|"Everybody's rapping, everybody's selling clothes, everybody's picture taking, shooting videos...everyday in the city of L.A. is everybody's birthday," goes the first hook on Open Mike Eagle's "Art Rap After Party EP" -- a record that solidifies the Chicago-born Angeleno-based rapper as arguably the finest (and funniest) chronicler of the seedy and mustache-marred L.A. underworld.|
The follow-up to this year's stellar "Unapologetic Art Rap," Mike Eagle II rambles through the dregs of his new home's coked-out, jungle-juiced wastelands, getting wasted to stay sane. He sarcastically compliments a girl on her asymmetrical haircut, telling her that he hopes she stays ahead of the trends. Then he tells her that she dresses like the Macho Man, Randy Savage.
Those with one-dimensional interpretations might wrongly brand this hipster rap, but Mike is no hipster. He dresses more GQ than Vice and boasts a surliness that could get him tossed from Intelligentsia. Rather than stridently complain, he fulminates against his targets with a caustic wit and an ironic sense reminiscent of a less solipcistic Das Racist. Indeed, Eagle's tangents are even more searing and cogent. He attacks racists for assuming he's going to play 2Pac on a jukebox when he just wants to play "Rock the Casbah." He creates an absurd cosmology -- a 100 proof nightmare filled with wanna-be nabobs and those who have read too much Nabokov.
Balancing his smarts with endearing self-deprecation, he never lapses into self-seriousness. Eagle mocks himself for sending out embarrassing texts, scheming on unfortunate women, and for his own hypocrisy. Mush records has given Pop & Hiss permission to give away the EP for free for the next two weeks. Open Mike Eagle does the dirty work-- throwing Art-Rap after-parties so you don't have to. After all, it's far preferential to eat hummus in solitude. (Be forewarned, the download contains some salty language.) - Whiskey Teeth