October 16th 2018
“Mi Vida Local”
I hadn’t heard the name ‘Atmosphere‘ in a long, long time in the Hip Hop community. Last I heard from them was from when an old Air Force buddy of mine used to listen to them and send me recommendations. Although I respected the style of the group (duo?) and the whole Rhymesayers Entertainment record label, I found it to be pretty depressing music. Remember, this was before the era of touchy hipsters and the whole Folk music revival. So when I found their name listed on the upcoming albums list for this month, I was excited to hear the album. For those of you who have been reading this far and have no idea what the hell I’m talking about, well, here’s the deep dive.
Atmosphere are a Hip Hop duo from Minneapolis, Minnesota comprising of rapper Slug (Sean Daley) and producer/DJ Ant (Anthony Davis) who are both founding members of the aforementioned Rhymesayers Entertainment (past and present artists signed to the label include Dilated Peoples, Aesop Rock, Brother Ali, MF DOOM, and Mac Lethal). Prior to the release of their first album (Overcast!), there was another member, Spawn (Derek Turner) whom Slug met in high school in the mid-to-late 90’s. They went by the name ‘Mental Subjects’ before changing their name to ‘A Rhythmic Culture’ and finally ‘Urban Atmosphere’. Spawn was the rapper and Slug was the DJ before Spawn convinced slug to start rapping as well.
Well, it’s been ten years since I’ve heard from Atmosphere, but they have been consistently been making albums every two to three years since then. ‘Mi Vida Local‘ is their seventh studio album released on October 5, 2018. The album has twelve songs at forty-nine minutes long and a mere three of those twelve songs have five feature artists: Cashinova, The Lioness, deM atlaS, Musab, and The Dynospectrum. I find it very promising when rappers or rap groups have fewer feature artists in them, as I find that having too many feature artists could mean that they are trying to over compensate in terms of quality. The single ‘Virgo‘ was released on video more than a month prior to the release of the album and you can view it below:
‘Virgo’ official music video by Atmosphere
The album holds a much less somber or grim sound than what I used to compare their sound to on earlier albums. Also, I find Slug has matured a lot lyrically while Ant has improved so much in terms of sound quality on the mix. I would recommend this album for a road trip or maybe a hike or bus ride as it still holds their signature chill element to their music. This isn’t for your conventional Hip Hop tastes, but if you’re looking for some diversity in Hip Hop after a long day, this is a good avenue to take. One Love!
Stay tuned for the next edition and be sure to follow me at @stickykeys! Also if there are any albums you would like me to review, drop a comment below.