Open Mike Eagle and Serengeti formed a group, an art rap alliance that was inevitable, right? With the significant artistic and biographical overlap of the two rappers, the formation of Cavanaugh feels long overdue only because the last we heard them collaborate was “Universe Man” in 2012.
Years ago, possibly before rap names were established, Open Mike Eagle and Serengeti were undergrads at Southern Illinois University. The two were joined by Hannibal Buress at the university and if there’s any justice in the universe, someday there will be a campus monument of its three most marginally to relatively famous undergrads kneeling at the feet of Richard Roundtree. Until then, let’s explore Cavanaugh with its first single “Screen Play”.
Produced by Open Mike Eagle, “Screen Play” features Geti and Eagle trading prompts and pitches in narrative over a brooding, watery beat. Serengeti operates in flash fiction that channels the spousal disputes found in Raymond Carver stories, while Open Mike Eagle deals in cataloging the memorabilia into suggestive juxtapositions. Cavanaugh in Gaelic translates to “friend, companion” and “merciful”. How that applies to this project remains mysterious based on “Screen Play”, but it’s off to an intriguing start.