Blockhead: Free Sweatpants (Stream)

Blockhead has been a favourite producer of mine ever since I first heard his work with Aesop Rock on Labor Days. Over the years he has maintained a steady stream of solid solo releases – Music by Cavelight and Uncle Tony’s Coloring Book, being two personal favourites – as well as some excellent production credits for some equally excellent rappers. The one thing I have always wanted to hear from him though was a production album, featuring loads of good MCs rapping their asses off, which is exactly what the New York producer delivered today.
Following on from last year’s Funeral Balloons – his debut release on his new label home, Backwoodz Studioz – Free Sweatpants merges quintessential Blockhead instrumentals, with plenty of strong features from a whole host of talented writers. As if it’s not enough having Tree, Hemlock Ernst, Aesop Rock, Armand Hammer, Homeboy Sandman, Vic Spencer and Marq Spekt involved, Blockhead kicks off the album with a track featuring Open Mike Eagle, billy woods AND Breeze Brewin. The result is as good as you would hope for and more. I spent years waiting for this album to happen and I am happy to be able to say it has surpassed all my expectations. Free Sweatpants is available to stream in full below and you find downloads over on Bandcamp. Continue reading “Blockhead: Free Sweatpants (Stream)”

Pan Amsterdam x Open Mike Eagle: No Snare

Ever since Pan Amsterdam came to the fore earlier this year, they have been garnering attention from a wide range of notable entities, including art rap avocate, Open Mike Eagle. In fact the MC was so impressed with Pan Amsterdam’s whole vibe, that he invited them to accompany him on his North American tour.
They have also recently collaborated together on the brilliant No Snare, where they exchange 16s over a glitchy beat from Mr.Shn and Pajama Sam, accompanied by Leron Thomas on trumpet. You can stream the track below and downloads are available via Def Presse. Continue reading “Pan Amsterdam x Open Mike Eagle: No Snare”

Open Mike Eagle: What Happens When I Try To Relax (Stream)

It’s been just over a year since Open Mike Eagle blessed the scene with his acclaimed Brick Body Kids Still Daydream album and now he returns with his latest project, What Happens When I Try To Relax. The EP is filled with all the humour, wordplay and social commentary that have made Mike one of the most important entities on the current wave of so-called Art Rap – a phrase he himself is credited with coining. What Happens When I Try To Relax is out now on Mike’s new label, AutoReverse and you can stream it below. Continue reading “Open Mike Eagle: What Happens When I Try To Relax (Stream)”

Illingsworth: You’re No Fun (Stream)

Strong start to Illingsworth arrival on the Mello Music Group label, as he releases his new album, You’re No Fun. Primarily an instrumental album, peppered with a few vocal tracks, it acts as a fine showcase of Illingsworth’s dexterity behind the boards. There are a couple of features from fellow label mates Denmark Vessey and Open Mike Eagle, who appears on the previously released single, Peeves. The album is available to stream below and you can cop a download over on Bandcamp. Continue reading “Illingsworth: You’re No Fun (Stream)”

Illingsworth ft. Open Mike Eagle: Peeves

Detroit rap machine, Illingsworth, has a new album coming soon to Mello Music Group and yesterday saw the premiere of one of the tracks from the project over at Vibe. Peeves features Open Mike Eagle and sees the duo venting about things in life that piss them off, from bad mixing to bad granola bars. You can stream it below. The album, You’re No Fun, is due for release on 28 September. Continue reading “Illingsworth ft. Open Mike Eagle: Peeves”

MC Paul Barman ft. Open Mike Eagle: (((echo chamber))) prod. by Questlove

One of the more unique voices in rap, MC Paul Barman, has a new album en route. Mello Music Group are due to release (((echo chamber))) in May and we had already one sample of his new wares, in the form of (((leapfrog))). Now we have the next piece in the puzzle, as this weekend saw the release of the title track, which features friend and collaborator, Open Mike Eagle. Not only that, it’s also produced by none other than Roots favourite, Questlove. You can stream it below and you can get your pre-orders in for the album over on Bandcamp. Continue reading “MC Paul Barman ft. Open Mike Eagle: (((echo chamber))) prod. by Questlove”

Open Mike Eagle ft. Sammus: Hymnal

It’s been a good year for Open Mike Eagle. The Mello Music Group MC released a stunning album in the form of Brick Body Kids Still Daydream, which has quite rightly ended up on all the right end of year lists. He is also a main player in what is being described as a new golden age of LA rap, thanks in part to the rise of art-rap – a phrase he himself coined a few years back.
Yesterday saw the release of another new video from Mike, this time for one of my favourite songs from the album, Hymnal. The video sees him channeling his inner televangelist, alongside NY rapper, Sammus, who drops a nice verse on the track. Hymnal is produced by Andrew Broder.

Open Mike Eagle: Happy Wasteland Day

Yesterday was the one year anniversary of Trump’s election win and international commiseration was the theme of the day. Open Mike Eagle also chose it as a suitable day to release his new video for Happy Wasteland Day, which depicts a Mad Max style, dystopian vision of the not so far away future.
As Mike himself said “We’re releasing this video a year to the day of the election of the garbage king. May our national nightmare end sometime soon.” The track was produced by Exile and is yet another gem from Mike’s excellent album, Brick Body Kids Still Daydream. The album is out now via Mello Music Group.

Open Mike Eagle: No Selling (Uncle Butch Pretending It Don’t Hurt)

Open Mike Eagle sauntered into September and casually dropped off one of the best albums of the year, Brick Body Kids Still Daydream. Inspired by the now derelict Robert Taylor Homes housing project in Chicago, the album has been met with praise from the rap world and beyond. This particular little gem, No Selling, now has its own video thanks to Mike and a couple of pro-wrestlers, Trauma and Human Tornado. The track was produced by Kenny Segal. BBKSD is out now on Mello Music Group.