Open Mike Eagle is the kind of emcee that can get props from the last brigade of lyrical purveyors who miss Sway & Tech ciphers as well as Aesop Rock, Paul F. Tompkins, and your ex-girlfriend who has a Bachelor’s in liberal arts but will probably just be a manager at Whole Foods forever (that’s good money right there). When you name your last album Unapologetic Art Rap, you’re not exactly posturing for a NahRight post and/or boutique clothing line co-sign. Art Rappers wear cardigans, sucka.
His new album Rappers Will Die of Natural Causes is out today via Alpha Pup. I was lucky enough to hear a few of the tracks back in February when we played with him and Nocando in Phoenix. The above video “Nightmares” really pushes Mike into another direction; shit ain’t all smart phones and old eps of Arrested Development. As he explained in detail at Passion of the Weiss, “every word that comes through me, it was born in a nightmare”. And “Why Pianos Break” with POS has had Curly Castro in a frenzy for almost 13 straight days. Throw some water on him.
Purchase Open Mike Eagle’s Rappers Will Die of Natural Causes here
Back in January, I posted the snippet video for “Cock Diesel”, the first track Has-Lo and I completed under the group moniker 2004 Commodores. Since the release of his devastatingly sharp LP In Case I Don’t Make It, Has has been a machine in the lab. There’s about 14 different cats in 14 bags that I can’t let out yet. Good work begets more good work, and in this day and age of clouds, phones named after Star Wars characters, and the dwindling idea of music with a dollar sign attached to it, it’s more crucial than ever to just make great stuff you’re proud of. Maybe folks will agree and throw you a couple bones, maybe not. But all of the work I’ve been lucky enough to do with Has in the past has led us to where we are now: sitting on a stack of songs and projects that are murder sauce.
I made the beat for “Cock Diesel” back in ’07 and had some demo versions of it recorded at random points, but as Has likes to say, beats end up finding their rightful owners eventually. Has picked it out after hearing it on my beat tape Big Stupid Bangers late last year and ravaged the thing like a punchdrunk matador. After you drop an intensely personal album, the last thing you want to rap about is yourself. “Cock Diesel” and the rest of the 2004 Commodores stuff is just blazing the mic with fly amulets.