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Hella Personal Film Festival

by Open Mike Eagle & Paul White

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1.
I chase my poison tail and get so high that voices fail. I heard that when you in a fucked up space no one can hear you signal help I tried to set 'em straight Tell them I self medicate All they saw's a glitchy video but then I never show my cards Instead I write for stealth blah blah blah I cry for help All this belly-aching's just to say my belly's hurtin after all It's all endorphins though Or maybe every Scorpio is predisposed to never feel as cold as the first time they felt a loss My addiction, my obsession, my admission, my rejection, I insisted, I accepted My prescription carried us away carried us away Pretend I didn't know who smoked up all the mistletoe you'd really be surprised how innovative I can get when left alone And once them cravings strike, I knew I should say goodnight Want for them endorphins got me saying everything except for that White knuckle rodeo and failing fills my holy holes Staring at my phone wondering how endorphins travel via screen As I feel my withdrawal I understand them 90's songs Rap music has ruined me, I always want to loop my favorite part day to day to day is ground zero I'm 20 years im 20 inches tall Today today my sky has fallen, I have no resolve My addiction, my obsession, my admission, my rejection, I insisted, I accepted My prescription carried me away carried me away
2.
I feel so fly today emerged from my very narrow heel-toe hideaway my bad like what people that steal old lighters say I told the emperor to get real clothes right away. I'm focused enough to knit a whole sleeper quilt and train tunnels movin’ through people like a Peterbilt I found what all of my confident voices are I'm feeling free 20 pounds on my oyster card G'on 'head with my Dwayne Wayne looking ass I want a stupid mic stand carved from a wooden staff I'm trying to relive days that I couldn’t grab I looked up what Lena Dunham said and I shouldn’t have. I don’t know how I ever faced the odds As a child I played grab-ass and shot paper wads I matriculated up by the grace of Bob used to licks macrame, cricket and decoupage I'm trying to find true moments Big Martel's cologne can blind you Hogan The American part of my mind's too swollen If I was a font I would hate Times New Roman I travel light like a choir cant A modern satellite's equipped to spy on a fire ant, which is cool 'cause them fuckers is dangerous I'm trying to learn to face.... fuck! Yeah, I feel so uppity Peter Piper picked the purple stuff before the Sunny D Summer pants, all of my receptors up and under siege Itchy middle fingers triple lindy out the ugly tree Snap, Crack, show him to the closest blooming onion reclusive koopas moving out the dungeons into gundam money run along, sleeves up Tero on his upper arm sneak around a thousand crows peppering the front lawn bite a bat's head off before doors I'll forward you the recipe bork bork Quarter and draw everything orbit a failing biosphere Pioneer of pestilence my stylist is a science fair The future primitive is skitching off the pace car Rebel yell except for when he whistle by the graveyard If I ain’t home wiping spittle of the space bar, I'm trying to be the first jarred brains on a face card
3.
I’m so invincible I’m so invincible I’m not so vulnerable like I was before And I feel wonderful (Dang, Dang, Dang) Ya’ll can’t fuck with me I’m unfuckwithable I’m so invincible It’s a dang day I visited my jail but I can’t stay AH! I’m used to hearing what the pain say I’m going out but not going out the same way (uh uh!) I rented me a bicycle woke up in the hood I aint recognize it Saw a weird lookin’ cop and I said goodbye, fucked around and got a little bit of exercise (yeah!) Everything was overblown Woke up first down and its goal to go (dang!) I’m in the zone you know, somebody asked to collab and I told them no (uh uh!) cause I won’t enjoy it told the school loan people I was unemployed and they believed me! This blouse is cool again, needed the right blue and I found cerulean woke up without a hangover that burrito worked my stomach my head and my teeth don’t hurt I didn’t vomit on my street clothes! Then I charged my phone, I was drunk and still remembered to charge my phone (dang!) That burrito was good as fuck, I drank a whole bottle of water when I got back home (yeah!) Some other days I don’t be knowing what to do Today is dang I got another point of view I’m sayin dang today I aint afraid of you Or you Or you Or you I’m so invincible I’m so invincible I’m not vulnerable like I was before Now I feel comfortable (Dang, dang, dang) Ya’ll can’t fuck with me I’m unfuckwithable I’m so invincible Start tremendous, feel good without being narcissistic Did the whole tour didn’t get a parking ticket Looked in my heart and there wasn’t no darkness in it (ack!) Feel awesome dude Found some wind to throw caution to Ate awesome food Threw some trash in the trash from across the room like swish! Didn’t even use the wall Met some humans and didn’t get confused at all (dang!) Found new resolve and strength to get through when my crew dissolved Less clumsy, didn’t dress funny I made some good times, I made some rent money Got positive strokes from talking to folks and for a day I aint sweat no anonymous quotes I’m like (dang, dang, dang, dang, dang…) I’m so invincible I’m so invincible I’m not vulnerable like I was before Now I feel wonderful (Dang, dang, dang) Ya’ll can’t fuck with me I’m unfuckwithable I’m so invincible I could be the one for one nano sec I could be the one for one nano sec I could just be the one for one nano sec I get to be
