If you haven't heard of Chicago rapper Open Mike Eagle yet, 'Dark Comedy Morning Show', from his fourth solo album Dark Comedy, is probably the most fitting introduction you'll get. Described by bullshit music writers like me as "eccentric," or "idiosyncratic," Eagle has the distinction of being one of the most interesting rappers around, not because he's amazingly technically proficient or anything, but because he's one of the best lyricists in the game and has the audacity to actually have something to say. 'Dark Comedy Morning Show' serves as an idiosyncratic distillation of the philosophy and the ethos behind the Open Mike Eagle project, that it's "On that laugh to keep from crying tip."

It follows, then, that 'Dark Comedy Morning Show' feels like it's on the precipice of a breakdown. In typical Open Mike Eagle fashion, the lyrics are hilarious ("I flew off the handle, and boy are my arms tired," I mean), but only because the only other option is despair. So, while the instrumental (produced by Toy Light, reworking his track 'Relief') initially seems quite mellow, it develops into something more intense and anxious as Eagle continues to elucidate on his disillusionments with life in increasingly direct ways. But, rather than act on his rage and do terrible things to the uber-conservative Koch brothers, he'd "instead think of something sarcastic, black." Which is, you know, really fucking bleak, but something that we can probably all relate to.

So, if you haven't heard any of Open Mike Eagle's music, watch Neil Drumming's (director of 2013's critically acclaimed indie feature Big Words) short film for Dark Comedy Morning Show, which was inspired by the song. It features comedian Wyatt Cenac as a deeply lonely and self-destructive guy in an eagle costume and Open Mike in some weird gold makeup. If you're into it, all his albums are definitely worth trying out, especially 2012's 4NML HSPTL and Dark Comedy (out now on vinyl), which was released in June of this year by Mello Music Group (which is reason enough to be excited, the people at Mello are doing some great things for alternative hip-hop right now). And if you're really into it, try and catch him live on the dates listed below (including his first ever European shows!).

  • US Dates
  • Tuesday 10/14 Brooklyn, NY Glasslands
  • Wednesday 10/15 Washington, DC DC9
  • Thursday 10/16 Baltimore, MD Metro
  • Friday 10/17 Durham, NC Motorco
  • Sunday 10/19 Cleveland, OH Mahall's
  • Monday 10/20 Lansing, MI Mac's Bar
  • Tuesday 10/21 Chicago, IL Empty Bottle
  • European Shows
  • 04-Nov London The Laundry (w/Shabazz Palaces)
  • 06-Nov Lorient Le Menage A Lorient (w/Clppng)
  • 07-Nov Paris Point Ephemere (w/Clppng)
  • 13-Nov Düdingen
  • 14-Nov St Gallen
  • 18-Nov London - Old Blue Last