Michael “Eyedea” Larsen
AKA: Oliver Hart
November 9, 1981 - October 16, 2010
Occupation: Rapper, singer, producer, guitarist
Cause of Death: Opiate overdose
I chose to start with Eyedea because he is absolutely and without a doubt one of my biggest heroes. I unfortunately did not hear of his music until after his untimely passing. The word that seems to come up most when describing the music of Michael “Eyedea” Larsen is “inspirational”. He was known by his fans for exploring the subjects of philosophy and the human mind when not following a narrative in his lyrics. His family, friends, and fellow artists on the Rhymesayers label cited his sense of humor, dedication to his art, and overpowering, indiscriminate love for everyone as his defining characteristics. He will be missed by his friends, family, and fans.
Michael Larsen (better known as Mikey) started off as an underground battle MC at a young age. “Mikey was the 15 year old kid sleeping on my couch at Scribble Jam, slaying MC’s 10 years older than him. There was nothing anyone could do.” (Mr. Dibbs, producer/founder of Self Core Records) During his circuit, he took top prizes at SCribble Jam ‘99, The Rock Steady Anniversary 2000, and Blaze Battle New York 2000 before being noticed by rapper and founder of Rhymesayers Entertainment Sean “Slug” Daley. So impressed was Sean by young Mikey’s talent that he began bringing him on tours as a second MC/DJ for his rap group Atmosphere before signing him and his close friend Gregory Keltgen as Eyedea and Abilities.
Mikey recorded and released three albums as Eyedea, the last of which was my favorite hip-hop album of all time, By the Throat. By the Throat combines distorted guitar and bass with scratching for a raw and visceral sound with emotionally compelling lyrics that almost sound like a last goodbye. Mikey also recorded and toured with Face Candy, Carbon Carousel, and Atmosphere, occasionally releasing a few albums under the alias Oliver North.
Mikey Larsen is survived by his mother, who continues to manage his site and share stories about him at http://www.micheallarsen.com/.
“Thank you, for givin’ what you had to give, takin’ what you had to take, and makin’ me believe in you. Even though I might be gone forever there will always be a place in my brain that’ll think of you." -Eyedea, "Burn Fetish”