I consider Atmosphere one of the best hip-hop groups of all time. Some may argue differently, but both Slug (MC) & Ant (DJ & producer) have created a style that’s helped inspire a new era of hip-hop. Not just that, the two set Twin Cities on the “hip-hop map” (and I will forever be greatful).
In ’95, the two decided to create their own independent label, Rhymesayers Entertainment, with the help of Brent Sayers, Musab S’ad Ali and Derek Turner. Rhymesayers house some of the premiere names in underground hip-hop, and is no doubt becoming one of the best independent labels.
Over their 16 year reign, Atmosphere has created six LP’s with numerous quality hits, and a whole lot of side projects, as well. This is what sets Atmosphere apart from many others, they are consistent in quality, coming out with fresh, innovative music over and over… and over again. For their first feature, I decided to go with Crewed Up because (1) it’s not that well-known, and (2) it features some of Rhymesayer’s best acts.
Crewed Up begins with Stage One’s naturally smooth & melodic voice. He, like most artists one here, seem to produce a naturally flowing wit. Next up, St. Paul Slim takes over with one of the best flows on the track with a humorous & sarcastic rhyme. The next few MC’s (Muja Messiah, YZ, Brother Ali & Tok Wright) do a great job of keeping with the beat, and yet add their own distinct flavor.
I wasn’t the biggest fan of YZ & Blueprint (mentioned later), but compare ’em to today’s mainstream, and they aren’t half bad. I saw Toki Wright & Brother Ali back at college in good ol’ Tucson. I thought Wright did a fine job opening for Ali (from then on I was a fan), but Ali’s performance was mediocre at best, even though I’ve got a lot of respect for his work over the years.
Second to last, Blueright gives a decent performance, but really nothing to write home about. His name isn’t mentioned above because I ran out of room, :/ so i’ll give him a link to redeem myself. :) Finally, Slug wraps (or raps) it up in a way in which is all his own – the man can weave his rhymes with ease (or presumably so). Overall, this may not be on Atmosphere’s “best of” compilation, but it does showcase some of what the Rhymsayers crew have to offer.
Also, mad respect for Ant in providing another fine-tune.
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota
Slug (Sean Daley): MC
Ant (Anthony Davis): DJ, Producer
Label: Rhymesayers Entertainment
Additional Albums: Overcast | God Loves Ugly | Seven’s Travels | You Can’t Imagine How Much Fun We’re Having | […]
Similar Artists: Doomtree | Mel Gibson and the Pants | The Dynospectrum | Brother Ali | Felt | Living Legends
Links: MySpace | Wikipedia | YouTube | Facebook | Last.fm | iLike | MTV | PureVolume | RapArtists | Y! Music | AllMusic
Album: Strictly Leakage
Release Date: December 2007
Featuring: Stage One, St. Paul Slim, Muja Messiah, Yz, Brother Ali, Toki Wright, Blueprint
Download Links: Strictly Leakage (Free Download from Rhymesayers Entertainment)