If you’ve been paying attention to underground rap for the past decade or two, then you probably already knew that Open Mike Eagle is a great rapper. These days, he’s also distinguishing himself as a great podcaster. Mike’s show What Had Happened Was is currently in its third season. Every week, the veteran rap A&R Dante Ross comes on to tell Mike stories about KMD, Brand Nubian, and De La Soul. It’s great. (The last season was Mike and El-P, and that was great, too.) But OME has not turned all his energies toward podcasting. The man is still great at rapping, too.
In 2020, Open Mike Eagle released a truly impressive concept album called Anime, Trauma And Divorce. Last year, he followed that by teaming with Armand Hammer on the single “Burner Account.” Today, with a European tour coming up, Mike has one again gotten together with friends on a new track. Mike’s new song “Multi-Game Arcade Cabinet” has him teaming up with longtime collaborators Video Dave and Still Rift., as well as his old friend R.A.P. Ferreira, the rapper formerly known as Milo.
On “Multi-Game Arcade Cabinet,” everyone goes in over an Illingsworth-produced beat, but Mike really gets in some good lines. Consider: “My grandma was half-asshole and half-Choctaw/ We connected like Black Bolt and Lockjaw.” Or: “You got a playlist called ‘Read The Mint Leaves’/ I listened, and it was all me and Mitski.” In a press release, Mike says:
My apartment was a dream dungeon. Myself and my two brothers Dave and Rift started making product in my dining room every week. One day, R.A.P. Ferreira and a mystery brother came through. We put on an Illingsworth beat, and we all made product together. The mystery brother’s product made us all cry, so we took his part off and slid the rest back together. We did something different with the mystery brother’s part. You’ll understand later when we show you the tape.
Me and Dave are going to Europe and Rift might pop up too. Whenever Rift is, there we’ll stop what we’re doing and show everybody some of the tape. There are a lot of new products. I cried making [them].