Open Mike Eagle

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Unapologetic Art Rap (2010) , 6/10
Rappers Will Die of Natural Causes (2011), 6.5/10
4nml Hsptl (2012), 6/10
Dark Comedy (2014) , 6.5/10
Brick Body Kids Still Daydream (2017), 7/10

Los Angeles' rapper Mike Eagle was a member of the rap trio Thirsty Fish with fellow rappers Jonathan "Dumbfoundead" Park and Michael "Psychosiz" Greenwood, the latter already active as Customer Service with two albums, Please Hold (2005) and Free Y-Not (2009). They released Testing the Waters (2007) and Watergate (2011).

Meanwhile, Open Mike Eagle had already debuted solo with Unapologetic Art Rap (2010) and continued with Rappers Will Die of Natural Causes (2011), characterized by his nerdy-satirical approach to contemporary issues (bordering on theater of the absurd). After 4nml Hsptl (2012), a collaboration with a producer named Awkward, Open Mike Eagle delivered his best album yet, Dark Comedy (2014), not shy to deliver sharp sociopolitical commentary. The raps include the hilarious Doug Stamper, Big Pretty Bridges and Dark Comedy Morning Show, and creative beats highlight Golden Age Raps (with Cohen Beats, aka Israeli producer Michael Cohen), Thirsty Ego Raps (with Detroit producer Illingsworth) and Idaho (produced by Kenny Segal). A worthwhile appendix, possibly outdoing anything in the album, surfaced on the label compilation Persona (2015): Celebrity Reduction Prayer, produced by Amir "Oddisee" Khalifa.

After collaborating with English producer Paul White on Hella Personal Film Festival (Mello Music, 2016), Eagle crafted the bleak concept album Brick Body Kids Still Daydream (2017) about the last days of a housing project about to be demolished; a somber, nostalgic and at times heartbreaking parade of realistic portraits of the people he grew up with. The best songs ((How Could Anybody) Feel at Home, My Auntie's Building) embody the psychological destruction of memory as well as the physical destruction of the demolition process. It was a demonstration that "nerdy" hip-hop can be as powerful as a two-hour documentary.

(Copyright © 2020 Piero Scaruffi | Terms of use )
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