Two talented artists have some campaigning ending really soon so I grabbed them to tell us about their projects.
One is more familiar to this column — a comic book project from Joe Martino (Shadowflame, The Mighty Titan).
The other is only a household name to those hyped on the nerdcore rap scene.
Random aka Mega Ran aka Raheem is a former teacher who tours the world rapping about life, but also he is the only rapper to be officially endorsed by Capcom.
Following the footsteps of his friend Damien Hess also known as MC Frontalot’s Nerdcore Rising, Random is Kickstarting a documentary Mega Lo Mania - Director’s Cut for full distribution.
Joe even has some Kickstarter tips as well, so keep your eyes peeled, creative types.
If you have a few dollars or a dollar to spare, consider backing these hard working gentlemen! If you can’t spare anything but you like what you see, spread the word. They will be grateful!
Mega Lo Mania - A Nerd Rap Documentary
FOG!: Ran, we’re excited about your Kickstarter. What can fans expect from Mega Lo Mania - A Nerd Rap Documentary?
Mega Ran: The doc got such great reviews that all we needed was more, quite frankly.. I went and found old footage, interviewed some of my heroes in the scene and I think it ties up the Mega Ran story, that’s so hard to explain to people most times, perfectly!
Maybe we should back up. What is it you do for those unfamiliar out there? You rap about video games, right?
I rap about life, mostly, but from a few unique perspectives, most notably, the eyes of video game characters.
A lot of what I do is video game related for sure, It’s probably where I feel most comfortable.
FOG!: Tell us about Cyberines #1!
Joe Martino: Well, I created Cyberine before Shadowflame. I always liked patriotic characters like Captain America so I wanted to create one like that. But I didn’t want him to look like a flag.
I figured what’s better than Marines Red and Gold? Originally he was in Vietnam and he got blown up on his way home. But, as time went on Desert Storm made more sense and then Afghanistan. In Shadowflame I actually call it the Second Gulf War meaning the 2004 Afghanistan war.
In issue 4 I added a few characters to the team. Crimson, Caress and Barrel. Along with Cyberine and Agent Napalm, they make the core of the group. There are others that we will see later and some that really aren’t very nice.
To me it is a bit like The Avengers if they were formed by the government and run by Professor Xavier. The Marine part of the group is very boot camp/Danger Room and we will see the group go through some serious issues.
[READ MORE AT FORCES OF GEEK]
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Stones Throw Records’ Homeboy Sandman embarks on the Dear Hunter Tour
On the heels of the release of his critically acclaimed LP First of a Living Breed (Stones Throw) and in support of two new projects (Kool Herc Fertile Crescent EP and All that I Hold Dear LP, Stones Throw 2013), his national tour with Brother Ali (Rhymesayers Entertainment), and a headlining tour of Europe, Homeboy Sandman will headline a tour of the US this summer. Open Mike Eagle (Hellfyre Club, Fake Four Inc, Mush Records) and Random aka Mega Ran (officially licensed by Capcom) will support.
Sandman says of the tour “The Dear Hunter Tour is in promotion of my latest Stones Throw release, ‘All That I Hold Dear.’ I’m blessed to join forces with two musicians also searching for substance, magic, brilliance, love, and truth. We’re going to find them too. When we do, we’re going to share them.”
Kool Herc Fertile Crescent EP (Stones Throw) vinyl/digital relase available now. 8-track release produced entirely by El RTNC (aka Rthentic). The record is an unapologetic homage to old school hip-hop in its bare-bones production, lyrical themes, cover art and even the title. With the blessing of DJ Kool Herc, one of the originators of hip-hop, Sandman pays respect to the pioneering DJ by proudly naming the release in his honor.
Homeboy Sandman is a musician. His genre is hip-hop. An emcee that prides himself on musical growth and evolution, he has adopted as his motto and creative mission statement, “Boy Sand like you’ve never seen him before. As usual.”
Before signing to Stones Throw he’d already been chosen as a coach on MTV’s MADE, featured in preeminent print hip-hop rags XXL and The Source, and perpetually championed on foremost online hubs. And since the signing, his accolades have extended beyond the realm of the hip hop specific. Rolling Stone has noted his “skill for wordplay that keeps you hooked.” NPR has highlighted his “artful, hysterical, disobedient hip-hop that you can dance to.” Pitchfork has straightforwardly dubbed him “one of the best pure lyricists around.
Open Mike Eagle
“One of LA’s smartest young voices” says the LA Times…which the artist suspects, may just be a covert way of saying LA is dumb. “Open” Mike Eagle wouldn’t terribly mind, being born and raised in Chicago where the painful winters and his uppity grandparents kept him inside as a youth. He spent his formative years watching alternative music happen on MTV and hoping to one day be able to audition for the Native Tongues. As a young adult after graduating with a degree in Psychology, he did the next best thing and moved to Los Angeles,
joining the Project Blowed collective where he made music and toured with Busdriver, Aceyalone, Abstract Rude, Nocando and more. He’s also gained notoriety in the world of comedy by being invited by professional funny people (Paul F. Tompkins, Hannibal Buress, Matt Besser/UCB) to rap at their shows. He’d like to be rap’s Kurt Vonnegut
but recognizes that he’d first have to create something as iconic as the four-stroke illustration of an anus. He practices by releasing rap albums that delight, entertain, and confuse.
Random aka Mega Ran
If you put video games, the 80’s, hip-hop, soul music, jazz and standup comedy into a blender and hit “puree,” you’d have something close to The Random Experience.
