Open Mike Eagle: Dark Comedy (Mello Music Group, 2014)
I don’t see how anybody could make a better, more intelligent hip hop record than Open Mike Eagle’s Dark Comedy. Mike Eagle’s lyrics are creative, smart, funny (without coming across as a clown) and his flow on the microphone is varied and skillful. He can really spit and go fast, and he does some rudimentary singing.
The production and arrangements on Dark Comedy do a very good job compimenting Mr. Eagle’s vocal work. There is a wide variety of sounds on this record — from the indie style strummed electric guitar on the opener, Dark Comedy, to the synth bass on the third tune, Thirsty Ego Raps. There’s some funk to be found here, but it’s not the primary goal of the record. That’s how I hear it.
The record doesn’t fade at all, but it’s pretty hard to beat the first half — I think the Golden Ages Raps and Very Much Money are musical tour de forces and is right up there with the best pair of tunes you will hear in any genre this summer. He’s rapping about reality, and economics, and the weirdness of technology and legalized herb and he does it all subtly and intelligently.
Open Mike Eagle has it going on. Folks should help support this guy, he raps about how hard it is to make loot as an independent rapper. C’mon people, this guy is everything that the King Corporate Dildo Jay-Z is not. Tasteful, interesting, creative — I really couldn’t recommend this record more.