Remixes
  • 2014 - TRAP 2 (Self released)
  • 2014 - The Call: 8 Bit Anniversary Edition

Guest Appearances[edit]

  • 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 Allan 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)
  • 2012 - "The Blues ft. Mega Ran" by Marcus D on "Retro'd"
  • 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 Creative Mind Frame (aka 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)
  • 2014 - "Space Marines" by The Extremities on "Instruments" (Self Released)
  • 2015 - "Idea Junkies" by Backburner on "Eclipse" (Backburner Recordings)
  • 2015 - "Warp Formula" by Wordburglar on "Rapplicable Skills" (Hand'Solo Records)
  • 2018 - "Drones" by Teenburger on "Hivemind" (Science)
  • 2018 - "Ness's Nightmare" by Super Soul Bros on "Motherlode"


  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. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-06-04. Retrieved 2013-04-10.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^ [1]
  5. ^ [2]
  6. ^ Anthony, Anthony (September 26, 2012). "Independent Artist Raheem 'Mega Ran' Jarbo Swapped Books for Game Consoles". Black Enterprise.
  7. ^ (PDF) https://smtd.umich.edu/performances_events/nacvgm/documents/nacvgm-program.pdf. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  8. ^ a b Capcom Gets Random With Mega Man
  9. ^ "Top Hip-Hop albums of 2007". Hip Hop Linguistics. Archived from the original on March 6, 2008.
  10. ^ Mega Ran's Nintendo Power Farewell Rap
  11. ^ PAX East Feature - Random aka Mega Ran Interview
  12. ^ [3] Mega Ran 9
  13. ^ Operation Nerdcore: Mega Ran & K Murdock's Forever Famicom Archived 2013-02-26 at the Wayback Machine
  14. ^ Rap Music, Final Fantasy VII and Some Pretty Visuals
  15. ^ Shadowrun Returns on Kickstarter, Mega Ran Too
  16. ^ The Video Game That's Also a Rap Album That's Also a Comic Book
  17. ^ Exclusive: Time and Space: Mega Ran's New Fan Request EP
  18. ^ Maxwell, Ryan. "Mega Ran x Bag of Tricks Cat Interview". HHKMag. HHKMag. Retrieved 20 July 2015.
  19. ^ Marvel Vs Capcom 2 Hip Hop Mixtape
  20. ^ Final Fantasy VII Rap Explains Why Nerds Love Aeris
  21. ^ Lunar Giant Release First Installment to Mega Ran in Language Arts Game
  22. ^ [4]
  23. ^ [5]
  24. ^ [6]
  25. ^ Second Skin | Top Documentary Films
  26. ^ [7]
  27. ^ Cherner, Reid (February 9, 2012). "Jeremy Lin now has his own song and a following". USA Today.
  28. ^ Jarbo, Raheem (August 21, 2014). "Mega Lo Mania: A Nerd Rap Documentary". megaran.com.
  29. ^ Mega Ran Storms The UK For Tour
  30. ^ More B.A.R.K. Less Bitin' Tour Archived 2012-03-11 at the Wayback Machine
  31. ^ Phoenix Rapper Mega Ran Hitting The Road With Nerd-Rap Star mc chris
  32. ^ Atheist [@801Atheist] (30 March 2014). "@MegaRan @AW_GBAtemp Yeah, I have Fundamentals and could definitely rip it and send you digital tracks. Just let me know" (Tweet) – via Twitter.

External links[edit]