Details of Mikey (Eyedea) Larsen's sudden death over the weekend are becoming a tad clearer, but the cause remains a mystery. St. Paul Police spokesman Andy Skoogman told Star Tribune reporter Chao Xiong that the cause will not be determined until toxicology results come in, which could take several weeks. There was no foul play nor signs of trauma, and Larsen did not have any underlying health issues or a history of substance-abuse problems, the police reported. His mom and two friends found him after he did not show up to an open-mic night he planned to hit on Saturday. For the time being, Larsen's mom Kathy Averill said, "We're not going to make any speculations about what happened."
The rest of the Rhymesayers crew is similarly not jumping the gun and simply posted an R.I.P. message on their site. Brother Ali Tweeted from the road, "We lost our dear, beloved, genius brother Eyedea the other night. Tears and tears. I just can't describe it." BK One also posted on Twitter: "Heartbroken to hear about my friend. He had a great sense of humor and creativity for centuries." P.O.S., I Self Devine and Toki Wright are all in town and scheduled to perform at the "Hip-Hop for Schools" fundraiser for school board candidate Richard Mammen on Wednesday at the Varsity Theater, a show now carrying a lot of extra weight.
News of Eyedea's death quickly became a national story today. MTV, Entertainment Weekly, USA Today and the Los Angeles Times all have it up on their sites. A headline on Yahoo!'s Associated Content site says that he was "perhaps more talented than Eminem." Facebook and Twitter pages are filling up with links to old clips of Eyedea in action. Some of the most popular clips are his battles with Ali and Slug at the Scribble Jam competitions, as well as his championship-winning throwdowns against other rappers at the Blaze Battles shown on HBO in the early '00s. Those clips are too profane to post here but are well worth looking up. There's an excellent, clean clip posted below of Larsen freestyling on the "Wake Up Show" with Slug, who barely gets in a word.
Eyedea's mom has created a Facebook page to raise funds for a memorial service, which she said she is planning to put together in a couple weeks. Click here to donate and/or leave your condolences.