Random released a new video today from his conceptual three-part album Language Arts. It is a unique tune based on the short story The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka.
Although “Buggin'” was released today in video form, and it is a track taken from Language Arts: Volume 1, the followup volume will be released tonight! I’d like to take this chance to talk about the new piece of the saga as well. Language Arts: Volume 2 is a great collection of songs and does an excellent job of continuing the adventures of teacher / rapper / hero Random in this harrowing tale of ups and downs.
You can find the currently released volumes on Random’s Bandcamp page.
Language Arts: Volume 1 kicks off the trilogy of albums by telling the story of Random, a teacher doing his best with a group of kids in the roughest part of town. The track “Wake Up!” features another big name from the nerdcore genre MC Frontalot. Things go well for Mr. J (Raheem Jarbo, that is, Random’s equivalent to Bruce Wayne) on the first day of school as he lays down some ground rules with “Language Arts” and shares his love of hip hop music in “The Constant”.
The track “Buggin’ (The Metamorphosis)” brings some literary references to the table. The beautiful video was directed by Max Isaacson and produced by EOM. Things begin to take a turn for the worst on the disc with the release of a violent new video game called “KILLCOUNT” distracting students from their studies. Things get real when management lays it all on the line for Mr. J… either his students’ test scores and attendance goes up soon or he is FIRED!
Direct link to the video
Language Arts: Volume 2 continues the story from last CD although right off the bat a new problem rears its ugly head for our hero Random. While drowning his sorrows in a local bar he learns that the nefarious Z-Dub, a rapper calling himself “The Champ”, is challenging Random to a rap battle. It seems the only thing he’s got going his way is his relationship with his woman, his “Hip Hop Chick”.
Things at school still aren’t going that well. One of my favorite tracks on Volume 2 is “Faculty Lounge”. In this song, riddled with scratches and cuts by DJ LES735 and featuring raps by Homeboy Sandman, Ran’s frustration is made evident. Students are distracted and skipping class. They are losing interest in their education. You can stream the track using the embedded SoundCloud widget below.
One thing that this volume shares in common with the previous release is that there is another literature inspired track. This one is titled “Me and the Mouse”, featuring lit-hop extraordinaire MC Lars in an ode to Daniel Keyes’ classic sci-fi short story Flowers for Algernon. After noticing a dismal attendance level in the session Mr. J takes it upon himself to find out what is going on with his students in the song “Zombie High”. His worries are confirmed: KILLCOUNT is brainwashing the pre-teens into crime-committing, havoc-wreaking, mindless zombies!
As if things are not bad enough for the protagonist his beloved “Hip Hop Chick” is beginning to have second thoughts on their relationship. The New York based Sammus lays down some epic rhymes from the point of view of a jaded lover fed up with the lack of attention paid by the constantly touring and teaching Random in “Love Is Not Love”. Following the disintegration of his relationship he attempts looking at the bright side of single life in “Better Off”, featuring a verse by Chaundon.
Eventually realizing that his girl is the best thing to happen to him Ran takes it upon himself to bring her back. He writes a song to get her appropriately titled “To.Get.Her”. The title is a play on the word “together” and while his intentions are the best he is met with some bad news upon arriving at her home… she has been kidnapped by Z-Dub!
So what will happen next in the exciting Language Arts finale? With so much going wrong there is a lot that can only get better for our teacher / rapper / hero! His job? KILLCOUNT? The Battle? The girl? Hopefully at the end of Volume 3 she isn’t in a different castle.
Rumor has it mc chris will be making an appearance on the next disc… but who else is slated to throw down some raps? We will find out when Volume 3 is released in November!