Young man grows up on the south side of Chicago, raised in that city's rap tradition, develops a keen social conscience and forges his own path as an artist. Familiar story, to some degree, following the example of Common and Kanye, among others.
This one, though, has a twist that spins it directly into G:TB's wheelhouse. (I miss The Wheelhouse, for what it's worth.) Open Mike Eagle's favorite band as a young man was They Might Be Giants. And it wasn't just an infatuation. As you can see in the clip below, Mike deeply embraced the dork-rock pioneers' message and music.
I've been a TMBG fan from way back. When I was 18, I saw the band at the old 9:30 Club, in what was my first club show. (I was there with my then-21 year-old girlfriend. Did I mention that my girlfriend was 21? That was cool.) I've since seen TMBG at least ten times in all sorts of venues, and never been disappointed by one of their live shows.
And now I've got to find a way to see Open Mike Eagle, who's art-rap style is a liquid, lyrical, and hypnotic flow. Check out Ziggy Starfish (Anti-Anxiety Raps) from his 2015 A Special Episode EP. His newly-released record, Hella Personal Film Festival is getting some Spotify run in my house, too.