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The mother of late Twin Cities hip-hop star Mikey (Eyedea) Larsen issued a statement Friday afternoon denying that her son was a habitual drug user, and she called his death "an isolated and accidental incident."

Kathy Averill, who found Larsen's body in his St. Paul apartment Oct. 16, went public after the Ramsey County medical examiner said Thursday that "opiate toxicity" had caused his death. Neither the examiner's report nor Averill's statement named any specific drugs, and Averill declined to comment further. However, she did cite prescription drugs as being part of the lethal mix.

"Mikey was at no time in his life a habitual user or drug addict," she said. "Many factors played a role in the death of my son, one being a toxic level of prescription drugs."

Her statement goes on to say: "While this changes nothing, I want people to have a basis for what happened while maintaining some privacy until I am ready to speak further. I trust that anyone reading this will avoid allowing conversations that would in any way desecrate the higher positivity and legacy that Mikey leaves behind."

An internationally known rapper who also wrote poetry and fronted a rock band, Larsen, 28, was last seen out the night before his death at 7th Street Entry nightclub, where DJ Abilities, his longtime musical partner in the Rhymesayers Entertainment crew, had a gig with Los Angeles rapper Pigeon John. Larsen was expected at an open-mic night on Oct. 16 but missed the show, prompting friends to alert Averill of his absence.

Larsen's musical cohorts and admirers continue to honor him with tribute shows even after the sold-out affair that Rhymesayers put on Nov. 9 at First Avenue.

More friends will take part in the "Eye Will" show Nov. 27 at the Turf Club in St. Paul, a fundraiser that will showcase Larsen's visual artwork and feature performances by such frequent collaborators as Carnage, Kristoff Krane, Kill the Vultures and members of Face Candy.

Another St. Paul venue, Station 4, is hosting a tribute Thursday with some of Eyedea's young admirers, including hip-hop trio Sota Boys.

Chris Riemenschneider • 612-673-4658