Open Mike Eagle is a rapper. Well, he’s a rapper in a very general sense of the word. More specifically, and according to Open Mike Eagle himself, what he dabbles in is Art Rap. You know, it’s like rap. But artsy.
He’s also a huge They Might Be Giants fan. That fandom helped inspire his self-defined style, which Vox helped explain earlier this year in one of their reliably informative explanation videos. Back in March, the Los Angeles-based art rapper dropped the album, Hella Personal Film Festival, his collaboration with the British producer Paul White, who has worked with Danny Brown, Charli XCX and more. Today, the duo released a video for one of the more note-worthy tracks on the album, “Smiling (Quirky Race Doc.)” The track addresses the casual racism Open Mike Eagle faces and the different way people react to him based on his location.
“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”
Tackling the sensitive issues of race and intolerance with his impressive ability to dance between humor and realness, Open Mike Eagle is almost surprisingly relaxed over the zen-like production by White. The video, directed by Alex Clark, presents literal representations of Eagle’s rhymes, mixed with honest images of the rapper strolling through city streets. Watch it above.