Writing for a magazine that gets minimal activity in the comments section can feel as though I am talking to wall, but if there's one artist I'd gladly express an appreciation to no one in particular it is Open Mike Eagle. It was around this time last year I was transfixed on his Mush debut Unapologetic Art Rap, which transitioned nicely into the Art Rap Afterparty EP. As June approacheth, I eagerly await the release of Rappers Will Die of Natural Causes to continue my year of stalking Mike Eagle's releases.
Produced by Willie Green, the first single is called “Nightmares.” With its sleepy pace courtesy of a tin-pan alley-like sample “Nightmares” picks up where “Last Night” – the last song on the Afterparty EP – left off. Open Mike Eagle failed to mention that while last night was riddled with dumb shit behavior, it also yielded some harrowing dreams. Much like dreaming of work, the nightmare does not end in the waking life as Open Mike raps, “the internet and the cables out / man, I should go get a paper route.” As down-in-the-dumps as Open Mike is presenting himself lately, it's resulted in some of his strongest songs to date. Indeed, this is no climate for an intelligent rapper with a lacksadaisical delivery, but Open Mike seems painfully aware of that by focusing on the humor of public disinterest in art rap.
Rappers Will Die of Natural Causes is out June 7 on Hellfyre Club.