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Atmosphere: Still Alive

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I’m so excited to write this post, I don’t even know how to start. Atmosphere has been my favorite band (DJ-MC duo that tours with a live band occasionally?) since I was eleven years old and spotted a 30-something Slug rapping on a pop-up video, shortly after I discovered the internet.

I haven’t been a fan since the beginning, but I’ve certainly caught up in the past nine years and I’ve certainly buried myself in their music, supporting their stuff even now, as rumors circulate about Slug and Ant just being too old to make relevant music. It’s not that they’re selling out–they’ve stayed at their indie label (that they founded) in Minneapolis–but they are aging. The quality of angst that made Atmosphere unique in the late ’90s and most of the ’00s has just naturally faded away. Ant is 40 and Slug is quickly headed that way. They have families and beer guts. They are getting old. But, hear me when I say this: Atmosphere is still alive.

On April 12th, Atmosphere will release their 7th full length studio album (not to be outdone by their numerous EPs, leaks, compilations, and the “Bad Dub” series). It will be called “The Family Sign.” You can preorder it here. And while you might be asking yourself, who cares, I can’t relate to a 40-year old who raps about his teenage son and bills, just listen. Appreciate Atmosphere for their evolution. They’ve replaced introspective angst with societal commentary, but the music is still great. But don’t let me talk your ear off about this, here’s two new songs off of “The Family Sign,” for your enjoyment. A video:

And an mp3: Atmosphere – She’s Enough by rhymesayers

But do me a real favor. Love and embrace the direction Atmosphere is taking, but more importantly I think for this campus and people today getting into their music–flip backwards in their discography. Listen to everything, not just the slowed-down, more recent stuff. This stuff is great, that’s my point, but the earlier stuff is crucial to understanding Atmosphere. Enjoy it all.

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