If you’re a fan of ’80s and ’90s pop culture, you won’t have a hard time understanding most of the references that rapper Raheem Jarbo, better known as Mega Ran, drops in his songs. It’s not strange to hear callbacks to Dragon Ball Z, 90s NBA stars, Super Nintendo and samples of Eric B. & Rakim all in one song.
Metro Detroiters can hear what the Philly native has to say live when he headlines Otus Supply on Saturday, September 10 in Ferndale. We spoke to Mega Ran about her career, her ’80s anime love letter album “Robotech” titled “Protoculture Season”, the power of nostalgia, her love for Detroit and more.
Mega Ran freestyled on “Selfish,” the 2004 hit from legendary Detroit rap group Slum Village, earlier this summer to promote a show he did with them in New York. It’s awesome and you should listen to it.
One of the lines that stuck out to me was:
“Kids are like, ‘you’re black, but you don’t act like a hood.’ Critics say “he’s corny but he can rap well”.
Mega Ran has faced this duality since the start of her career.
“Facing it head on has definitely helped me deal with it. I’ve always been a bit passive-aggressive about it in the past,” says Ran. “Because when you start, you’re just happy that someone can listen to you. So, to whoever enjoys it, I’m like “glad you like it”. But then we’d have awkward conversations at merchandising tables or in the comments, we’d be like, “You know, I hate rap, but I really like you.” And I would say, ‘That’s a little weird and maybe even a little racist.’
You know, at the end of the day, it’s hip hop. And the line has been blurrier than ever, which I think is really dope. A lot of these new kids can talk about “Dragon Ball Z,” they can talk about comic books or whatever they’re really passionate about, and just make great rap songs about them.
Mega Ran also proves he really had a real coney when he mentions slamming the case in the same freestyle from Slum Village.
“I’ve been to Detroit a few times. And that’s the one thing my friends there always tell me is the snap that does it,” the rapper says. “So I was there a few years ago. And I was talking about coneys. So I literally went to both downtown locations, American and Lafayette. I went to both and was like, ‘Okay, I need one here, one there.’ I like both of them.
Listen to the full interview at the top or scroll below, where we also talk about Ran’s most anticipated video game for the rest of 2022, the AEW/CM drama Punk, the return of the Gaming TV Network G4 video, and more.
Mega Ran headlines Otus Supply on Saturday September 10th. Tickets are available at the door or on otussupply.com.
Listen: Mega Ran talks hip-hop, video games, pro wrestling and more
Photo credit: Mega Ran