The year was 2015 and I was lost in the wilderness of hip hop. For months I had tried to re-establish my rap head creds while finding quality music that spoke to more than just drugs, thug culture, or cheaply produced elementary beats. Strangely enough my world would be liberated not by a chance discovery at a concert or by a new song on the radio but instead it was a random post on twitter by one of my favorite comedians Hari Kondabolu who was appearing on his friend’s podcast Secret Skin. I, being a progressive fellow who loves Hari’s social comedy was interested to listen to him a less formal setting. How could I have known that this interview would open a door for great discovery and ultimately an obsession with the creative force that is Open Mike Eagle (OME).
If you talked to my brother Reggie aka Hiddanas he’d tell that since discovering Open Mike Eagle I have functioned like an old world prophet in the guise of John The Baptist. Spreading the good word to all those I come across and inviting others to join with me in my journey to share all that is Open Mike Eagle to the wide world.
Open Mike Eagle is a LA based rapper whose roots come from the Midwest Mecca that is Chicago. A Saluki, he attended and graduated from Southern Illinois where he became good friends with such artist as comedian Hannibal Buress and rapper/producer Serengeti. It would be his collaboration with Serengeti, also known as Cavanaugh, which would be my first introduction to his music. I was immediately captivated by OME’s ability to use whimsical language to digest his personal vulnerability and the troubles of the world. With a speed and frequency only dreamed by most MCs Open Mike Eagle is able to switch subjects from social justice to his mistrust of frozen yogurt and then to cleverly written fart jokes. A true renaissance man Open Mike Eagle is able to blend and balance areas of thought that normally wouldn’t approach each other. A perfect example of this is in the song Raps For When It’s Just You & The Abyss where he mixes psychology (his major in college) with interstellar science. He raps…
|I’ve seen a lot of shit disappear and reappear
I’m 34 on Earth but measure me in Venus years
I’m so right-brained I can’t grow an even beard
I wonder if I balance shit out, would things seem as weird
His ability to manipulate lyrics, subjects of all kinds, and his ability to show his inner vulnerability is what makes him such a unique talent in a world where creativity is being lost in favor of carbon copy machine crafted hits. Couple his mastery of diverse subjects with his wealth of language and you’re left with a wizard of word play that rivals the greatest lyrical MCs of our day (Aesop Rock, Eminem, Del The Funky Homosapien, etc).
Tempi’s World Seal Of Approval:
The main reason why I love Open Mike Eagle so much is very simple. He’s clearly very intelligent, he’s an honest author of his own story, and most importantly he’s authentic. While most artist play towards their audience or builds a false persona Open Mike Eagle is more than willing to point to his flaws as both a source of torment and motivation. His unique method for confronting his vulnerabilities is courageous and his ability to overcome those flaws by blazing his own trail is inspiring. This is very clearly displayed in his award winning Mello Music collaboration Celebrity Reduction Prayer in which with one verse he shows his inner fear when he says.
|I did too much of my homework
Killed my confidence with this research
I’ve put people on pedestals ego’s reaction is knee-jerk
I’m trying to work on my weakness
It’s not all roses and peaches, it’s no secret
I’ve found myself in a funk for a whole weekend
And yet Open Mike Eagle is also able to achieve personal victory as he conquers this weakness by being his own champion.
|This Hellfyre is my culture, put magic all in these cold words
I’m you as the slogan put up mirrors instead of these posters
Watch me smash all of these idols got all my own heavyweight title
There’s no upper tier, we’re all peers unless y’all want to be rivals
There is so much to love about Open Mike Eagle no matter who you are. He appeals to lovers of political and social justice, he has raps for lovers of sports and games, and if you’re a fan of the cartoon series Adventure Time keep your ears open for numerous references. Whether you’re from the Midwest or reside on one of the coast you’ll find a home with the underground and underappreciated rap god that is Open Mike Eagle.
Check out his music at Bandcamp, Mello Music, Ebay, Amazon, or Itunes. His latest album Hella Personal Film Festival is filled with good natured lyrics, amazing beats, and collaborations that will keep you locked into the album. If you’re in LA or on the west coast try to find the time to see Open Mike Eagle. I was fortunate enough to see him at the Sinclair in Boston and I give you Tempi’s World promise that he won’t disappoint.
Tempi’s Five – Open Mike Eagle
- First Album – Cavanaugh – Time & Materials
- Favorite Album – A Special Episode Of…
- Favorite Song – Very Much Money (Ice King Dreams)
- Most Socially Aware Song – Dark Comedy Late Night Show
- Most Clever Song – Trickeration
Tempi’s Favorite Three Songs Of The Latest Album
Open Mike saw the article!!!
— Open Mike Eagle (@Mike_Eagle) January 30, 2017