4.
Hold up: I wont work without checking my phone first Put it down for my son while I’m checking his homework The world’s in my palms so I’m checking the whole earth The thumbnail I use for swiping my phone hurts Checking at ballparks Checking at Walmart If I was a caddy I would check in my golf cart I’m watching football then I check every false start I’m livin check to check I keep checkin livin from check to check I keep checkin livin from check to check I keep checkin livin from check to check I keep checkin livin from check to check I keep checkin Incoming calls directly rejected If you wanna talk suggest you leave message I check check check like every three seconds (yeah) I’m recording right now and I’m checking between takes every notification that my phone machine makes I put it down whenever but its never a clean break I should get a heavy phone and pretend its a free weight I’m checking at red lights like school nurse check for headlice Like sound men check for dead mics Just like I’m merging, checking the left lane I’m trying to get home so I can check if my check came Checking if what I sent looks poorly written But did that dude holler back, no of course he didn’t My laptop don’t sleep, open and shut case I’m checking for mail while its checking for updates My timeline’s poppin, aint talking to you Look my man Dart Adams straight dropping the jewels I should reduce my check count to a moderate few A watched pot don’t boil so my water stay cool I’m livin from check to check Keep checkin, livin from check to check I keep checkin, battery getting low but its not quite out yet so check I’m in your house now checking for outlets I need to use maps cause I don’t know the route yet I need to see an email I don’t know when to soundcheck Yeah I should have wrote it all down from the outset crawl under your couch and really I just figured this out is this an outlet here on the ground? yes I’m back in the game, back in the game I’m back in the game, back in the game I’m living from check to check, I keep checkin living from check to check, I keep checkin livin from check to check “I control you all day all night you will check me constantly you may never turn me off or put me down if you do I will come hunting for you humans no longer rule the world machines do you silly humans suffer forever”
5.
He came through town in an old jeep, looking like 1997 Won a few hearts with a bold speech Talking ‘bout “lets go find the weapons” talking ‘bout “let’s be good again” And looking like all niggas ever wanted Oh, big time bank hank wins again get a new nameplate, but they own the office Feels so good when we go to auction Four year lease with a low deposit Get a hundred loans so you can go to college Your diploma’s rolled into a Polish sausage Umpteenth time we believed the theater Wished on a piece of meteor Why? the greediest men they need a disguise But heres a news flash: the media lies Dang I’ve seen it all, I’ve seen it all shoulda known, shoulda known shoulda known, shoulda known How long was you pent up? Your little pinch of defense sucked You was an early bird to the 33rd But at certain words you tensed up And I know cause I’m watching too close Like a type-2 dude with food with mad glucose Hark who goes there I’m Centurion I’ve been curious since my cesarian section I let shit look mysterious inside quakes coulda shook the pyramids searchin between all the cushioned areas I warned you I wish you took me serious Deleterious and dropping facts and got co-conspirators so watch your back and I’m paranoid so you could not relax And I never holler so don’t holler back, naw I’ve seen it all, I’ve seen it all shoulda known, shoulda known shoulda known, shoulda known You put some shit in my mashed potatoes the list of suspects is just you you put on a scratch on my Masekela put a tiny rock in my left shoe put smelly shit on my car keys sticky shit in my Arizona shrunk my shirt so the arms squeeze hid my miniature Testsrossa You put some shit in my mashed potatoes the list of suspects is just you you put on a scratch on my Masekela put a tiny rock in my left shoe put smelly shit on my car keys sticky shit in my Arizona shrunk my shirt so the arms squeeze hid my miniature Testarossa
6.
Insecurity 02:31
