Tonight in Music: Atmosphere, Blueprint, and morePosted by Gabriel Arguelles
The lights dim as the sound check music fades. Some audience members’ eyes widen with excitement as screams and cheers flood the crowd. A few men casually walk onstage as the applause from the audience swells to its peak. Ant and Slug, the duo that call themselves Atmosphere, finally emerge. It is 2007 at Fuji Rock Fest in Japan, and Atmosphere is killing it. The beats laid down by Ant get the whole audience moving as Slug’s words reach out and grab everyone’s attention.
Atmosphere has the ability to fully captivate their listeners with lyrics about life and an energy conducted from the honesty of every word. Recently, I conducted a interview with Sean “Slug” Daley, and he admitted that he doesn’t play songs he isn’t feeling, saying, “I don’t fake it, I’m not that kind of performer.” He mentioned that there are songs Atmosphere will not perform for years and years. However, these temporarily avoided songs have a chance to return to the set list once the group sees relevance in them again. When describing how his music relates to his life, Slug made the comparison of albums to a scrapbook, listening to different songs from the past is a lot like looking at old photos.
Even though Atmosphere’s music has the tendency to address deeper topics than some of the more mainstream hip hop, Slug doesn’t think any less of that side of the genre. “I don’t judge the other types of rap out there,” says Slug, “it’s all rap and people rap about what they want. For instance, if someone is rapping about money and women it is because they think rap is going to get them those things.” Slug’s lyrics focus on life and manifest happiness because that is what he is interested in. Atmosphere’s latest album, The Family Sign, is about appreciating the people you care about, the people you consider to be your family.
For a chance to win a pair of tickets to Atmosphere, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org with the phrase, “Atmosphere (SoDo 8/22)” in the subject line! Be sure to include your first and last name in the e-mail for the guest list. We’ll holler back if you won! Be sure to follow @SSGPromo for all of our giveaways. – Bertie Magit
Blueprint’s latest album Adventures in Counter-Culture continues his years-long collaboration with Rhymesayers family– Slug even guests (alongside the brilliant and under-appreciated Illogic) on the final song, “Who Do You Love.” The song is a tragic tour de force on an album at least a couple of duds on it, putting Blueprint’s well-thought-out and confident flow on display for everyone to hear.
Blueprint’s career has involved many performances at Scribblejam, runninging his own record label, Weightless Records, an EP dedicated to rapping over samples from The Who, numerous collaborations with Illogic as Greenhouse Effect and RJD2 as Soul Position, an album dedicated to the aesthetic of 1988, and two instrumental records.
Many of you saw him open for Macklemore and Ryan Lewis on their much-lauded spring tour (one hopes a collaboration is in the works). Blueprint, like Macklemore, has turned to a life of sobriety. Many more have seen him either open for Atmosphere or serve as Slug’s hype man alongside Murs on the earlier Atmosphere God Loves Ugly tours.
This is nothing more than a great opportunity to catch an emcee whose star is finally on the rise.