Open Mike Eagle Perfects The Craft Of The Concept Album With ‘Brick Body Kids Still Daydream’

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Concept albums are a funny thing.

For whatever reason, artists are drawn to them. The idea of a single narrative over the course of a twelve-song collection is especially appealing to rappers. It would be; rap, after all, began as a form of storytelling in the service of a singular idea — “I’m the flyest; I’m the richest; I get all the girls,” and so on.

However, for the most part, this type of album falls short. Call it a drawback of the creative process or a result of the average rapper’s short attention span, but rarely has the execution of these compilations ever matched the ambition of the concept.

Fortunately for Open Mike Eagle, he’s done a lot better than most with Brick Body Kids Still Daydream.

Somehow, Mike, a native of the Robert Taylor Homes projects in Chicago, has managed to synthesize a complete and fully-realized concept project, from the twelve songs to the rollout and promotion — just peep the perfectly-constructed website he set up to plug the album. He’s perfectly captured both the sense of nostalgia that we wished to evoke, and the creative flights of imagination of a young kid growing up in a tough spot and making the best of it.

The concept of Brick Body Kids, basically is similar to that of Lupe Fiasco’s “Daydreamin’” from his debut album Food & Liquor: transforming the high-rise, low-rent, government-owned “affordable housing” apartments into something more, influenced by cartoons and comics as much as gangs and drug trade.