Tagged with "eyedea"
Celebrating the life of Michael David Larsen AKA Eyedea Tags: michael david larsem eyedea those we've lost word life production featured blog

Micheal David Larsen (November 9, 1981 October 16, 2010), better known by his stage name Eyedea, was an American rapper of Lebanese and Irish origins. He was battle freestyle battle champion and songwriter from Saint Paul, Minnesota. 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)] 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), 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.

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

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.

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. 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]' .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.

Death

Eyedea died in his sleep on October 16, 2010. He was found dead by his mother, according to friend. 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.Various hip-hop artists went on their Twitter accounts to pay their tribute to him.

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

Source: Wikipedia

IN MEMEORY OF HIP HOP ARTIST, EYEDEA Tags: eyedea and abilities in memory of featured artist word life production

Eyedea and Abilities is what you get when you combine the very best of two opposite ends of Hip-Hop's musical spectrum. On one end you have the M.C./Lyricist, Eyedea, who has proven himself time and time again not only as an extraordinary song writer, but also as a master at battling and the art of freestyling. On the other end you have Abilities, the D.J./Turntablist, who's talent from the battle, to the mix tape, to production has resonated on the underground for quite some time now. When you put these two extremes together, you get the new, innovative and exciting dynamic we like to call E&A.

Between the years of 1997 and 2001, E&A completely conquered the competitive circuit. (Winning national and regional battles such as: Scribble Jam ?99, RockSteady 2000, Blaze-Battle Chicago 2000, HBO Televised Blaze-Battle World Championship New York 2000, ?99 DMC Regional, 2001 DMC Regional, and many more!) During this time E&A was also laying groundwork and establishing a fan base for themselves with Rhymesayers labelmates Atmosphere by doing self promoted U.S.. tours, traveling state to state selling their product hand to hand. Since then they have established themselves as a phenomenal live act, having performed with everyone from De La Soul to The Roots, to American Head Charge. (As well as doing full blown tours with artists such as: Prince Paul, Aceyalone, Cannibal Ox, Living Legends and more.)

Lauded as one of URB Magazines Next 100, Eyedea and Abilities dropped their first full length album entitled First Born in the Fall of 2001. This conceptual masterpiece caught many fans off guard, as they expected a more battle oriented approach to the songs. But as unexpected as it was, First Born proved that a powerful battle M.C. and Turntabilist could create a clever and cohesive concept album.

"...you can?t argue with the musically inventive use of samples here or the range of subject matter covered. The record carries real emotional weight because of the subjects dealt with and that?s still all too rare in Hip Hop." (5 out of 5 - Will Ashon/Muzik Issue #77 10/01)

"...First Born is a decidedly indie-style Hip Hop album full of intricate wordplay, austere beat science and headey lyrical content. Those expecting slice and dice battle techniques from Eyedea or Abilities will probably be disappointed, as First born is dominated by Eyedea?s introspective, angst-y lyrics and Abilities? equally moody sound structures, all late-night jazz flourishes and towering drum loops...this is Hip Hop as therapy session-freudian funk for distressed heads." (3.5 out of 5 - Michael Endelman/URB Issue #88 10/01)

A little less than a year later, Eyedea released a self-produced, completely self-contained full-length c.d. titled The Many faces of Oliver Hart or: How Eye One the Write Too Think. This helped showcase Eyedea?s skills as a producer, as well as give people one more reason to consider him one of the best song writers out there.

"...Any review would be remiss, however, if it did not mention the breath taking "Bottle Dreams," seriously one of the most profound songs in hip-hop history. With a laid back, compassionate delivery, Eyedea tells a tale of a young violin prodigy, sexually abused by her widower father. She keeps her horrible secret bottled inside, but finds expression through writing in her diary. Finally, one day she decides to end her life, and what the police find with her body at the bottom of the lake will give you goose bumps if you are human...Eyedea?s ability to make a chilling song like this truly separates him from other emcees." (Review from Hip-Hop Infinity.com)

In the past year or so,in addition to doing numerous side-projects (including Abilities performing all the scratches for El-p?s critically acclaimed Fantastic Damage, pairing up with I Self Divine of The Micranots to create the group Semi. Offical and Eyedea?s Oliver Hart projects.), E&A have developed an aesthetic that will completely set them apart from the rest. The way they play off of each other as M.C. and D.J.(or more fittingly, as Lyricist and Turntablist) both live and on record, has been compared to the call and response type solos exhibited by Miles Davis and John Coltrane. They have completely meshed the worlds of the turntables and the microphone. Sometimes the very structure of Eyedea?s flow is based off of the rhythm of a scratch, and vise versa. This is hip hop at the threshold of complexity. One M.C. and one D.J. both shining as the soloist, back and forth and at the same time. With their new album E&A, Eyedea & Abilities have not only grown and settled into their own but have found a way to bridge their battle driven Hip Hop beginnings with their desire to be thought provoking creative artists.


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