A while back, I had mentioned in this post that the original version of the song “Bent life” was actually something completely different. It was a song that featured Slug and Eyedea that got scrapped due to lack of focus. Until now, this song had never been heard outside of a small handful of people but Aesop just threw it up for download on his website 900 Bats. Go get “Thorns” here
RIP Michael “Eyedea” Larsen. He was a cool dude and making this song (and others) with slug and Aes was a lot of fun. This was before any of us had really realized what we were a part of. Before making music had any pressure involved, back when it was just us having fun doing something that we loved.
I met Eyedea about 10 years ago. At the time he was Slug’s hype man in Atmosphere and they were both in town for the Rock Steady Anniversary. This was after he had made a name for himself by winning Scribble Jam , but before he had started putting out albums with DJ Abilities and had won the Blaze battle. This was also around the time the idea for “The Orphanage” was birthed. This was to be a super group of underground heads consisting of Aesop, Slug, Eyedea, Illogic and Blueprint. While this project never got off the ground (aside from a small handful of songs that were recorded in Minneapolis over the span of two days) , it did create friendships that bonded everyone.
I can’t lie, that was the last time I saw Eyedea. For a few days, we (The orphanage, Can Ox, Atoms Family) hung out in NYC and just fucked around. It was then that we recorded “Miss By a Mile” , that was later released on “It came from beyond pt. 2”.
I remember being really taken back by how on point Eyedea was. He was much younger than all of us but yet was like a well oiled machine when it came to recording. That kind of skill and exactness is rare to see, especially back then in the days of lyrical miracle rappers who never rhymed the same verse the same way.
We actually recorded a few songs that weekend. One was an alternate version of “Bent Life” (off of Labor Days) which featured Slug and Eyedea. I wish I knew where that was cause it would be really cool to hear again. I seriously have no memory of any part of it EXCEPT Eyedea’s verse. He destroyed that track and ,if memory serves, knocked it out in one (maybe 2) takes. Professional shit.
The third song we did was some truly embarrassing pre-emo emo shit that I think not a single person involved would ever like to see the light of day. Lucky for all parties, I had the only copy and I have no clue where it went. It’s probably buried at the bottom of some box of unmarked cd’s. This is a good thing.
Beyond all the music stuff, Eyedea was a good dude. He was friendly and had boundless energy. I really enjoyed watching him mature as an artist and admired his drive and love of what he did. I wish I had gotten to see him more over the years , if not just to shoot the shit and see, first hand, how he had grown up. My deepest condolences go out to his family and close friends.
Here’s a link to a facebook page that you can donate money to , to help pay for his funeral services.