It hardly seems fair, all this talent sprouting from Los Angeles’ fertile underground hip-hop scene. From Project Blowed to Low End Theory and spots in between, LA fosters original and progressive movements that are the envy of other cities.
One of the rising stars of the scene is Open Mike Eagle, a former third- and fourth-grade special-ed teacher and Project Blowed alum who in May released his debut full-length, Unapologetic Art Rap on Mush Records. In placing it fourth on his list of Best Rap Albums of the Half Year, embedded LA scribe Jeff Weiss describes UAR as “the rare contemporary rap record that rewards (and demands) repeat listening.” He’s right, of course. Open Mike Eagle raps with contextual depth and mature self-reflection. In other words, he makes you think … and stuff.
Check out I Rock above, a song that lays out the cruel realities of trying to make a living as a teacher by day and rapper by night. Neither seems a very financially solvent path, even when combined. So do yourself – and Open Mike Eagle – a favor and plop down $8 on Sunday at the Hidden House (607 W. Osborn in Phoenix) to see him open for Canadian emcee Moka Only on the Fake Four Summer Tour, brought to you buy Universatile Music.
For more on Mike Eagle, read Weiss’ Q&A with him at LA Weekly.