Atmosphere is the project of Minneapolis-based white rapper
Sean "Slug" Daley, founder of the "Rhyme Sayers" collective, and
producer Anthony "Ant" Davis.
The latter's arrangements on
the mini-album Overcast (1997) and the full-length
Sad Clown Bad Dub II (2000) are quite predictable, but Slug's
introspective lyrics on
Lucy Ford (2001), that collects three EPs dedicated to a girl by that name,
God Loves Ugly (2002), with the catchy Modern Man's Hustle,
and Sevens Travels (2003), coupled with Ant's new melodic emphasis,
coined the hip-hop equivalent of "emo-core", "emo-rap"
(Always Coming Back Home to You,
Atmosphere's double-disc album
You Can't Imagine How Much Fun We're Having (Rhymesayers, 2005)
was just about the opposite: a collection of mostly uninspired raps that
rarely gather enough instrumental strength to match up to the previous album
(Panic Attack, Smart Went Crazy).
Slug's storytelling dominates
When Life Gives You Lemons You Paint That Shit Gold (2008),
another step towards a more
mainstream format (Shoulda Known, Puppets) despite the moving
Wild Wild Horses.
Murs of the Living Legends crew and rapper Slug of Atmosphere formed Felt
and began a trilogy of albums dedicated to celebrities:
A Tribute to Christina Ricci (2002),
A Tribute to Lisa Bonet (2005), and
A Tribute To Rosie Perez (2009), with their work
overshadowed by Aesop Rock's production.
Trying to go beyond emo-rap, Atmosphere turned
The Family Sign (2011) into an oddly amateurish imitation of vintage
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