by Jake McKenzie
photo Emari Traffie
Chicago native Open Mike Eagle grew up in the housing projects of Bronzeville before relocating to Carbondale to study psychology at Southern Illinois University. When Eagle moved to Los Angeles, it was to work for non-profit organizations with rap being little more than a hobby. However, Mike’s “hobby” soon got him noticed by underground hip hop crew Project Blowed. To see him live, it’s no wonder his flow was turning heads. Open Mike Eagle has the rare combination of a highly intellectual lyrical ability combined with the cool, relaxed confidence that makes it all look easy. Plus, he’s funny as hell. Almost bordering on being a comedian, Open Mike Eagle has professed a love for novelty rock duo They Might Be Giants as well as Cartoon Network’s Adventure Time. Throwing out references of everything from Broken Social Scene to Sting (the ‘90s wrestler), be sure to keep your ears open during Open Mike Eagle’s set.