Posts Tagged ‘open mike eagle’

Take It Personal now available on iTunes

Tuesday, November 15th, 2016


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Arrest The President 2: Open Mike Eagle’s American Nightmares

Tuesday, February 26th, 2013

Note: Arrest The President is a weekly TROY Blog column that looks at rap, past and present, from a socio-political perspective.

Open Mike Eagle’s “Nightmares” opens with its hook, which states that “… every word that comes through me/ It was born in a nightmare.” These lines appear to echo the Romantic notion that nightmares inspire sublime poetic expression by provoking  terror and pleasure all at once. It is not clear whether this part of the hook can be attributed to Open Mike Eagle’s narrator or to the anthropomorphic alarm clock ((Fellow LA rapper Aceyalone pioneered this trope on “Grandfather Clock.”)) that lulls him to sleep. The song’s hypnotic pace evokes a nocturnal world where reality is warped, where imaginative flights may turn bizarre or even macabre.OME doesn’t let his listeners stray too far into blissful contentedness. The music and vocals are sparse and soothing but leave sufficient literal and figurative space for a stoked imagination to run amok.  Uncanny melancholy lurks between suggestive lines like “I met some old friends recently / They on a whole new frequency.” Who are these friends? Have they been brainwashed by some invincible institutional force? Addicted to some widely distributed chemical or multimedia distraction? Are they alive or ghostly? Still friendly or conniving and hostile?  (more…)

Difficulty Communicating: Yaggfu Front and Open Mike Eagle

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011

Stream: Open Mike Eagle “Last Night” ((From Art Rap After Party EP.))

Stream: Yaggfu Front “Left Field”

Rap isn’t all machismo and ice-cold macking. Songs like Gang Starr’s “Love Sick” and Main Source’s “Looking At The Front Door” describe co-dependency in frighteningly specific detail. Pharcyde’s “Passin’ Me By,” and Kurious’s “Nikole” explore the perilous magnetism of unavailable and/or unattainable  women. A Tribe Called Quest’s “Find A Way” captures the frustration that arises when desire is chained to the artifice of social convention. Jay-Z’s “Song Cry” posits romantic regret as a player’s purgatory. Mos Def’s “Ms. Fat Booty” takes us  through the experience of being gasssed up and then unceremoniously dumped.

All of these songs address the difficulties that men face in communicating honestly with their partners (or potential partners), expressing vulnerability and affection, or living up to the responsibilities of monogamy. But these songs also fall short of introspective honesty; their self-deprecation is tongue-in-cheek and consists mostly of decrying shyness as unmanly. (more…)

Open Mike Eagle, Lil B, and L-Dash Rewrite The Epiphany Rap

Thursday, November 11th, 2010

A few months ago I found myself rolling my eyes at message board comments that criticized Nas and Damian Marley’s song “Africa Must Wake Up” for its romanticized depiction of the troubled continent and failure to serve as a musical TED Talk ((From “TED is a small nonprofit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. It started out (in 1984) as a conference bringing together people from three worlds: Technology, Entertainment, Design.”)) teeming with cogent insight and creative solutions to famine and war. For now, let’s put aside the implausibility of any song directly effecting measurable social change. The idea that rap music derives its primary worth from its ability to articulate academically supported geo-political analysis is silly and should probably not be engaged. I’m also willing for now to ignore the inability of many commenters to assess Nas’s lyrics inside of the more logical context of rap and reggae’s treatment of Africa as an extended metaphor for past and future utopias.  I am most peeved by the implicit assumption that the act of awaking to the world’s problems, the unsettling mental and emotional process that precedes any attempt at political action or even coherent ideological formation, is somehow too juvenile of a preoccupation for rap. How can that be close to true if rap is so damned good at capturing these epiphanies?