Open Mike Eagle
Photo by Kim Newmoney

Open Mike Eagle has shared a new video for his song “Every Single Thing” off his EP What Happens When I Try To Relax directed by Spencer Garland. The video follows the existential crisis of main protagonist Michel (Tracy Kernell) as he tries to reconcile the arbitrary value of the things around him with any real meaning or truth.

Garland’s focus centers heavily on the socio-political climate of the last few years—one of the opening shots of the video is of a despondent Michel staring at Donald Trump’s image on television—with Mike delivering not long after: “You can’t impeach at least give us summer breaks.”

As Michel piles on the effigies to burn, from a golliwog caricature doll to a MAGA hat, Mike delivers on his cutting lyricism. “And black life value is not a size,” he asserts—then delivers what sounds like a call-back to Trump’s condemnation of “both sides” in the Charlottesville neo-nazi protest last year, in which the life of Heather Heyer was taken by a white-nationalist: “You should be on the floor crying / How it both sides, we ain’t both dying.”

Garland’s video adds a whole other tangible depth of emotion, angst, and hope to Mike’s already biting rhymes—and to one of the best songs on What Happens When I Try To Relax.

“My main inspiration for the video was the book Nothing by Janne Teller. I read it in my senior year of high school and it stuck with me. The plot of the book centers around an existential 7th-grader named Pierre who claims that nothing has meaning; the rest of the story revolves around his classmates gathering objects of intrinsic value trying to prove him wrong,” Garland said of the music video. “The protagonist of the is an analog of Pierre and the rest of the characters from the book. He’s trying to comprehend the turbulence around him. The last few years, for both me personally and the world at large, have been in a constant state of unrest especially in regards to what has meaning, and what is true. The box is a curated collection of items that have seemingly intrinsic value in relation to this chaos. Michel rejects these objects as holding significance and during his process of nihilistic destruction, he instead finds his personal meaning through music and creation, a way to make sense of the ever-changing world he navigates.”

Open Mike Eagle will be going on a spring tour this March. You can also see Mike on his upcoming new show The New Negroes with Baron Vaughn and Open Mike Eagle on Comedy Central alongside comedian Baron Vaughn.

Watch the video for Open Mike Eagle’s “Every Single Thing” below!

Open Mike Eagle tour:
3/28 – Milwaukee, WI @ Marquette University
3/29 – St. Paul, MN @ Turf Club
3/31 – Kansas City, MO @ Uptown Theater – Encore Room
4/1 – Chicago, IL @ Schubas Tavern
4/3 – Brooklyn, NY @ Rough Trade
4/4 – Cambridge, MA @ Sonia’s
4/6 – Charlotte, NC @ The Evening Muse
4/7 – Louisville, KY @ Tiger Room
4/9 – Nashville, TN @ The High Watt
4/10 – Atlanta, GA @ 529
4/13 – Tallahassee, FL @ FSU – Club
4/20 – Lansing, MI @ Stoopfest