The rap artist known as Eyedea was an amazing rapper for me in my formative years. His verbal talent, ability to tackle questions of metaphysics & reality and story-telling were way above par. This is a guy, a phenom, who won the HBO blaze battles with his partner slug when he was only 15! I think in some ways he was a genius. His albums “First Born” & “The Many Faces of Oliver Hart” were incredible forays into reality expansion for me. As an older teenager I was blown away by the honesty, intelligence and talent of Eyedea.
Eyedea lost his life only a few years after his entry into manhood. His end was only a matter of time, in my opinion. This boy who became a man had a death-wish, probably because of a sort of alienation that permeated his life.
Numerous times in his work, he said ‘When I die, just forget me.’ That’s why I got so angry when I saw that people from his life ignored the multiple statements he made about it. There is a page on Bandcamp run in his honor by his family and the network of musicians he was involved with. This was launched after his death, and they sell all sorts of paraphernalia… including elastic wristbands with his quotes in the vein of “what would Jesus do?”. Seriously, what the hell? Let Eyedea fade away just as he wanted. His work will endure for those who want it, but to sell knickknacks in his “honor” is distasteful and wrong.
Yes, his people took it hard with his death, they wanted him to live on because he was so talented and his messages worthwhile. But that isn’t the whole story. Besides his wishes for his (lack of a) legacy, his creative output was damaged in the last years. From problems that, frankly, are no one’s business except Eyedea’s, Eyedea’s people, and those of us that were interested enough to listen.
I loved you Eyedea, like a brother. I felt let down by you; in fact, you probably let a lot of people down. But you know what? You offered me more than I ever expected from a burned indy rap CD. You changed my life, kid.
Since you’re here,
Proof enough for you?