Ten years in the making, Black Materia: The Remake is a hip hop tribute to Final Fantasy VII. Gamer musician Raheem “Mega Ran” Jarbo and video game music record label GameChops to release Black Materia: The Remake, a 22-track album of original rap songs inspired by Final Fantasy VII Remake, the award-winning 2020 reboot of one of the most popular video games of all time.

Featuring more than twenty guest producers and vocalists including WWE superstar Austin Creed, Black Materia: The Remake takes listeners on a hip hop journey through Final Fantasy VII. The role playing game centers on a group of eco-terrorists fighting to bring down Shinra, an energy company that’s destroying the planet for profit. Black Materia: The Remake retells the video game’s acclaimed story through Ran’s unique lyrics and powerful performances, mixed with Final Fantasy VII-inspired instrumentals.

Ran is a leading voice in the nerdcore hip hop movement, which focuses on pop culture, video games, politics, and more. He has performed at hundreds of conventions, expos, and music festivals around the world, including Penny Arcade Expo (PAX), New York Comic Con, and South by Southwest, where he has rapped about everything from professional wrestling to Star Wars. In 2019, Ran was awarded a Guinness World Record title for most commercially available songs to reference a video game.

For Ran, Black Materia: The Remake is the culmination of a more than decade-long career making hip hop tributes to video games. Following the viral success of his original Black Materia album, released in 2011, Ran left his job as a middle school teacher to pursue music full time. Ran’s first Black Materia album and the remake are as distinct as the original, 1997 Final Fantasy VII game and the 2020 reboot, with Black Materia: The Remake featuring all new lyrics and production.

Mega Ran adds, “Final Fantasy 7 is eternal… The magic surrounding that game will never die. The Black Materia album represents a landmark in the story of Mega Ran; so it was a little nerve-wracking to attempt to revisit it. But I knew if we were going to do it, it had to be bigger. I made the first record in my closet. We’ve all learned so much since 2011, and it’s a welcome challenge to get together and showcase that. This album checks all the boxes for me, but the most important one being that it just feels right. It was time. The work we put into this will show, and I know that old and new fans will both be pleasantly surprised at the result.”

GameChops is a Philadelphia-based record label run by Chris Davidson (aka DJ Cutman) that produces video game remixes and licensed cover songs. With a combined 1.3 million listeners on Spotify and YouTube, GameChops has been steadily popularizing video game music for the past decade, helping artists around the world turn their passion for gaming and music into a sustainable career. The label’s hit 2018 album, Zelda & Chill, recently surpassed 90 million streams.

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The Opening – The Versions
Cloud Strife – RoboRob ft. ConSoul
Insurgents – Lost Perception ft. Juice Lee
Avalanche – Lost Perception ft. ConSoul
Absolute – RoboRob ft. FabvL
Mako Reactor – Dj Cutman & RoboRob & Rifti Beats
Living Legacy – Rifti ft. Last BeNeVoLeNcE
On That Day (Five Years Ago) DN3
Aerith – DN3
Red XIII – Rifti ft. Skyblew
Sleep Mode – Kazu Beatz ft. Kadesh Flow
Cait Sith – Lost Perception ft. Beefy
Cid – RoboRob ft. Amerigo Gazaway
Ninja Girl – ft. Dn3
Birth of a God – Lost Perception ft. Penny The Great
Judgment Day – Lost Perception ft. Richie Branson
Jenova – RoboRob ft. MAJATRON
Sephiroth – Lost Perception ft. Storyville
Nibelheim Incident – ft. K-Murdock
Cries of the Planet – K-Murdock ft. Amanda Lepre
Lifestream – Rifti ft. 88bit

Written and Performed by Mega Ran

Produced & Mixed by Dj Cutman & Matt Weiss

Beats by Lost Perception, RoboRob, DN3, Rifti Beats, KazuBEATZ,
K-Murdock, & The Versions

Drums & Horns by Danny Flam
Piano on Epilogue by Rob “88bit” Kovacs
Piano on Lifestream by PianoDreams
Guitar by Amanda Lepre
Recorded by Michael “Felix” Gamarano at HKS Studios, Phoenix AZ

Based on compositions by Nobuo Uematsu
Inspired by Square Enix & Final Fantasy VII

Album artwork by Kiera Boyle
Additional Artwork by Daniel Hill

Executive Producers Raheem Jarbo & Chris Davidson

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Thank you Kickstarter backers

Noel Camacho, Andrew Thomas, Carlos Gutierrez, Joe Amato

Grady S, Matthew W, Alex, Zaki31, Holly H, Braden H, Darin F, Shawn W, Brian J, Marc W, Igor G, Joshua M, Andrew B, Mary B, Jordan V, Grant W, Nathaniel B, Jacob W, Ahmad S, Kevin G, Travis D, Chris C, Matt M, Mario B, Scott M, Cameron A, John K, Alex T, Emmanuel A, Troy P, Lee A, Chris H, Taquiyy E, Marissa R, Shane D, Jared S, Isaiah B-D, Ivan R.