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)
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.
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