In the new video for “Headass (Idiot Shinji)” from his album Anime, Trauma, And Divorce, Open Mike Eagle recruits comedian Jak Knight (who’s crafted a niche lane for himself as rap’s go-to cameo comic) to break down the meaning behind the slang term in a segment titled “How Black People Talk.” After a fed-up Professor Jak reaches his limit of explaining the phrase — which doesn’t take long — he pops in a VHS (ah, nostalgia) of the actual music video and lets Mike and Video Dave do the talking.
Because Open Mike Eagle has such an absurdist streak, he naturally appears as a person with a literal gluteus maximus on his cranium to lead a “headass support group.” Lyrically, Mike and Dave recount some of their headass, over-analyzing moments from past relationships and their anxieties about their rap careers.
If I can be headass for a moment here, I feel like I need to explain where the “Idiot Shinji” portion of the song’s title comes from for those readers not well-versed in the first item from Mike’s album title. In the anime Neon Genesis Evangelion, which is about (among other things) a lot of trauma and the ways people deal with it (or refuse to), the lead character, teenaged robot pilot Shinji Ikari, is nicknamed “Idiot Shinji” by his fellow teenaged robot pilot Asuka Langley due to his tendency to overthink pretty much every situation he finds himself in — including the life-or-death ones they frequently encounter as the pilots of giant robots.
So, it all ties together with the theme of anime and trauma and general headassery, which is something Open Mike Eagle is very good at doing on his new album Anime, Trauma, And Divorce. The album’s out now on Mike’s own Auto Reverse Records and you can listen to it here. You can also watch the classic anime Neon Genesis Evangelion on Netflix, but unless you too would like to be traumatized, I don’t recommend it.