Dont lie to me they get exposed so violently the pain in the soul won’t go quietly do whatever you want just be straight show and prove, tell the truth as a whole and don’t wait Be straight with me I know its hard and you hate to be confrontational The information flows gracefully if you let it I can’t loan from memory banks with no credit Let it go, don’t edit I can take it the only real truth is butt naked and I know when you faking maybe them others was impatient But I’m telling you to trust I can take it Trust is so sacred We need a solid foundation of openness with no hesitation Just talk to me I’m here just talk to me Give it to me straight just talk to me You know what I mean You aint gotta say it like that though It’s ‘bout being real and not being an asshole We can keep real without being so rude though We all hella grown and you know when its too cold Say it all harsh and the damage is two-fold Spoon full of sugar makes the medicine smooth though I’m saying though, you aint gotta say it like that though You can be true and still come off tactful Is that so hard? I aint asking for too much Beat me in the head with the shit like its nunchucks I aint saying cover, just butter the truth up You know I’m sensitive and you came to me too tough You know what, fuck it, just lie You aint gotta say shit, fuck it just lie don’t say shit just hide just fake it just lie I said it but I changed my mutherfuckin mind just lie
7.
It’s all fine and dandy when the show starts before then avoided like a ghost fart I gets what ups and nods but for the most part, nobody smiles at me cause I’m a Black man Until the show starts before then avoided like a ghost fart I gets what ups and nods but for the most part, nobody smiles at me cause I’m a Black man I know full well every white’s not a racist but every Black man’s not a sex-crazed rapist I was good in the hood, in college I was ruined When walking I assumed you acknowledged the other humans I tried to walk big with my chin bone lifted up over compensating like I really don’t give a fuck Today I saw a lady say hi to a stranger then avoid my eyes like I’m a white person strangler Walking past voters in the democratic blocks that hit the windows and the automatic locks If not reparations give me free Black therapy And tell people you’re scared of them it makes them act scarily I don’t want you, your purse or your pocket book, them dumb yoga pants, boots or fur with the octopus trust I’m not trying to polish your toes, take your wallet and phone or follow you home It’s all fine and dandy when the show starts before then avoided like a ghost fart I gets what ups and nods but for the most part, nobody smiles at me cause I’m a Black man Until the show starts before then avoided like a ghost fart I gets what ups and nods but for the most part, nobody smiles at me cause I’m a Black man And to the guys in the flip flop squad nobody needs your patronizing hip hop nod just be a person, that’s the bottom line, be a person and fuck the rhyme scheme this time, just be a person then I can be a person too and we can be people skip the validation and the need to feel equal the dominating culture gets to choose from many modes of expression and reflection of the path that they done chose And my perception is froze, like a caveman lawyer advocating for myself while trying to seem dumber than I is I’m tired of thinking of this biz I’m just trying to build a bridge for my goddamn kid So the first time if ever his reputation slid it could actually be for something that he did It’s all fine and dandy when the show starts before then avoided like a ghost fart I gets what ups and nods but for the most part, nobody smiles at me cause I’m a Black man Until the show starts before then avoided like a ghost fart I gets what ups and nods but for the most part, nobody smiles at me cause I’m a Black man A hundred police want to sing one song, but only one gets the key When a hundred police want to sing one song, somebody’s got to intervene Now I’m not running for congress I’ve got no platform or a plan But when a hundred police wanna sing one song, all the people stop giving a damn
8.
I’ma tell you not to tell other people what to do That is a specialized massick trip (magic, not massick) magic trick You have to be an adept to pull this off or put it on watch your hands make no demands try to mind your own business watch your hands make no demands try to mind your own business It aint even cold people layer up and lady luck gave a fuck what you making up sometimes pain’s even smaller than a paper cut and while you all up in her face, she done faced enough in LA people judge you if you take the bus and rich folks say hey come to space with us (what?) You should be polite you big dummy shut the fuck up and let that man get money look around your house for paintings left crooked fix ‘em and when you’re done, keep pushin and maybe there’s some dust around your couch cushions try to know your congressman without looking try to know what bills is wild and outlandish And who’s on what committee for house action I don’t know either You just seem bored fox news shows and bowls of creamed corn now I’m being judgmental I get so pissed Fuck political talk, you don’t know shit Fuck subliminal talk, you don’t know shit conspiracy theorists stop, you don’t know shit Alex Jones and Glenn Beck are like peers Modern profiteers of a culture of fear watch your hands make no demands try to mind your own business watch your hands make no demands try to mind your own business It aint even cold people layer up and lady luck gave a fuck what you making up sometimes pain’s even smaller than a paper cut and while you all up in her face, she done faced enough in LA people judge you if you take the bus and rich folks say hey come to space with us (what?) Hi, its me again Hi Sometimes I don’t even know why I say things All my heroes is singers that can’t sing I want to paint things but can’t hold still I miss my Grandmother’s smile and her oatmeal When I fuck up I know how a goat feels Remember when the homie Driver dropped Roadkill that shit was so ill And he’s my friend now The troglodyte won, now he’s prehensile or maybe troglodytes was to begin with somebody turns to the “t”s in the appendix says I don’t make much, I’m a spendthrift I used to write dumb raps about pen spits And now I write about dumb experiences But they’re very rarely the ones I have They’re usually some other people’s Or they’re just completely imaginary
