Eyedea

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Eyedea
Eyedea.jpg
Background information
Birth name Micheal David Larsen
Also known as Eyedea, Oliver Hart
Born (1981-11-09)November 9, 1981
Origin Saint Paul, Minnesota, U.S.
Died October 16, 2010(2010-10-16) (aged 28)
Genres Hip hop
Occupations Rapper, singer, producer, guitarist
Years active 1993–2010
Labels Rhymesayers Entertainment Crushkill Recordings
Associated acts Eyedea & Abilities, Oliver Hart, Carbon Carousel, Face Candy, Atmosphere
Website MichealLarsen.com

Micheal David Larsen (November 9, 1981 – October 16, 2010), better known by his stage name Eyedea, was an American rapper, freestyle battle champion and songwriter from Saint Paul, Minnesota.[1] He had appeared as a solo artist under the pseudonym Oliver Hart, and as the MC half of the duo Eyedea & Abilities (along with longtime friend and collaborator DJ Abilities).[2] Larsen was first signed under Slug's independent hip-hop label Rhymesayers before founding his own record label "Crushkill Recordings". Eyedea's style of music is philosophical, abstract, political and poetic.

Eyedea first stepped into the hip-hop scene battling against other emcees at notable freestyle joints. His notable wins which included a victory at Scribble Jam (1999) and the televised Blaze Battle sponsored by HBO (2000), has turned Eyedea into a hip-hop mogul. Notable hip-hop outlets have labeled Eyedea as a legendary freestyle icon. Eyedea has released numerous albums alongside DJ Abilities where the two performed under the duo name "Eyedea & Abilities". In 2001, Eyedea & Abilities released their debut studio album First Born, which included their successful single "Big Shots". The single was later chosen to appear on Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 4. In 2004, Eyedea & Abilities released their second studio album titled E&A, which included the singles "Paradise" & "Man vs Ape". In July 2009, Eyedea & Abilities released their third and final studio album called By the Throat, which was followed by highly acclaimed positive ratings. The lead single "Smile" is Eyedea's most viewed music video on YouTube and was listed in Abbey's top 10 best hip-hop songs ever, respectively.

In 2014, Eyedea ranked #2 on Abbey Magazine's Top 25 'greatest freestyle emcees of all-time'. Eyedea died in his sleep on October 16th, 2010 at age 28, the cause of his death was ruled as an accidental overdose. Eyedea was a member of the music groups Eyedea & Abilities, The Orphanage, Face Candy, Carbon Carousel, Puppy Dogs and Ice Cream, and Guitar Party.

Early life[edit]

Eyedea lived just east of Downtown Saint Paul, Minnesota, where he attended Highland Park Senior High School.[2]

Eyedea became known as a battle MC, touring the circuit between 1997 and 2001. During this time he won top prizes at Scribble Jam '99, the Rock Steady Anniversary 2000, and Blaze Battle New York 2000. He contributed a track to the Anticon compilation, Music for the Advancement of Hip Hop. Additionally, he toured extensively as second MC and support DJ for Atmosphere.

In 2001, he released First Born with his partner DJ Abilities (collectively, they were initially called the Sixth Sense, but later changed the name to Eyedea & Abilities). In 2002, under his pen name "Oliver Hart", he released the self-produced The Many Faces of Oliver Hart, or: How Eye One the Write Too Think. In 2004, he reunited with Abilities to release the self-titled album E&A.

All of Eyedea's releases have been on the Rhymesayers record label, with the exception of the Carbon Carousel EP, which was released on his own Independent music label, Crushkill Recordings. In addition to touring independently and with Rhymesayers labelmates and members of Face Candy, Eyedea & Abilities participated in the Def Jux-sponsored "Who Killed the Robots?" tour, titled by Eyedea.

