Friday, October 29, 2010

Micheal “eyedea” Larsen

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Micheal “eyedea” Larsen
Spray Paint Stencil'd on Canvas
24" X 36"

October 2010


[This one-of-a-kind piece is now being offered via an ebay auction in which all the proceeds are going to Kathy, Michael's loving mother, and the Eyedea Memorial Fund]

Since his recent passing, I've read a lot of different articles about Michael Larsen and the majority of them have a very similar speech.

Everyone agrees that Eyedea is a staple in the underground hip hop scene and will never be forgotten for everything he's done.

Everyone agrees that he was wise beyond his years and that his lyricism was deep and developed for someone so young.

Truth be told, I'm a fan of Eyedea, but I'm not a crazy-insane-over-the-top fan of his music. Yes, it's good. Yes, it's deep. But I can't think of any of his songs that would make my 'favorite of all time' list.

That being said, here's a [very] short story of why I've taken it upon myself to make a tribute painting and put it up for auction:

A few years back, I went to an E&A + Blueprint show in Montreal. I was so-so excited because I didn't really know much about either acts except that they were well known and respected in the underground scene. I had given a listen to First Born and E and A and in reality, was more curious about how, if at all, Eyedea was gonna pull off stuff like "One Twenty" and "Now" live. I expected one more rap show where some hype dude fills in the blanks and the end of every other line. Boy. Boy. Boy was I in for a rude awakening.

First, he came out accompanied by Abilities and no one else and started with "One Twenty" and instead of being out of breath and dying, he was actually screaming his face off into the mic with 10 times the energy that the recorded version holds. I won't go through the whole show for obvious reasons but by the end, after seeing him kill himself on stage and flawlessly perform back and forth tricks with DJ Abilities that I had never seen before and will most likely never see again, I was aware that I had just witnessed something very special and I felt privileged. His energy level is something that I feel lucky to have experienced and I can't help but feel a little taken aback when faced with the fact that I/we will never be able to experience it again.

After his set, he came off the stage and leisurely strolled though the crowd to get outside. When he walked past me, I extended my hand and said: "That was impressive." He shook my hand, very briefly looked me in the eye and with a chipped-tooth corner smile he answered: "That was depressing?" Before I could correct him, he was gone.

I know he heard me correctly. I kind of thought he was cocky, but in hindsight, I know he was just being his clever, confident self. He was still "on." From the stories I heard on the Rhymesayers Radio tribute show, I now understand he was never "off." He knew how good he was. He wasn't cocky, he was confident. He was totally aware that his and Abilities' live set was something no one else could do.

"They leave our show thinking what these kids do is unachievable/ and they're right/
You never in your life could do as much as we do with just two tech's and a mic."

- Eyedea [E&A Day]

Long story short [kind of]:

I'm a fan of Eyedea's presence as a performer and as a person. His energy level. The way he approached the stage that is life. He was the living proof that hard work pays off and that you can accomplish anything you set your mind to if you apply yourself. It doesn't matter what people say and think... at all. I wanted to make a painting that displayed his overflowing energy since this is how I will remember him. I can say with confidence [learned from the best] that I have succeeded.

This one of a kind piece is now being offered via an ebay auction in which all the proceeds are going to Kathy, Michael's loving mother, and the memorial fund that's been set up. Since I can't begin to imagine what she's going through as well as Eyedea's immediate family and extended Rhymesayers family, I figure it's the least I could do.

[Disclaimer: Of course, I expect some of you will see this as an exposure opportunity for me... to you, I say, exposure is simply a side-effect of what I think is a good deed but definitely not my main goal in this process. I am absolutely not in the business of capitalizing on other people's loss. I am in the business of capitalizing on opportunities to show love and support when/where it is needed and I feel it is greatly needed here & now. I've tried to remain as selfless as possible in this endeavor.]

In the meantime, I send my heartfelt condolences to his family and friends and encourage you all to do the same.

More information about Eyedea can be found by clicking here.

Please feel free to share this with anyone and everyone. It's all benefiting Kathy in the end so please help me help her.