According to our sister publication City Pages in Minneapolis, singer and lyricist Micheal "Eyedea" Larsen, who was with indie hip-hop label Rhymesayers and half of Eyedea & Abilities, died early yesterday morning, just a month before his 29th birthday.
His mother, Kathy Averill, found him. She posted on her son's personal Facebook page,"It is with great pain and sadness that I tell you my son Mikey (Eyedea) has passed away," adding, "At this time we kindly request your respect and our privacy as we process this devastating loss. On behalf of Mikey's family, close friends and fans, thank you."
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
Eyedea and his DJ, Abilities (a.k.a. Max Keltgen) had been best friends since the age of 14. According to MTV News,
Eyedea became an underground legend in the late '90s for his freestyle ability, which earned him countless victories in rap battles (including wins at Scribble Jam '99 and Blaze Battle Chicago 2000). His skills on the microphone (as well as his budding turntable abilities) earned him a spot as a sideman for Atmosphere, and he toured with the group just as they were beginning to become big. Later, he formed a group with his friend DJ Abilities (known to his mother as Gregory Keltgen) called the Sixth Sense, which they later changed to simply Eyedea & Abilities.
The duo scored their big breakthrough with 2004's E&A, which was no less abstract than their first album but saw Eyedea's flow develop into a heavier, more accessible sound (though his lyrics remained layered and complicated). By the time they got to their 2009 album By The Throat, they had totally blown open their sound, which now featured a lot more live rock elements and singing on top of rapping (not a surprising development, as Eyedea had also formed a rock band called Carbon Carousel).
Eyedea's mom has set up a memorial fundraiser via Facebook.