Music career[edit]

He was signed to Rhymesayers Entertainment and collaborated with Slug of the underground hip hop group Atmosphere as well as Sage Francis, Aesop Rock, and Blueprint. He was also a member of a MC super group called "The Orphanage" along with Slug, Aesop Rock, Blueprint, Sage Francis & Illogic. Although never releasing a full CD to the public, songs were recorded and released.[2]

After Eyedea released This Is Where We Were, recorded with his live freestyle rap/jazz group Face Candy, he created Carbon Carousel, an alternative rock band. They have released one EP, entitled The Some of All Things, or: The Healing Power of Scab Picking. This brought on speculation that Eyedea & Abilities were no longer together. However, in August 2007, the duo announced on their Myspace that they would be at the Twin Cities Celebration of Hip-Hop performing old songs and new material.

In December 2007, Eyedea & Abilities embarked upon their Appetite for Distraction Tour with Crushkill labelmate Kristoff Krane and Minnesotan duo Sector7G.

The summer of 2009 saw Eyedea & Abilities joining the touring hip hop festival Rock the Bells for a limited number of dates, performing alongside such acts as Sage Francis, Evidence, M.O.P. and the Knux. E&A also performed at the first Rock the Bells concert in 2004, infamous for being Ol' Dirty Bastard's last performance with the Wu-Tang Clan.

In 2011, an EP of 4 of Eyedea's freestyles, previously released in 2010 but only sold at live shows, were made available for 'pay what you want' download.[3] Guitar Party a group consisting of vocalist (and first grader) Mijah Ylvisaker, drummer J.T. Bates (Face Candy, Carbon Carousel, The Pines) and guitarists Jeremy Ylvisaker (Carbon Carousel, Alpha Consumer, Andrew Bird, The Cloak Ox), Jake Hanson (Halloween, Alaska), Andrew Broder (Fog, The Cloak Ox) and Micheal Larsen (Eyedea & Abilities, Carbon Carousel, Face Candy) released a recording of the only live show they had managed to play before Eyedea's death called 'Birthday [I feel Triangular]' .[4] The second Face Candy album was released on May 24, 2011 on Rhymesayers. This album was recorded in two days at the Winterland studios and one night in front of an audience at St. Paul's Black Dog Cafe.[5]

Death[edit]

Eyedea died in his sleep on October 16, 2010.[2] He was found dead by his mother, according to friends.[6] Cause of death was released November 18, 2010 and ruled an accident, from "opiate toxicity," according to the Ramsey County medical examiner's office. The specific drugs found in Larsen's system have not been revealed to the public.[7] Various hip-hop artists went on their Twitter accounts to pay their tribute to him.[8][9]

On December 25, 2013, it was announced on Eyedea & Abilities' Facebook page[10] that a star was registered under the name Eyedea to commemorate Larsen on the web site Online Star Register.[11]

Discography[edit]

Albums

EPs

  • The Whereabouts of Hidden Bridges (2000) (with Oddjobs)
  • The Some of All Things, or: The Healing Power of Scab Picking (2006) (with Carbon Carousel)
  • Duluth Is the Truth (2009)
  • When in Rome, Kill the King (2010) (as Micheal Larsen)
  • Freestyles (2010)

Mixtapes

  • E&A Road Mix (2003) (Eyedea & Abilities)

Live albums

  • Birthday (I Feel Triangular) (2011) (with Guitar Party)

Singles

  • "Pushing Buttons" 12" (2000) (Eyedea & Abilities)
  • "Blindly Firing" 12" (2001) (Eyedea & Abilities)
  • "Now / E&A Day" 12" (2004) (Eyedea & Abilities)
  • "Carbon Carousel Single Series #1" (2007) (Carbon Carousel)
  • "Nervous" (2007) (Carbon Carousel)