9.
I heard some lucky guys live a hundred lives I wake up with a stomach full of half-dead butterflies I’m full of dread for the fade to the evening as each night fall brings the blades of the guillotine some nights struck down, trying to stand on my power most nights on my belly playing dead like a coward with eyes shut tight, no muscle flexes frozen don’t speak to eek out a couple extra moments I’m trying to slow my vitals, doing silent breathing Its the life of a offbeat show during pilot season execs wanna see who can cancel me the most so fast I never get the chance to be a ghost the lifespan of a housefly trade it for a eon in the sand with my mouth dry Give me torture Give me terrible marching orders Give me dirty water Give me anything except shorter gunned down when its sundown murdered in cold blood every day yet dumb hope juice springs eternal like it don’t know I’m bout to be gunned down when its sundown bout to be choked out by the night If I could just live for more than one day I might be gold I’m hoping one day that my carcass is hard boiled I’m stuck in the cycle of a cartoon gargoyle And if I live to be a hundred and one days old I grow straight up to the sun and get charbroiled But maybe ever lasting life is a curse though eternity is drama, making life the commercial but no 30 second advert has enough build with all the night vision camera footage as a snuff film Crush, kill, cycle of a sun is build, destroy I fell on so many swords my stomach’s got a keloid I’ve died on the phone I’ve died over email I’ve died in the silence where the limbs of a tree fell And lived for a brief spell to lose consciousness in the middle of a grief yell waking in a deep well to start it all over when the pendulum drifts switch which two gods birthed this to begin with? gunned down when its sundown murdered in cold blood every day yet dumb hope juice springs eternal like it don’t know I’m bout to be gunned down when its sundown bout to be choked out by the night If I could just live for more than one day I might be gold Died every day like enemies in power rangers up against a homicidal flower strangler I even heard of some growing in the upper room its real fucked up to sit and have to watch the others bloom born on the train to auschwitz berkineau groundhog’s day every night ends in murder tho
10.
sticks we pick up sticks we pick up sticks and stones that get thrown at these stick up kids just kids you know these kids can grow pundits denying them this so we pick up sticks for stickup kids sticks we pick up sticks we pick up sticks and stones that get thrown at these stickup kids just kids you know these kids can’t grow without sunlight and grit so for stick up kids we pick up sticks sticks we pick up sticks we pick up sticks sticks we pick up sticks we pick up sticks sticks we pick up sticks we pick up sticks sticks we pickup sticks Gatsby seven headed dragon ashy wake up out of casio carry pins by the gallon though little mario tortoise shells spectacles and monacles diamond fitted spinning from ruby necklaces high polish I aint gotta wallet just paperclips and newspaper clippings suggestions new papers missions overtaken the district far from pensive emotionally unstable when looking from grave to cradle b boy in me, head spin like a dradel tongue moves the simplest sentences past the nimblest premises gods officiate the remnants for the god divines the way the spine is crooked and hookers need a tenement after sunday supper out on 25th part the lips force fed monogamy since bible verses preface place settings silver spoon, table mahogany trouble new morse code tap tip toe by proxy oxycontin levels maximized my runners high honest why no simple way around this elevation cliff running for young son darting out from under tow bury my opponents in a wave of exhalation ten ton flow American Blue Beard and Thunder Crow too much for these young minds to handle dismantle candles and start a circle wax around the artist sticks we pick up sticks we pick up sticks and stones that get thrown at these stick up kids just kids you know these kids can grow pundits denying them this so we pick up sticks for stickup kids sticks we pick up sticks we pick up sticks and stones that get thrown at these stickup kids just kids you know these kids can’t grow without sunlight and grit so for stick up kids we pick up sticks sticks we pick up sticks we pick up sticks sticks we pick up sticks we pick up sticks sticks we pick up sticks we pick up sticks sticks we pickup sticks I’m in an MJ jacket with 11 gold buttons trying to tell you what to