Posted September 1, 2020 by Jeff in Tunes

Open Mike Eagle Chronicles Worst Year of His Life

Open Mike Eagle by Kim Newmoney
Open Mike Eagle by Kim Newmoney

Rapper Open Mike Eagle just announced that his new album, Anime, Trauma and Divorce, will come out Oct. 16 via his own label AutoReverse Records. The follow-up to 2017’s Brick Body Kids Still Daydream, which Rolling Stone called a “powerful mix of the personal and political,” the new album chronicles what the rapper describes as “the worst year of his life so far.”

Executive produced by Jacknife Lee, the album features beats from Black Milk, Gold Panda and Frank Leone and includes the previously-released singles “I’m A Joester (Black Power Fantasy),” which came out via Adult Swim, and the woozy “The Edge of New Clothes,” as well as the somber new track “Bucciariati,” featuring Kari Faux. 

“Before the world went to shit I was already in the middle of a few personal crises,” says Mike in a press release. “Shit had gone haywire personally and professionally, and my therapist had to remind me that I have an outlet to process some of my shit in rap music. So I made a bunch of painful rap songs, and Jacknife Lee was kind enough to help me make good music out of them.”

Maybe it can help other people too. It probably won’t but maybe.

Despite personal conflicts, Open Mike Eagle has seen one of his most industrious years yet. In the past few months, he launched his own podcast network, Stony Island Audio, and his own fully independent label, AutoReverse Records. The new podcast network features the show What Had Happened Was with producer extraordinaire Prince Paul. 

Open Mike Eagle also launched a daily show on Instagram Live and appeared on SYFY’s The Great Debate, an unscripted, half-hour series hosted by Baron Vaughn, Mike’s co-host on the critically-acclaimed Comedy Central show The New Negroes, which features Lizzo, Danny Brown, MF Doom, Method Man and others as musical guests.

In addition, Open Mike Eagle started the Funny or Die Show Call & Response with Baron Vaughn and launched a successful North American tour alongside Sammus and Video Dave (who released his debut album via AutoReverse Records). He also made an appearance on truTV’s hit comedy series Adam Ruin’s Everything and participated in a professional wrestling match. 

Photo by Kim Newmoney


Jeff started writing about rock ’n’ roll some 20 years ago when he stood in the pouring rain to hitch hike his way to see R.E.M. on their Life’s Rich Pageant tour. Since that time, he's written for various daily newspapers, alt-weeklies, magazines and websites. Feel free to comment on his posts or suggest music, film and art to him at [email protected]