Monday, October 18, 2010

Rest In Peace Eyedea

The report that Micheal Larsen, better known to most of us as local rapper Eyedea, passed away yesterday was shocking and tragic, to say the least. I first discovered the news through social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, where fans and friends of Eyedea gathered to grieve and pay homage to the deceased artist. I refrained from providing any personal commentary, partly because I couldn't find the right words to say without allowing some time for the terrible event to sink in. However, one thing is particularly clear: hip-hop and the local music scene lost an immensely talented artist.

I speak of Eyedea only in terms of his professional career, because that was the only outlet through which I knew him. I was initially introduced to Eyedea from a friend who lent me E&A. I became an immediate fan, Eyedea was nimble on the mic, cleverly and effortlessly rapping intricate rhymes that would prove beyond the capacity of even the most talented emcees. Below, I'll post one of my two favorite YouTube videos of Eyedea. The first is of a younger Eyedea and Slug on the Wake Up Show, where they take part in a mind-boggling freestyle session. Eyedea's first two minutes of rapping are truly something that needs to be heard to be believed. Few emcees have such pure skill. Amazing stuff.

My other favorite YouTube video featuring Eyedea is the music video for my favorite Eyedea & Abilities song, "Smile", off of their latest LP By The Throat. I thoroughly enjoyed the progression of Eyedea's artistry apparent on By The Throat. Eyedea successfully transitioned from a suave and polished battle rapper to being self-aware and socially conscious, able to assess complex societal issues with level-headed commentary. And he did this all without compromising his flair for breathtaking and innovative lyricism. In my opinion, he never did it better than on "Smile", a beautiful rap song and amazing video.

Eyedea will be missed. May he rest in peace.

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