The self-proclaimed “TeacherRapperHero” made waves by going way left of his backpack roots by combining 8-bit video game sounds and hard hitting hip-hop tracks, and has become a trailblazer in the budding genres of chiptune and nerd-rap. A Capcom cosign and admiration from the genre’s toughest critics has led to placements in TV, movies, university coursework, and of course, games.
Today, Random is no longer a teacher by title, but travels the world to entertain and educate through the gift of facemelting raps.
Boston rapper H.W. dumps his demons - By Martín Caballero | BOSTON GLOBE
Last July, H.W. (short for “Hazardous Wastes”) released one of Boston hip-hop’s most literate, emotionally complex albums of the year in “Wall Papered Exit Wounds.” Delivered in the lyrically dense and raw personal style that has become his signature, the record quietly distinguished itself from the crowded local marketplace by vividly exposing its author’s titular emotional wounds for all to see, allowing listeners to eavesdrop on his internal struggle for peace of mind. It’s occasionally jarring and hardly uplifting stuff, but his gift for articulating pain is a rare one.
Yet there’s an important piece of context to note with “Exit Wounds”: The material was recorded six years ago, and the H.W. whose emotional turmoil fueled that record is not the same one who’ll be performing on June 5 at The Sinclair in Harvard Square.
“I hated that record,” H.W., born Josh DeCosta, says bluntly over a midday beer at a bar in Central Square. “The only reason I released it is because people told me it was good and I should put it out.”
Naturally, an intensely introspective album in which he struggles to find scraps of optimism within darkness would understandably be difficult to embrace in the same way that a detached listener might. But this isn’t his first release in that vein: “Exit Wounds” built on the foundation of 2009’s “A Year’s Worth of Worry,” where songs like “The End of the Line” established his reputation as a sensitive, emotional lyricist fueled by tumultuous romantic relationships that often ended in heartbreak. In 2013, that’s the reputation he’s working to change.
“It’s unbearable in a way,” says the Fall River native. “I was the guy who did songs about ex-girlfriends, and that’s all it was. And it got sickening being that person. It bothers me in the sense that there are so many more aspects of my personal life. If people talk to me they know that I’m not that person, I’m not that guy who goes home and cries every night and hates myself. I needed something to write about other than that.
‘In the studio I’m hyperly critical and constantly tweaking stuff, while on stage I don’t have enough time to think about it like that.
For someone whose creative output was so closely linked to his state of mind, shifting directions musically first necessitated a change in mentality.
“I based my worth on who I dated, and because of that every relationship was the end-all, be-all. So when those ended, it was devastating to the point that it destroyed by self-esteem. I eventually slowly realized that life doesn’t revolve around relationships. These girls, or these moments in time, as important as they may feel at the moment, are just that. It took a long time for me to understand what I cared about and how to write about what I cared about.”
“I’ve seen him grow and mature as a rapper and a performer drastically,” says longtime friend and DJ Emoh Bettah. “Most, if not all, of his earlier songs were about relationships gone sour or about friendships with ex-girlfriends, and I’d often joke with him about it but since then he’s been writing songs about other topics. His music may be too personal for some, but he does what he does well. All of his songs tell a story and he is just being himself, which is what I think people love about him.”
Yet for a rapper with a highly technical lyrical style and no shortage of things to say (“I think I’m way too personal in general, I’m just an over-sharer,” he admits), it’s surprising H.W.’s output isn’t more prodigious: case in point being the long gap between the recording and release of “Exit Wounds.” Rather than adhering to the modern rap marketing scheme of flooding the Internet with new material via social media in search of approval, he takes his work direct to live audiences.
“On stage, there’s something that clicks within me and I am the person who I am with my closest friends,” he says of his shows, which often find him performing unreleased or incomplete songs and interacting with the audience. “I love that feeling, maybe because it’s the sense of self-gratification that I’ve always sought from everything in life. In the studio I’m hyperly critical and constantly tweaking stuff, while on stage I don’t have enough time to think about it like that.”
That said, you’re more likely to hear H.W.’s musical evolution at an upcoming show before you can get it on iTunes. His next release will be the conceptual album “I Only Exist on the Internet,” targeted for late June release, which should show glimpses of the broader material he’s seeking to explore: topics like politics, environmental issues, and yes, maybe even a party jam. It’s not so much a rejection of the melancholic raps of the past, but an appreciation for their role in getting him to this new, more optimistic place in life and music.
“I’m not the best rapper ever,” he says. “I just would like to be able to display all aspects of myself. There are way more important things to talk about than my feelings on this one person I care about. The world is crumbling around me; there should be something else I’m able to share. A lot of this new album is about liking life, because I actually like life right now. ”
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As we ramp up for our 150th episode, we will also have some big announcements this week.
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An old enemy of the Waynes in Gotham City resurfaces as crime spikes, busying the Dark Knight with bat-famliy domestic disturbances in Batman #3. … British creator Paul Grist delights audiences with his adept cartooning and clever callbacks to comic book history. Welcome Grist’s teenage Mudman #1 from Image Comics into your home, but insist on leaving those boots at the door! … Superior and Kick Ass fans, get the Kapow Guinness World Record Special penned by over 50 creators in just 12 hours to benefit sick kids. … LeaguePodcast.com have reached a comic book milestone today - download or stream episode #100 today! Special shout-out from our nerd MC Frontalot here!
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Wednesday, November 9, 2011
Math The Band
Weird Die Young
Hosted By Sly Young
18+ $10 Advance / $12 Day Of Show
TIX - Facebook Event
Just Announced show at Middle East Upstairs!
MC Frontalot - Bizarro Genius Baby