Written By: Brandon Basile
Songs For the Hardended
Originality: (5 / 5) Vocals/Flow: (3 / 5) Lyrics: (4 / 5) Production: (3.8 / 5) Average: (4 / 5)
What is “Alternative” anyways? Creating a paper trail is a necessity for the life of a creative. Trust me. We know. American alternative Hip-Hop artist Open Mike Eagle is one who is no stranger to adventures into lyricism and the written word. His 2017 LP Brick Body Kids Still Daydream is his fourth solo album release in the past 5 years and his third on current label Mello Music Group. Long time surfer of radar waves beneath the mainstream, Michael w. Eagle has recently translated his successes with Hip-Hop, podcast, and television to his long running a stand-up and musical show with Baron Vaughn, The New Negroes, being signed for production with Comedy Central earlier this year. Long time rhymesayer does Brick Body Kids Still Daydream show youthful spirit or a tired soul? Let us dive into the world of art rap!
The one of the key benefits of being an independent artist is the freedom to make music that sounds like whatever you want. Brick Body Kids does not aim for the same musical textures nor textures as that of those of your typical champagne-pouring-party-dancefloor-ing radio hip-hop hits. Open Mike is a different kind of artist and creates unique cadences of hip-hop that keep you following him closely for his different experimentations. His artistic eye is often times crafting focused imagery of both inner city urban life and fantastical ideas of time travel and the surreal. Though not as outwardly aggressive and animated as that of a Kendrick Lamar or J. Cole Open Mike still crafts rhythmically engaging flows that exude the roots of the truest elements of Hip-Hop.
The sentimental “(How Could Anybody) Feel at Home” is commentary of life and a calmer moment of aggressive introspect as Open Mike raps ”I done told / Some goofy shit that sounded like a poem/ I spun around in circles on the globe / So who the fuck could ever feel at home?”. Brick Body Kids also has theatrical moments on tracks like “No Selling (Uncle Butch Pretending It Don’t Hurt)” as Open Mike chants “I’m No Sell-in! No Sell-in!” like a mantra to keep away the evil voices that urge the independent artist to give in to the evils of consumerism and the ilk. Open Mike creates each track to be an expansive discourse on life’s ups and downs and his own attempts at managing self and uses well placed lyricism to color each tapestry with strong emotion.
Brick Body Kids Still Daydream is full of lyrics that could be written on subways and street boards as an FYI board for survival and staying strong in life. Which feels fitting with Michael Eagle’s background as a resident adviser. The album is slim on features though Sammus’ delivery on her feature verse on “Hymnal” is definitely worth your ears. Open Mike Eagle is a trained and experienced craftsman in hip-hop and comedy we’re looking forward to more of his work behind any mic he can find himself behind.