do when I never know nothin’ Its a secret we’re all damn desperate for feel it in the wet grass with lungs full of petrichor Whats a method? Fuck its a suggestion Look at the assumptions that snuck into the questions I’m grown, my dinner’s vanilla cones, skeleton in closet’s big thick gorilla bones and everything’s encrusted like jewelry or better yet chicken breast quick, pick: oral or written test Which picked florals for vision quest a little warm depth from Cassandra accompabying checks from a sponsor I’ll text you a mantra Inhale til your chest is enlarged on your exhale say Jeff you’re a monster I’m vexed at my own damn concerts This mic’s dumb I’m at the airport staring at my sliced thumb Cookie face, about to go through security sticks we pick up sticks we pick up sticks and stones that get thrown at these stick up kids just kids you know these kids can grow pundits denying them this so we pick up sticks for stickup kids sticks we pick up sticks we pick up sticks and stones that get thrown at these stickup kids just kids you know these kids can’t grow without sunlight and grit so for stick up kids we pick up sticks sticks we pick up sticks we pick up sticks sticks we pick up sticks we pick up sticks sticks we pick up sticks we pick up sticks sticks we pickup sticks
11.
(C’mon…you know….get outta here) Naw girl its all good ain't nothing special I had to say don’t feel weird there's a chair here just let me put this here bag away its all good all gravy lets all hang and be real good pals lets start drinking cause lord knows I don’t wanna feel shit right now whats wrong? nothin' pressin' just work shit, you know how that goes I’m just meeting your friend here but don’t want to take us all down that hole Tell me how ya’ll know each other What’s crackin' homie? Here take this seat This bag’s for some shit after dinner its with the shit I’m gon take with me Don’t worry bout it, don’t worry bout it Cant even tell you why I sat that there Knock it down, push it over hell, we making room, so shit, I don’t care what y’all drinking, what y’all drinking? I got ya’ll, this first round’s on me Put your wallet down homeboy you just got here, you’re trying to clown on me? Got used to being a pair that outside world is scary though the more the merrier the more the merrier the more the merrier the more the merrier the more the merrier the more the merrier I wasn’t really prepared, that outside world is scary though the more the merrier the more the merrier the more the merrier the more the merrier the more the merrier the more the merrier Got a small table cause I was saving the configuration we had before Ain’t much difference in 2 and 3, just put two together then add one more don’t worry bout it don’t worry bout it lets point to people we call our folks ah shit you already know goddang girl you shared all our jokes now with this new energy we’ll make new bits and make new routines now with these new permutations when we play our games we got two new teams hell ya’ll got your own history I’m the newbie here, put me on Good for jukebox variations since every night we play the same two songs This extra drinking might take too long thats the only drawback I see Me and you we drink all the whiskey I pray to god he don’t act like me Two guys and one lady We damn near could be Black Eyed Peas Lets write a song about a girl whose slogan is “Fuck you, I can do as I please” Got used to us as a pair That outside world is scary though the more the merrier the more the merrier the more the merrier the more the merrier the more the merrier the more the merrier (I thought you’d come here on your own) I wasn’t really prepared, that outside world is scary though the more the merrier the more the merrier the more the merrier (I thought you’d come here on your own) the more the merrier the more the merrier the more the merrier I thought you’d come here on your own I can’t fuck with new people I get so anxious its lethal Thought you’d know I thought you’d come here on your own I’m not like a cool person In my head tonight I’m just cursin' Thought you’d know I thought you’d come here on your own This hideout was so secret thought for sure thats how we’d keep it Thought you’d know I thought you’d come here on your own I can’t fuck with new people I get so anxious its lethal Thought you’d know
12.
We’ve gone too far We don’t wanna go back home We don’t like to see each other But we don’t wanna go back home Because we know what’s waiting We don’t wanna go back home We’ve all gathered here today Cause we don’t wanna go back home By the way I’ve signed my name you can see how far I’ve gone cant hold this pen how can i aim? Still never found my nerve we’re just talking through the window Promising to make things right trying to get ourselves to fight for tomorrow night Tomorrow I’m done I’ll call up the homie I’ll borrow his gun I’m not gonna run Im my father’s son I hold up the legacy macho and masculine, all in my pedigree Angry and cold, bold and intense with it Trying to not be so overly sensitive failing, failed, like every day, damn we know its trouble so we don’t want to go back home we know its dark in here so we don’t want go back home we sit here and act adventurous so we don’t have to go back home if anybody