KCRW’s Private Playlist: Open Mike Eagle

KCRW’s Private Playlist is a listening session with Southern California’s most notable musical figures in their private creative environments. With more than a dozen solo and collaborative projects to his name, Leimert Park’s Open Mike Eagle has spent his career redefining and expanding the parameters of “art rap,” the term he coined as a shorthand for leftfield and avant-garde rap music. He spent the 2010s finding comedy in rap music and American nightmares. On albums like ​”Brick Body Kids Still Daydream” ​and ​”Dark Comedy​,” he delivered hilarious socio-political insights via half-sung verses laid atop progressive production. More recently, he’s made a shift toward examining trauma: his own and his community’s. And on his brilliant new album, “Anime, Trauma, and Divorce,” he probes the darkness of his past and searches for lights to guide him forward.