Open Mike Eagle and Kit expand Chicago hip-hop, inside and out | Bleader

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Open Mike Eagle and Kit expand Chicago hip-hop, inside and out

Posted By on 06.11.14 at 02:00 PM

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Open Mike Eagle lives in LA, but he grew up on Chicago's south side—and this city is never far from his heart. Its problems aren't far from his head either, and they pop up early on his brand-new album Dark Comedy. On the opening track, an absurd trip through society's technologically enhanced ills called "Dark Comedy Morning Show," he raps, "There's shootings on the news / Unless it's in the Chi cause blacks and Mexicans can die."

Eagle spikes his tunes with gallows humor, and while the above line might read as more "gallows" than "humor" he delivers it with an approachable mellowness that makes his bleakest messages go down easier. In fact Eagle sounds lighthearted on "Doug Stamper (Advice Raps)," on which he and hometown comedy hero Hannibal Buress dole out some pointers that are all some mixture of helpful and ludicrous (and, yes, the song is named after an aide on the sometimes-over-the-top political drama House of Cards). Plus I can't help but agree with one particular bit of advice: "The journalists should never write a slang editorial."

Speaking of slang, local rapper Kit, who likes to call his chilly, slow take on hip-hop and R&B "new wavey," just dropped a new EP called Lownt God Rising. It's produced entirely by local producers Supreme Cuts, whose haunting, subterranean sound jells well with Kit's twisted, after-dark raps. Both Kit and Supreme Cuts are performing at the latest Fake Shore Drive showcase tonight at Reggie's Rock Club alongside Sicko Mobb, Chris Crack, and headliner Juvenile (yes, Juvenile); tickets are $10 at the door and $3 in advance, and doors open at 8 PM.

Leor Galil writes about hip-hop every Wednesday.

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