When: Sat., July 25, 1 p.m. 2015
On last year’s Dark Comedy, Hyde Park native Open Mike Eagle rapped as though deep in conversation, and the best tracks made me want to hear more of his views on technology and race. Since then the LA-based MC has found another valve for his thoughts: only a month after releasing that album, he launched an American Public Media podcast called Secret Skin, in which he sits down with rappers and loosely covers hip-hop’s fine-grain details. I don’t have much of a taste for podcasts (my ears are monopolized enough as it is), but from what I’ve heard of it, Secret Skin underscores Eagle’s many talents: he’s thoughtful, acerbic, and personable, and even when addressing a crowd he carries himself like he’s locked into a one-on-one discussion. Eagle continues doing what he does so well on the recent, all-too-short EP A Special Episode of (Mello Music Group), not only rapping about the labyrinthine terms of digital service agreements but also taking inspiration from the hook of Broken Social Scene’s “Anthems for a Seventeen-Year-Old Girl.” He hits his stride at the end of the EP with “Ziggy Starfish (Anxiety Raps),” where Eagle grafts his brainy rhymes onto a stuttering, bumping instrumental by Gold Panda that makes the world feel as large as the inside of the MC’s head. —Leor Galil Part of Wicker Park Fest. 5:15 PM set time. See our Wicker Park Fest sidebar.