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Atmosphere You Can't Imagine How Much Fun... Rhymesayers • 2005

Only a few months ago, 'Felt2' came down on us like a bomb; the freshness, the coolness! This time around, emo rapper, anti-hero, and stalker Slug joins producer Ant for another joint venture. It's clear that both artists have evolved and like their music wasn’t phat enough already they're now takin it to an even higher level. Atmosphere wouldn't be Atmosphere though if the album title wasn’t meant to be sarcastically, but…some of the music on this album, and even the lyrics, are pretty optimistic.

The opener 'The Arrival' for instance (and yes, the beat was made before Visionaries’ 'Pangea' where the same sample was used) where rappers are viewed as saviours of the music industry 'They've arrived with nuthin but the word and their history, take a can of paint and try to decorate the dignity' and the optimistic beat of 'Get Fly' of which the beat is gospel inspired and ends with a great Mankwe Ndosi outro, where she sings a bluesy lullaby...so long optimism! The scorn, sarcasm, criticism and irony sets in, as Slug deals with serious issues such as (drug) addiction in 'Panic Attack' 'Look honey everybody needs a help-up buddy, nobody’s drug free, the streets would be hella bloody', the death of a fan in 'That Night' – 'That night, the sun went dark, now watch everyone on the tour bus fall apart, that night, Lord have mercy, the music died that night in Albequerque' and the emotional message for his son in 'Little Man', of course not without his usual irony 'I watch the way you try to keep your mommy happy, daddy learned that from you, you’re supposed to learn that from daddy.'

The production is a mixture between up and down. The album opens with hardcore drums that we had to miss since the late 80s, 'Panic Attack', 'Hockey Hair' and ‘Watch Out’ (what a drumbeat!), which is also an old school dedication 'I stole moves from KRS one, a little Big Daddy Kane and some DJ Run, and then we took our life and made it into a song and look nowadays Rhymesayers is on', the other productions are made of soulful samples and piano stabs, drained in melancholy, such as 'Say Hey There', 'Pour Me Another', 'Smart Went Crazy' and 'Little Man'. The emotional 'That Night' is one of the strongest productions, with menacing, pounding drums and an aching voice sample.

Like 2005 wasn’t fun enough already, they had to drop this…Ant has become a monster behind the boards, and Slug, well, he's just Slug, but a few years older, wiser and a little bit more optimistic ('Fuck a classic album, give my life 5 mics') than he used to be, still a bit doubtful about women, but even that has changed. Atmosphere's fifth release is their best yet and it's in our top-3 of the year, not a single doubt about that!

POSTED ON 10|03|2005 by cpf

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