Wait for that crescendo, though. 2:12. You won’t be disappointed.

Open Mike Eagle has been on my radar since I got into Doomtree about 5 or 6 years ago. I didn’t actually get to see him until we went to see Doomtree in early 2015 at Motorco in Durham, and goddamn am I happy that we got there in time to catch him. I think this was the second song he performed, and when he hit that climax about Netflix and Naruto everyone lost their minds. He had that crowd like I’ve never seen an opener do. Yeah, he’d been generating plenty of buzz, but this was clearly a crowd impressed unexpectedly. The place absolutely erupted. And I, after Doomtree’s rieting performance, went after his CD with as equal a fervor as I did hoping they had my size in the No Kings hoodie.

His oozy beats and his engaging, clever wordplay make him appealing to all types of Hip Hop fans, I think. Some of his stuff sounds fit well within the current sound of contemporary radio rap hits, some of it is on some straight backpacker vibes, and most of it is nothing other than boundary-pushing, avant-garde pastiche. Reflecting on envelope-pushing Hip Hop acts I’ve liked, one aspect that makes Mike stand out is this very ability to fuse sounds. It’s not as much a versatility as it is an expertise at blending. For him, it seems, Hip Hop is a playground of textures and cadence possibilities, and he’s the only kid around for miles.


Oh, and an Ice King reference? And have I spoken to you about his collaboration with one Serengeti?