Novel eyedea

MC Eyedea and DJ/turn-tablist Abilities continue to prove that white guys can rap. The duo has won several high-profile freestyle competitions including the Scribble Jam ’99 and the 2000 Blaze-Battle World Championship in New York City. Eyedea & Abilities’ 2001 album, First Born, caught the attention of music critics who hailed the duo for its mix of introspective lyrics and moody sound structures. “First Born is a decidedly indie-style hip-hop album full of intricate wordplay, austere beat science and heady lyrical content,” wrote Michael Endelman of URB Magazine. “This is hip hop as therapy session—Freudian funk for distressed heads.” While the duo received accolades for its different approach to hip hop, it also found itself lumped into a new sub-genre used to describe emotionally driven hip-hop with a punk DIY ethic: emo-rap. While the duo dismisses such a term, Eyedea says he sees how the music has attracted a punk rock audience. “There’s the kid in high school that says he has to be different,” he told the Argus Leader earlier this month. “He looks into the underground and gets into Eyedea. It’s almost by default.” Eyedea & Abilities are touring in support of their new album, E&A. They perform April 18 at the Bombshelter Live, 45 W. Second St. Doors open at 9 p.m. Tickets are $20. Call 329-1952.—Kelley Lang