Guest appearances

  • "Best Kind" by Slug of Atmosphere (1997)
  • "Native Ones Live @ The Entry" by Atmosphere on Headshot: Vol. 6: Industrial Warfare (1998)
  • "Monster Inside" by Anomaly on Howle's Book (1998)
  • "Savior?" by Sole, Slug and Eyedea on Music for the Advancement of Hip Hop (1999)
  • "Embarrassed" by Sage Francis Feat Slug on Sick of Waging War (2001)
  • "Gotta Love Em" by Slug & Eyedea on DJ Murge Search and Rescue (2002)
  • "The Stick Up" by Atmosphere on "Headshots Se7en" (2002)
  • "More From June" by Deep Puddle Dynamics on "We Aint Fessin" (2002)
  • "We Aint Fessin (Double Quotes)" By Deep Puddle Dynamics on "We Aint Fessin" (2002)
  • "Miss By A Mile" by Aesop Rock, Eyedea & Slug on We Came From Beyond, Vol 2 (2003)
  • "Play Dead Til They Kill You" By Saturday Morning Soundtrack on Saturday Morning Soundtrack (2005)
  • "Quality Programming" by Booka B on Basementality (2005)
  • "L-Asorbic Acid" by The Crest & Eyedea + Carnage on "Skeptic" (2005)
  • "Everything's Perfect" by AWOL one on "War of Art" (2006)
  • "Frisbee" by Abstract Rude (2006)
  • "Dopamine" by Playaz Longue Crew on Hype Hop (2007)
  • "Thanks But No Thanks" by Sector 7G on "Scrap Metal" (2007)
  • "Head Tripping" by Kristoff Krane on "This Will Work For Now" (2008)
  • "Is It Right" by Kristoff Krane on "This Will Work For Now" (2008)
  • "Dream" by No Bird Sing on "No Bird Sing" (2009)
  • "Best Friends" by Kristoff Krane on Picking Flowers Next To Roadkill (2010)
  • "Sneak" by The Let Go on Morning Comes (2010)
  • "Dead Wallets" by Sinthesis Feat. Ecid on "Movement 4:6" (2010)
  • "Rockstars Don't Apologize" by Ecid Feat. Awol One, and Kristoff Krane on "Werewolf Hologram" (2012)
  • "Purest Disgust" by Debaser on Peerless
  • "Cataract Vision" by Eyenine on Afraid to Dream
  • "Perfect Medicine" by Serebe
  • "Savior Self" by Sadistik Feat. CasOne, Kristoff Krane, and Alexipharmic
  • "Thorns" by Aesop Rock, Slug, & Eyedea
  • "Chemical Burns" by Sadistik on Ultraviolet (2014)

Rap Battles[edit]

Year Competition/Event Opponent Result Notes
1998 Scribble Jam Slug Loss
1999 Otherwize Win
Unseen Win
Optimus Prime Win
P.E.A.C.E. Win won the tournament
2000 Rocksteady Anniversary PackFM Win
Immortal Technique Win won the tournament
HBO Blaze Battle Ali Vegas Win
E-Dub Win
RK Win
Shells Win won the tournament
Scribble Jam Propane Win
Brother Ali Loss

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.bloginity.com/2010/10/eyedea-dead-at-28-michael-larsen-indie-singer-of-rhymesayer/
  2. ^ a b c d Scholtes, Peter S. (2001-09-12). "What's the Big Eyedea?". City Pages. Retrieved 2008-07-20. 
  3. ^ "Eyedea Freestyles EP". micheallarsen.bandcamp.com. 2011. Retrieved 2011-04-14. 
  4. ^ "Guitar Party Birthday [I feel Triangular]". micheallarsen.com. 2011. Retrieved 2011-04-14. 
  5. ^ "Waste Age Teenland Out May 24th On Rhymesayers". micheallarsen.com. 2011. Retrieved 2011-04-14. 
  6. ^ "Rapper Eyedea Dies at Age 28". Yahoo Music. 2010-10-19. 
  7. ^ Gottfried, Mara H. Twincities.com, 19 November 2010. "St. Paul rapper Eyedea's death ruled accidental drug overdose"
  8. ^ Kaufman, Gil (2010-11-10). "Eyedea Died Of Accidental Drug Overdose". MTV. 
  9. ^ "Rappers React to Underground MC Eyedea’s Unexpected Death". XXL Mag. 2010-10-18. 
  10. ^ https://www.facebook.com/eyedeaandabilities/posts/10151817348806994
  11. ^ https://stars.osr.org/eyedea#.UtNtraWhPl1

External links[edit]