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Now Cracks A Noble Heart

18 Oct

“Now cracks a noble heart. Good-night, sweet prince; And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest. ” -Hamlet, Act V, Scene ii

Micheal “Eyedea” Larsen, 1981-2010

With a Facebook announcement earlier today, Kathy Averill let the world know of the passing of her son Micheal Larsen, known to many as the rapper Eyedea. No further details have been released and the family has asked for privacy at this time. The announcement has prompted an outpouring of grief and memories of Eyedea- he was the kind of guy who everyone who met would have something to say about, whether it was praise for his freestyle and battle abilities, a quirky look from a tangential conversation, a comment on his mercurial musical endeavors. The sadness is hitting us hard because Minneapolis, underground hip-hop, experimental music and the world were better places for having Larsen in it- a man out wandering his own frontier and sending missives from the future back.

Everyone is going to have stories of course in the coming days and sharing is part of the public grief. My friend who I told in the car had to slow down as she talked about seeing Eyedea with Atmosphere in a Minneapolis basement when she was twelve. I went to Highland Park Senior High School for a couple of years that overlapped with Eyedea’s time there, when he broke out at the Scribble Jam and Blaze Battle. I used to have a drawing of his that was left in a cubby in the art room. I took the first Eyedea & Abilities record, First Born, to Los Angeles with me- along with Atmosphere’s Lucy Ford EPs, it was a reminder of the things that I liked most and missed about Minnesota. Last summer I wrote more about Eyedea & Abilities than any other act- I reviewed their third record, By The Throat for City Pages, covered the live preview for the Onion A.V. Club, interviewed Eyedea for City Pages again and wrote about them in concert.

Eyedea’s stretching, nascent, uncomfortable, cerebral, rough, tearingly honest personal and musical output was tremendous. Let us tell stories and draw inspiration from that creativity and force. Let that now stand in memory and for the record.

You will be missed.

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