Lyrics That Mattered: A Conversation about Micheal Larsen

Post and featured image by Connor W

Many hip hop artists today rap about topics relating to partying, sex, alcohol and drugs. Micheal Larsen, better known by his rapper stage name “Eyedea”, discusses the the same topics seldomly but with one major difference compared to many other artists. Micheal does not promote or idolize any of these topics. He instead discusses the emotional side of these topics in a thought provoking fashion, that can have even the most non-hip-hop-head person think about their own decisions.

Read Between The Lines

Micheal, in his raps, does not come out and say what exactly he is discussing. This causes the listener to focus and delve deeper into what is being stated in the lyrics. By following the iceberg theory Micheal has already managed to differentiate himself from other rappers, even when he does speak about the stereotypical “rapper topics” of, sex, drugs, and guns. To stress even further that Micheal’s music requires focus and rewinds, is the song “Lines”. In the chorus he repeats the word lines over and over again representing that you will have to listen closely to relate to the upcoming metaphors and imagery in the song. Not only does he say a word repeatedly he too in the background of the recorded lines chant says “Read between ’em color outside of ’em/ I go beyond the lines you let define you right/ No better table we got lots to draw/ Cause it’s a thin line between a thick line and no line at all/”. These words represent the words that we hear that define us and the song. It explains how all of those words have a deeper meaning than just their sound and definition. You can read the rest of the song here:  Eyedea – Lines Lyrics | MetroLyrics   (warning there is swearing, it is a rap song what did you expect?).

Common Topics

As said earlier, Micheal likes to add new perspectives on topics common or uncommon. Such as narcotics. Many rappers such as G-Eazy, Lil Wayne, and many other terrible named artists, tend to talk about how great weed and alcohol is. Another common topic in hip hop is fire arms. Lots of rappers talk about murder and gang warfare. Idolizing this awful life in the process, making it out to be that their actions are badass. Now I understand that it is their own prerogative to use these items, but to rap about how awesome drugs are or how cool it is to load a pistol and unload is no longer unique. It is a highly unoriginal copout. It is a form of mob mentality that I hate to see in music, where the artist does not seem to be speaking from the heart any longer and just does whatever it takes to seem like a cool person.

Eyedea’s Interpretation On Drugs

Micheal has a different approach to these narcotics though. Sadly Micheal is an addict, but he did not view his dependency as a fun party going necessity. He saw it as a crutch, but definitely thought they felt good. He used various drugs to escape reality mostly. It helped to numb the pain of a breakup or other sad occasions. He knew how awful this escape was, but when your mind is addicted it is hard to break away from such a thing. So being a introspective rap artist, Micheal wrote a song on the subject. It is called Perfect Medicine. With lines like: “All Mikey ever wanted was all of her heart/ I’ll go for a short walk in the long run/ When the spores spread to the lungs/ Its all nails to the tongue/” and “I’m a slave, you’re a story, but your bravery is boring/ Lick your lips, point ’em at my heart, and cut it open for me/” it really hits hard to hear words next to each other like this. In the second quote, Micheal explains he’s a slave. This could represent two things, he is a slave to drugs or a slave to his ex-lover’s love. Either way, you cannot have one interpretation without the other. Drugs are his happy place after a relationship fails, and continually throughout the song explains his pain of addiction and how it seems to be the only way to get his mind off the sad subject of a break up. You can hear and read the rest of the lyrics here: http://youtu.be/9grV1fm1l7I .

Eyedea’s Interpretation On Fire-Arms

Micheal was not a gangster, and he was not a killer. He did own a gun once, but eventually ended up getting rid of it. He was not against fire-arms, but did not quite see how they were viewed so religiously by some, and why they were spoken about with pride in various artist’s rap music. Rather than following the trends or changing his belief system, he wrote a fictional song about how a man who owned a gun was so stressed out while owning it because he believed he may eventually need to kill someone or run into trouble. This is a story driven song, but it is a new and uncommon interpretation on fire-arms. Especially in hip hop. The song is called Time Flies When You Have A Gun. The man in the song’s “paranoia kept increasing/ [and] He kept imagining a tragedy, as if it was inevitable trying to prepare himself/ For how he’d feel if he had to steal a life to save a loved ones or his own/”. The song continued onward, explaining that “That soul-less piece of metal was the boss in the relationship [the man] bought it to keep him safe/ But it just made him sick and it wasn’t until the day that he got rid of it that he felt like he was safe/ No longer a slave to that piece of s***”.” These lines in the song do a great job of explaining a man’s irrational fear, and showing the guns are a good source for a defense but mentally can lead to immoral situations. The rest of the lyrics are here: http://genius.com/Eyedea-and-abilities-time-flies-when-you-have-a-gun-lyrics/ .

What’s The Big Eyedea?

Micheal or Eyedea, is definitely not your average rapper. He is very intelligent and philosophical in almost every one of his songs. Even the b-boy sounding ones have a sense of intellect behind them. There is so many songs by this man, whether he is performing solo, or in one of his groups Eyedea and Abilities, Carbon Carousel  or Face Candy. There is a massive song list, and I barely even scratched the surface in this blog. This is only an introduction to those who have not heard of Eyedea. Even after his death on October 16th 2010,  his music continues to touch me and thousands of others. I hope I showed you what he was capable of musically, even if it was just a small glimpse between three songs. If you are interested in lyricism, imagery, and anything weird you will enjoy Eyedea.

Side Notes

Eyedea was not only a lyrical rapper/great writer, he was also a great  freestyle battle rapper. He won many tournaments such as the HBO special known as Blaze Battle. Freestyling was not an only battle oriented thing either, he would also just do it for fun alone at shows. Another talent he has when it comes to rapping is rapping fast. In the song Now, he said over a hundred words in sixteen seconds. You can listen to Now here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PMyZrTltZgg and an excellent freestyle he preformed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P3pxaTtFvqM .

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