Raised in Philadelphia, Raheem Jarbo tells his story. From childhood to an occupation in teaching and the love affair with hip-hop that would manifest itself as Mega Ran. Rapping about video games and breaking world records.
Author: Raheem Jarbo | Publisher: Author House | Year: 2020 | Non-Fiction | Paperback
Many know him as ‘Mega Ran’. A rapper that draws inspiration from video games, wrestling and other geeky pursuits. Others know him more personally as Raheem Jarbo. However you’ve made his acquaintance you’ll find that he’s a mild-mannered, humble person to talk to. His ability to command an audience on stage hasn’t resulted in an ego off of it.
I’ve met Mega Ran a number of times, usually after a show or to interview him about his music for this site. He’s engaging and articulate. We’ve talked about his decision to quit teaching and make the ballsy decision to become a full-time musician. He told me that he promised himself that he could justify the switch as long as he made as much money rapping as he would in a classroom. He’s achieving that.
In fact, as an independent musician he’s achieved more that many, arguably, more successful rap artists. Few rappers have been licensed by a video game company to use their music, Mega Ran was the first. A Guinness World Record for the most songs about video games? Mega Ran’s got one of those. Oh! And appearances on major televised wrestling events? He’s been there, done that.
Dream Master, A Memoir is the second in our 2021 Book-A-Month challenge. Encouraging everyone to read at least twelve books in 2021. Do you agree with our review of this title? Let us know via social media, or in the comments below.
NEXT… To Sleep In A Sea of Stars – Christopher Paolini
These successes alone would make for a fantastic book. But Dream Master is much more than a reflection on Mega Ran’s achievements. As a memoir it taps into Raheem’s losses too. From the very start we learn about the murder of a close family murder. The guilt Raheem felt for bailing out of a road trip he might otherwise have jumped at. How things might have been different if he was there and mixed emotions that came from discovering that rap music inspired the perpetrators to commit their crime.
Throughout the book Jarbo documents the challenges of growing up black in America. His journey through the education system as a student leading to how the system has failed so many as he embarked on a career as a teacher. How his lifelong love affair with music would manifest through various projects and the adversity that he faces, still, as a touring artist during the Trump administration.
Fans of Mega Ran will love the intimacy of Dream Master. Those unfamiliar with his art will find heart and inspiration.
Dream Master is available from Amazon or dreammasterbook.com.