Open Mike Eagle Talks TV Show Writing, His Never Ending Drive, Brick Body Kids Still Daydream, and Performs “(How Could Anybody) Feel At Home”
I met Mike in 2005 at a Project Blowed anniversary show. Our mutual friend invited us to join their crew onstage for a big cypher during their set. The dj for the set was supposed to switch instrumentals for each rapper. He ended up blending the instrumentals completely off beat in the middle of people’s verses. In turn everyone sounded like they had no idea how to rap on beat. About 4 people out of the 12 or so onstage got to rap before they cut the power off because we were doing so poorly. I got to rap (poorly and off beat), in my recollection the mic ever got to Mike.
Before the show, our motley crew of ragtag early 20’s rappers gathered in a parking garage to practice. We all traded the verses we’d planned to perform onstage. Mike’s instantly stuck out to me. Clever punches, original angles, and interesting cadence choices were already in his repertoire. He’d just moved from Chicago and was already making a name at the Blowed. I lived in Santa Barbara at the time and was an outsider in the LA scene. We exchanged props and phone numbers. Our first phone call was basically me gushing over his raps and telling him I wanted to help however I could.
All that is to say this: you don’t forget your first time meeting someone like Mike. He’s special.
If you’re new to the show and listening to learn more about Mike, this probably isn’t the episode for you. We talk the way we’d talk off mic. I’m not asking a lot of questions about the new record. Not asking that much about his upbringing (there’s another episode about that). I talk more than I usually would in an interview (my bad). I let my guard down a lot around him because he’s surrounded by a force field of comfort. We talk life, talk shop, and talk trying to find happiness and peace in our creative endeavors without making ourselves crazy.