Release Date: Sep 15, 2017
Record label: Mello Music Group
The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development finally demolished the last building of the Robert Taylor Homes on Chicago’s South Side in 2007, but by then, the more than 11,000 people that formerly occupied its 28 buildings had long been written off. After a 1969 shift in public housing policy that made rent commensurate with one’s income, working-class families were replaced with new tenants on public assistance paying nearly nothing. As operating income plummeted, resources became scarce, tenant screening almost non-existent, and crime ubiquitous.
Over the past seven years and change, during which he has released five LPs, a handful of EPs, and delivered a slew of features on tracks by a veritable who’s-who list of underground hip hop luminaries, Michael W. Eagle II, aka Open Mike Eagle, has established himself as indie rap’s pre-eminent social critic, a bona fide rap trope deconstructionist, and one of the funniest emcees in the game. On his latest full length, Michael Eagle dials back the quippy humour that has characterised much of his past work to deliver a by turns poetically nostalgic and seethingly disillusioned elegy for the Robert Taylor Homes, which were built in the 60s, became a hotbed for narcotics, violent crime and perpetual poverty, and were eventually torn down in their entirety in 2007.
Open Mike Eagle's sixth album is rooted deep in the art-rapper's Chicago background. While Dark Comedy cast its thematic net wider, covering everything from Mike's appreciation for Adventure Time to a dreary drive through Idaho, Brick Body Kids Still Daydream hones in on a number of more timely topics like black excellence, faith, and the impending apocalypse. All told through this weaving narrative of being a young man living in the Chicago projects.
Motormouthed rapper Open Mike Eagle has gotten raves for albums that explore the comedy of neurosis. His new one, easily his headiest, is a concept LP built around Chicago's Robert Taylor Homes, a famously mismanaged housing project destroyed 10 years ago. Eagle impressionistically inserts himself into events real and imagined. "We live in a space that should have never existed," he raps.
Open Mike Eagle, “Brick Body Kids Still Daydream” (Mello Music). The Culver City-based rapper, writer and verbal bon vivant is on a roll right now, what with the release of this epic rap concept album and work on the forthcoming Comedy Central series “The New Negroes.” The artist, born Michael Eagle in Chicago, sets his new album in that city’s since-demolished Robert Taylor Homes public housing project. He casts the work’s protagonist, “the legendary Iron Hood,” as the neighborhood’s skeptical protector “brought into this world with the instinct to back the hell away/ And the will to write a rap song as long as an Alaskan day.”.