If you don’t already know about the band Atmosphere it’s about time you do.
It’s a pair of Midwest natives that have steadily been supplying classic hip-hop since 1997. They are six studio albums deep in their career, and so far there’s no stopping them. They’ve paid their dues and are finally getting some commercial success, but probably not by choice. They stick to their original style and have been perfecting it for more than 11 years now.
Atmosphere has an uncanny ability to make you relate to the struggles of life. The band’s lyrics are thanks to Slug, who explains his point of view with exceptional honesty and passion. He rides the highs and lows of life to the extreme, just so he can tell us about the experience.
Every word has meaning and is extremely poetic, but Slug pulls no punches. Every song tells a story or conveys a distinct theme. Whether it’s a song about hope or one about despair, Slug always gets his point across loud and clear. The track "Me" is a showcase of his knack for mixing and matching rhymes and patterns to amplify the meaning.
The upbeat and comical track "You" is a song every waiter or waitress should appreciate. Slug must have been a server at some point before hip-hop became his career. He talks about the daily grind of dealing with bossy customers in order to survive financially.
The overly honest emcee spills his guts about his struggles with drugs and alcohol on the dark cut "Your Glasshouse."
"Hangover ain’t a strong enough word/it don’t describe what just occurred," he informs us. Slug has always fed off his personal dramas and nothing is new this time around. It’s still the same old Atmosphere that fans have grown to love, and it appears the duo is only getting better with age.
The acoustic rhythm and blues feel of the song "Guarantees" shows the growth and musical prowess of the long time partners. Slug sings/raps what may as well be a normal day of thoughts and actions for him. Chances are you’ve never heard an Atmosphere song on the radio. They may as well be the diamonds in the rough when it comes to hip-hop. They still stay to their original style while exploring new avenues that will catch your attention.
It’s the roses that people don’t stop to smell that Atmosphere magnifies and forces you to take a look at — like a comedian that says what everyone is thinking but no one dares to talk about. Slug admits their faults and victories over the band’s own personal genre of music while vivid honesty shines through. Try to find a Dave Matthews Band of hip-hop with more controversial topics and Atmosphere will top the list.