I remember the first time I heard Eyedea. It was my freshman year of college, I had recently met Sammy G, and after a stoney night, we were in his dorm and Sam was showing me what at the time was the biggest hip-hop library I had ever seen on Itunes. After going through a bunch of artists that I had never heard before, but that I later became quite familiar with, we came to Eyedea. He only played me one song: “Now”. I remember literally being stunned. I was shocked that anyone could rap like that, let a lone a white guy. The closest thing I could compare it to was Bone Thugs, but they were clearly so different. I’ve rarely had that strong a first impression from an MC.
Still, I can’t say that I then continued to loyally follow his career. To be honest, his style was too self deprecating in nature for me to really be about it. Yet even with that said, I had, and still have no problem acknowledging undeniable talent, and the man had it. It’s right there in that song.
Unfortunately, I had no idea that he was a freestyle champion, or even in the battle circuit until I read of his recent death. I find that really interesting, because I don’t think of freestyling or battling at all when I think of the Rhymesayers crew. They always seemed like lonely writers to me. To my surprise, last night I came across this video of Eyedea and Slug on The Wakeup Show. Eyedea killed it, and obviously was genuinely coming off the top of the dome. Yet what stands out to me more than his words or his crazy rhyme constructions, is how much fun he appears to be having. Clearly rapping brought tons of joy to Eyedea, and that’s what music should be all about.
So whether you were a die hard fan, never have heard of him, or someone in between: I think we can all agree that it is practically always a tragedy when someone dies at the young age of 28. Especially when you have a gift. Yet while his life my have been short, as long as there are human beings, his music will be eternal. R.I.P. Eyedea.