A few weeks back, I was lucky enough to get my hands on a review copy of Soul Veggies, the collaborative album from rappers Random (AKA Mega Ran) and Storyville. Since then, the album has been my constant companion whenever I’ve had the option of listening to music.
Random is perhaps best known for his chip-hop style of nerdcore rap, and his Mega Man (hence the Mega Ran moniker) inspired music. The former teacher transitioned into full-time musician a few years back, and is still the only rap artist that has been licensed by Capcom.
Storyville is a prolific battle rapper and mixing engineer whose musical touch is evident in the tracks produced by him.
So, what is a Soul Veggie?
In short, Soul Veggies is an awesome collaborative album between Mega Ran and Storyville. The music is tight and is presented in a way that feels like the vision for the album was shared by everyone involved. Add to that the excellent rapping by the dynamic duo and the guest appearances, and you’ve got a winning combination.
“I could tell it
the way it’s been told
been soulfully gold since I was ten years old”
The opening lines of “Artillery” ring true for the entire album. It’s been a while since I’ve listened to an entire album where I couldn’t stop nodding my head to every track.
The pair have collaborated on tracks in the past, but never to this extent before. The majority of the tracks have a very cohesive feel to them, even though the producers are different on two thirds of them (for a full track listing including the names of producers and guest stars, click here)
The two tracks that possibly stand out the most musically are the Senility Prayer, which spoofs the famous serenity prayer to tell us about the rappers’ experiences growing older, and Rapping about Rapping (“It’s a rap within a rap like Inception“). Both tracks deviate musically from the soulful mood of the rest of the record in favor of bleeps and bloops that are more reminiscent of Mega Ran’s chip-hop records. I did not mind the deviation, however: the Senility Prayer track especially might be my favorite track of Soul Veggies.
Storyville and Mega Ran definitely show their nerd cred even if the majority of the tracks sound more like old-school rap, from a time when fun-lovin’ rap was the rule rather than the exception rather than like the chip-hop many of us know and love from Mega Ran’s past endeavours.
The album tackles growing older, playing video games and mass surveilance and other topics, while keeping a playful feeling that makes it hard not to nod your head, if not dance along, while listening.
There’s something for both fans of nerdcore as well as for fans of hip hop in general on this album. In fact, if you’re a fan of hip hop at all, you owe yourself a helping of Soul Veggies.
I know I’ll turnip these beets on a regular basis.
Review copy provided by Mega Ran & Storyville.