Open Mike Eagle

Humor can conceal and alleviate the pain of trauma, but no joke will erase it. Even Wu-Tang Clan told you that tears come after laughter. Relief comes only from opening every emotional and psychological wound. Open Mike Eagle spent the 2010s finding comedy in rap music and American nightmares. On albums like ​Brick Body Kids Still Daydream ​and ​Dark Comedy​, he delivered hilarious socio-political insights via half-sung verses laid atop progressive production.

Acclaim from publications like ​Pitchfork,​ ​Rolling Stone​, and​ NPR​ coincided with headlining solo tours and top-billing at events like Adult Swim Festival. Between studio sessions, Eagle co-founded The New Negroes, a standup-meets-music variety show that explores perceptions of blackness. He and co-founder Baron Vaughn brought the show to Upright Citizens Brigade, Comedy Central, and venues around the U.S. Since founding his record label Auto Reverse Records, though, Eagle has scaled back the jokes. He's finally unpacking his traumas and acknowledging their impact.

With over a dozen solo and collaborative projects to his name, Eagle has spent his career redefining and expanding the parameters of "art rap," the term he coined as a shorthand for leftfield and avant-garde rap music. On ​Dark Comedy,​ which Pitchfork called "one of the most compelling indie-rap listens of [2014]," he chronicled everything from smartphone addiction to the realities of being an indie artist in the streaming era with self-deprecation and side-splitting absurdity.

2017's ​Brick Body Kids Still Daydream​ (Mello Music Group) marked Eagle's shift toward examining trauma. Here he waded through the rubble of Chicago's demolished Robert Taylor Homes, where several family members once lived. Part documentary and part tribute, BBKSD blended powerful fantasy and grim reality. It illustrated the strength and vulnerability of a community afflicted by institutional racism and the enduring pains of life in the projects. There were few jokes but decades of survival.

Anime, Trauma, and Divorce​ is Eagle's first full-length album on Auto Reverse and the most personal project of his career. On the verge of middle age, reeling from the collapse of his marriage, he probes the darkness of his past and searches for lights to guide him forward. This is the sound of a broken man sifting through the pieces while trying to rebuild, the struggle to self-critique while practicing self-care.

Do you disassociate by envisioning yourself as the lead in your favorite anime, or do you reflect on your headass behavior? Tattoos and beer or push-ups and smoothies? Executive produced by renowned rock producer Jacknife Lee (U2, R.E.M.), the album's few features include Auto Reverse artist Video Dave and Eagle's son. ​Anime, Trauma, and Divorce​ finds Eagle virtually alone, doing his best to reject the humor that will not cure his ills. All is not well, but he's never been better.

Past Shows


Oct
21
st
2022
First Avenue
Oct
21
st
2022
First Avenue

Dessa

with Open Mike Eagle
Nov
1
st
2019
Turf Club
Nov
1
st
2019
Turf Club

Open Mike Eagle

with ELUCID and VIDEO DAVE
Mar
29
th
2019
Turf Club
Mar
29
th
2019
Turf Club

Open Mike Eagle

with VIDEO DAVE, Sammus and Medium Zach
Sep
24
th
2017
7th St Entry
Sep
24
th
2017
7th St Entry

Open Mike Eagle

with Sammus
Sep
17
th
2016
Triple Rock Social Club
Sep
17
th
2016
Triple Rock Social Club

Gold Panda

with Open Mike Eagle and Aaron Rice
Jul
22
nd
2015
7th St Entry
Jul
22
nd
2015
7th St Entry

Open Mike Eagle

with Crescent Moon and Andrew Broder, Sayth and Brandi Brown
Feb
26
th
2014
7th St Entry
Feb
26
th
2014
7th St Entry
Nov
22
nd
2013
Triple Rock Social Club
Nov
22
nd
2013
Triple Rock Social Club

Busdriver

with Milo and Open Mike Eagle
Aug
16
th
2013
7th St Entry
Aug
16
th
2013
7th St Entry

Homeboy Sandman

The Dear Hunter Tour
with Open Mike Eagle and Mega Ran
Aug
5
th
2012
7th St Entry
Aug
5
th
2012
7th St Entry

Open Mike Eagle

with ECID, Greg Grease and Milo
Aug
7
th
2010
7th St Entry
Aug
7
th
2010
7th St Entry

Psalm One

with Open Mike Eagle and Big Quarters

More Shows

Feb
24
th
Fine Line

American Authors

with Billy Raffoul
Dec
13
th
7th St Entry

PRIVATE EVENT

Jan
14
th
Turf Club

Alina Maira

with Ricki Monique, XINA and Okapi
Jan
12
th
Turf Club

DISPATCH Amplified ⏤ A Six-String Showcase