calls don’t say I’m here cause I don’t want to go back home by the time I get to Phoenix is playing on the jukebox now feels so bold I might repeat it till the bartender makes that face wasting time searching my homie’s songs and even tried my own name the results always the same zero matches found A couple of beers, parting the darkness a couple appears, I don’t have a body, just knuckles and ears please give me a glass with adjustable mirrors don’t judge because I know its weird what if they followed us here? its gentrification tomorrow its Cheers 99 bottles of beer on the wall then tears in the stalls We’ve gone too far We don’t wanna go back home We don’t like to see each other But we don’t wanna go back home Because we know what’s waiting We don’t wanna go back home We’ve all gathered here today Cause we don’t wanna go back home By the way I’ve signed my name you can see how far I’ve gone cant hold this pen how can i aim? Still never found my nerve we’re just talking through the window Promising to make things right trying to get ourselves to fight for tomorrow night
13.
Nothings the same I forgot what they call you but whats in a name (who the fuck is you?) I’m buzzed unashamed I forgot who I was, now my bloods full of flames (so hot) Now watch me do this dance I feel like I’m in True Romance, where the director at? And all my thoughts is loud little man on my shoulder trying to talk me down Couldn’t sit so I walked around I thought I saw a clown so I fought the crowd (kill em all) And every time I close my eyes A tiny Obama in a drone flies by Now Gladys hold my calls Its the future I’m about to try to fold my walls And now I know I’m gone Feelin’ like these random strangers know my songs (but they don’t!) I’m still in my dance, in a full body roll while I clench my hands (its like that though) And then I shut my eyes And Martin Luther King in a bus drives by (what up?!) I yell “what up Doc?” he waves back at me and says “Mike you the muthafuckin’ man!” Drunk dreaming pardon me, mister officer, the room spinning and my thoughts are blurred drunk dreaming this might be dumb but where’d them butterfly wings on your face come from? drunk dreaming I need to take a poll right now: who else has got a belly full of ocean water? drunk dreaming I might be wrong but maybe life is just a Crucial Conflict song I whispered oh my god but ended up shouting “Bout to blow my wad!” Gettin mad cause I can’t find my iPod Its really bad cause I don’t even have a iPod I’m damn close to filling my void aint nobody killing my noise, its like a vampire Replace the stake in the heart with a burrito to the face I can’t even taste it though I’m still tryin’ to do this dance Doing terrible impressions like “yo, who’s this man?” This kinda night makes a crew disband But I’d rather be solo, so fuck all 12 of y’all Is anybody else warm? Shots of energon until we all transform Call me Jameson Prime He said whatever came to his mind cause he don’t give a fuck drunk dreaming pardon me, mister officer, the room spinning and its all a blur drunk dreaming Now I’m at my house, you’re trying to give me a ticket for blacking out on my own couch drunk dreaming Tell you how I got back home shot of Patron turned me into a damn time traveler drunk dreaming And I’m oh so shook to see the online photobook I’m making bad faces
14.
Reprieve 03:57
I was raised in a bubble Face to the bubble Face to the window safe from the trouble crack rock apocalypse chased through the rubble My auntie’s a zombie, same as my uncle Projects we stayed for a couple Stayed in my inner space like Hubble I came back to Earth but same days I struggled These Western languages arranged like puzzles I’m livin off a late night hustle Living off pain, living off saying I love you and there’s no daylight in the jungle cause the police’ll beat the daylights from you my insides rumble I seek protection from the winds, I’m bundled My ego’s an inch high, humbled Trying to resist I got ten white knuckles So I’m going back within my bubble I counted my accomplishments When I was finished my whole shell dissolved I fluctuate in confidence It cost me so much to pretend I’m strong I don’t want to but I’m gone I don’t want to but I’m gone I don’t want to but I’m gone I didn’t want to but I’m gone American anxiety dang, I be trying to hang start out shouting, now I’m quietly sang I can’t be the President but won’t die in a gang Its your stereotype but its alive in my brain so the effect is really kind of the same chains like I’m a slave, its psychological so I can behave in future days I’ll be wondering why I was afraid While I was anxious when I could of raged the heart bangs but the minds in the way and makes waves without pushing away its makes phrases that I wouldn’t say I can’t hang is what I’m trying to say I got to run up in this cage for a couple of days so I can not feel strange for a couple of days I’m buckled up in a plane I’m stuck wondering what its gonna save Its clinical I’m fitted with this cynical gaze I counted my accomplishments When I was finished my whole shell dissolved I fluctuate in confidence It cost me so much to pretend I’m strong I don’t want to but I’m gone I don’t want to but I’m gone I don’t want to but I’m gone I didn’t want to but I’m gone

