Atmosphere, made up of rapper Slug AKA Sean Daley and producer Ant, is everything I love about hip-hop. They don’t use Auto-Tune and their songs actually have meaning. Although they are relatively well-known in the Midwest, they have had little commercial success. Their only mainstream hit was “The Arrival,” featured on the soundtrack to EA Sports’ “Fight Night Round 3.”
Atmosphere has the ability to draw different audiences, and this album contains a variety of songs that helps define them as artists. Their songs contain elements of old and new styles of hip-hop, which make their songs enjoyable for any lover of the genre.
The low, complex bass lines like on “The Arrival” make it easier for younger audiences to get into this because they’re great for tapping your foot or bobbing your head. On the other hand, Slug’s lyrical depth grabs your attention with his natural storytelling ability and his ease in conveying his message.
This could appeal to an older audience because of the emphasis placed on the themes – the song “Little Man,” for example, describes the joys and challenges of being a parent.
These are just two of the many ways that Atmosphere engages its audience. In addition, while the lyrics sometimes include profanity, they’re seldom vulgar or out of context – which speaks to the group’s maturity.
Even the moods of the songs have the ability to appeal to both young and mature audiences. A song like “Smart Went Crazy” is upbeat; I believe that younger fans will be drawn to songs like this that seem more carefree. Other songs with a slightly more depressing mood coupled with lyrical depth will interest more mature listeners.
I would highly recommend this album along with anything by Atmosphere to any hip-hop enthusiast, specifically fans of Midwest hip-hop.