SHOW REVIEW: Open Mike Eagle at Columbia City Theater – Saturday, 8.23.14

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Show review by Emery Desper. Photography by Zac Davis.


Open Mike Eagle has described his brand of hip-hop as “art rap,” while typically being classified as an “alternative rapper.” While the art rap stamp rings true, I would beg to differ that what Eagle brings to the table is “alternative.” Or, if it is, everyone else needs to change the way they think and talk about rap moving forward because what Eagle offers should be the norm. What you get from Mike Eagle is everything rap ought to be: witty intelligence, great flow, comedic value, punch lines that make you think twice, and good supporting beats.

ome crownNormally I hate describing certain music as “smart” for the same reason I detest describing people as “nice.” More often than not these terms are lacking. However, since the word “smart” means “Having or showing quick witted intelligence,” there really is no better way to sum up what Eagle brings to the table. Clad in earth tones and a turquoise wood medallion, unassuming, thoughtful and reverent to the rap task at hand, Open Mike Eagle began his show at Columbia City Theater last Saturday night by wafting scented oil into the air tracing an unknown word in the air while holding a figurine, facing East to pray, and passing around a golden crown for the audience to touch before starting his set. This was a dope way to establish energy in the room while also alerting the audience to just how important his particular craft is to him.

Eagle has a smooth voice and cool delivery, and he clearly loves performing his well-crafted bars. Not one to move about on stage or call too much attention to himself, he leaves room for what is most important: his raps. He made intense eye contact with the crowd, was very personable, and not over-confident, even though his skills justify any bragging he might do about his own dopeness. Instead of all the bravado that rap is accustomed to, he just stood and delivered, song after song. Eagle pulled off something rare by making heavy social commentary without sounding like a show off.

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SHOW & V.I.P. TICKET PACKAGE GIVEAWAY: Open Mike Eagle at Columbia City Theater – Saturday, August 23, 2014 [CONTEST CLOSED]

Open Mike Eagle Columbia City

We are a beleaguered nation. It’s hard to imagine attending a hip-hop show this week in any sort of celebratory fashion, but yet here we are, left to find some amount of solace in a form of music with blessedly curative properties.

Open Mike Eagle might just be the right man at the right time to help Seattle heal through the fog of the nation’s ongoing race war. The native Chicagoan — and now Hellfyre Club affiliated, Los Angeles-based rapper — brings his distinct comedic hip-hop steez to the Columbia City Theater this Saturday, August 23. Mike pushes an absurdist/satirical edge in the same vein as Das Racist, but with far more coherent lyricism. Stream his recent Mello Music offering, Dark Comedy, below, and watch the video for “Doug Stamper (Advice Raps)” featuring the oft-hilarious Hannibal Buress.

And oh yeah, 206UP will help get you and one guest to the show in style. Our ticket giveaway* features a V.I.P. package that includes a chartered ride from your house (inside the Seattle city-limits only) and backstage passes. Enter to win using the form below.

*Must be at least 21 years of age to enter. Many thanks to Araless of Black Magic Noize (who are also on the bill) for the hook-up!



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