about

Open Mike Eagle might not have all the answers, but few artists in hip-hop, music, or American life are asking smarter questions. In a landscape governed by ceaseless babble, flashing lights, and hollow lies, Eagle harmonizes into the void so we don’t have to.

On this descent into the digital trenches, Eagle teams up with British producer, Paul White for Hella Personal Film Festival. Released on Mello Music Group, the full collaboration finds White behind the SP-1200s, conjuring a psychedelic strain of soul-funk, booming drums, and 21st century crate-digging in tropical attics of the imagination. On the microphone, the Chicago-bred, LA-based, Eagle artfully breaks down the banalities and perils of the modern condition.

Recorded in London, Eagle’s new album continues where his 2014 masterpiece, Dark Comedy left off. It’s anxiety-riddled but whimsical, addicted to and scornful of social media, stuffed with old wrestling in-jokes and film snippets. Self-aware admissions blend into attacks on societal double standards.

Known for alchemical solo work and collaborations with Danny Brown, Homeboy Sandman, and Mos Def, this is White’s first proper union with Eagle. The two artists bonded over the notion of diversity. The process started out with rough demos, which White ended up finishing in post-production—playing guitar, drums, bass, keyboards, percussion and pieces of wood found in a forest. Its genius ultimately comes from the pair mining a deep vein of emotional content—a discussion of the things we feel that you don’t say. A movie that hits so accurately it’s almost uncomfortable.

These are tense anthems for the vulnerable, consecrations to black people with rich internal lives, agnostic prayers for those grappling with pain. They’re emotional landmines leavened by the wry bleakness usually only found in great stand-up comedians. Eagle exists in the lineage of They Might Be Giants and Richard Pryor, Freestyle Fellowship and his longtime friend and collaborator, Hannibal Burress.

Within the first act, the plot becomes clear. See “Admitting the Endorphin,” where Eagle raps, “I chase my poison tail and get so high that voices fail.” These are the movies he’d make it he knew how to make movies. Surreal vignettes about waking up with burrito hangovers in hotels you don’t recognize, wondering if you remembered to charge your phone. Aesop Rock and Hemlock Ernst (Sam Herring of Future Islands) pop up as fellow travelers.

No one is better than Eagle at capturing the nauseous disorientation of day-to-day life. The deluge of sports highlights, unread texts and Twitter notifications. The compulsive need to check your phone at red lights and pauses in conversation. But his incisiveness extends far beyond observational humor. “Smiling (Quirky Race Doc)” examines the slights and casual bigotry of daily interaction. “A Short About a Guy That Dies Every Night” is a morbid rumination on death.

These are the returns after long dark nights of the soul. When the noises are loud, the lights are off, and the armor is pierced. Short films that loop over and over again, as soon as you close your eyes.

credits

released March 25, 2016

Vocals: Open Mike Eagle
Producers: Paul White
Featuring: Hemlock Ernst, Aesop Rock

All Songs Recorded at Office/Space Studios
All Songs Mastered by Daddy Kev @ Cosmic Zoo
Open Mike Eagle is Published by Wichita Songs/Domino Music Publishing

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