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R.I.P. Eyedea

A brief shout out to Michael Larsen – better known as Eyedea, one half of Eyedea & Abilities – occasionally known as the most technically gifted MC on Rhymesayers – also known as one of the first rappers that got me hooked on underground hip-hop. He died in his sleep two days ago aged just 28. It’s a genuine loss to music and I’m actually quite stunned about it.

This is someone who I’ve been listening to for ten years and it’s weird to know that he’s not going to be making any new music because he just won’t be here anymore. I wrote elsewhere that I was always in awe that someone my age could make music like he did.. Like, when I was 20, I couldn’t have dreamt about making a track like A Murder of Memories or as fresh as Big Shots (and I definitely tried many many times). The man was responsible for some tracks that I’ll always count as favourites and will listen to for years to come. I started to listen to him for pretty much the same reasons that Scroobius Pip writes about here; I was in awe of his freestyling and I remember watching the Scribble Jam DVD with him on with my mouth constantly open. I’m just gutted that I never got to see him live, because he owns the stage in all the footage I’ve ever watched of him. Mad skills.

If you never knew, there’s a great post here which has a fair few tracks and videos that you need to catch up on. If you’re interested in what some of his other peers thought of him, you could start with Blockhead.. I’m sure there will be plenty of tributes in the next few days. Brother Ali’s recent tweets are both eye-opening and heartbreaking. You really get a sense of how close they were, and it’s great/sad to see Eyedea talked about with such respect.

In 1999 I started going to Eyedea’s crib to freestyle and play each other our new music. I was 21, he was 17 and I looked up to him.

When KRS One said “The Champion… EYEDEA!” I had goose bumps. I got em now just thinking about it.

So many more memories that I’ll keep for myself. Just an endless stream of them. Really not ready to say goodbye.

..and it goes on.

There’s a fundraiser event on facebook to raise money for his funeral costs if you want to donate.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xltOgxTnQ_8

Edit:

I never got ’round to picking up the last E&A album, but I will be now.. This track off it is a beauty..

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z9-eKhCukW8

..and I’m no different I live in conflict and contradiction but it can be so beautiful, when I don’t reject what lies within / It’s beautiful the way agony connects us to the living / I think of the world when I hurt, and keep on existing in the now..

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