18 October 2010

Eyedea Passed Away

Singer “Eyedea”, whose real name was Michael Larsen, passed away today at the age of only 29. Eyedea was a popular Indie/Hip-Hop artist in the Minneapolis/St. Paul music scene.was a well-known freestyle battle champion and underground rapper. His notable wins included the televised Blaze Battle sponsored by HBO (2000) and a victory at Scribble Jam (1999). He had appeared as a solo artist, and as the emcee half of the duo Eyedea & Abilities (along with longtime friend and collaborator DJ Abilities). His non-battle rhymes were generally philosophically or thematically based, and often told a definite narrative.

First album
In 2001, he released First Born with his partner DJ Abilities (collectively, they were initially called the Sixth Sense, but they are now known as Eyedea & Abilities). In 2002, under his pen name "Oliver Hart", he released the self-produced The Many Faces of Oliver Hart. In 2004, he and Abilities reunited to release the self-titled album E&A (released March 23, 2004).

All of Eyedea's releases have been on the Rhymesayers record label, with the exception of Carbon Carousel's "The Some of All Things or: The Healing Power of Scab Picking", which was released on his own independent label, Crushkill Recordings. In addition to touring independently and with Rhymesayers labelmates and members of Face Candy, Eyedea and Abilities participated in the Def Jux-sponsored Who Killed the Robots? tour, titled by Eyedea.

He is signed to Rhymesayers Entertainment, and has been known to collaborate with Slug of the underground hip hop group Atmosphere, as well as Sage Francis, Aesop Rock, and Blueprint.

After Eyedea released "This Is Where We Were" with his live freestyle/jazz group Face Candy, he created Carbon Carousel, an alternative rock band. They have released one EP titled "The Some of All Things or: The Healing Power of Scab Picking". This brought on speculation that Eyedea & Abilities was 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, as well as 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 massive touring hip hop festival Rock the Bells for a limited amount of dates, performing alongside such acts as Sage Francis, Evidence, M.O.P and the Knux.

Eyedea was found by his mother this morning, and she posted the following statement on his Facebook page: ”It is with great pain and sadness that I tell you my son Mikey (Eyedea) has passed away. At this time we kindly request your respect and our privacy as we process this devastating loss. On behalf of Mikey’s family, close friends and fans, thank you.”

No other details of his passing were released, but Eyedea’s mom has set up a memorial fund in his honor on Facebook.

Here are five other things you may not know about the singer:
1. He was a well known underground rapper and freestyle champion.
2. In addition to his solo career, he was also part of a duo with his childhood friend, “DJ Abilities.”
3. He attended Highland Park Senior High School in St. Paul, Minnesota.
4. All of his music releases were under the Rhymesayers record label.
5. Eyedea & Abilities were part of the Rock the Bells hip hop festival in 2009.

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