I love hip hop, and Atmosphere is my favorite rap group. Slug (Sean Daley) is the rapper and Ant (Anthony Davis) is the DJ. They've had plenty of other amazing rappers, DJ's, guitarists and pianists on their songs as well. But Slug and Ant are the core, with Rhymesayers Entertainment. Some other amazing rappers like Aesop Rock, Blueprint, El-P, Eyedea, Freeway, Murs, Musab, and a bunch more that I can't think of, are on this label and it's a really cool thing to see all of these great rappers working together in a solid foundation.
What I love about Slug is his sincerity and his honesty. Conscious rap. A lot of new rap is not 'conscious', but focused around the flashiness and cockiness of wealth and women. Or 'trash rap', it's a different style and genre, the mainstream seems to like it for some reason. That's why they play it at sporting events and weddings and all that other horse malarkey.
Conscious rap is about life and it's struggles, and Slug has been taking that to crowds for decades and has earned the respect he deserves. His lyrics are truly poetic, yet he is only "labeled" as a rapper.
I started listening to him about six years ago and it has really changed my life and inspired me. Discovering his life story scattered throughout his music, his upbringing is truly unique.
His mother died in a car crash when he was twelve, and his father committed suicide a year later. This is not confirmed in any solid way to me, but there are references to it throughout his songs. "Nothing But Sunshine." is primarily about it. I saw it on Wikipedia but cannot find it,,, I still believe it.
I've seen him five times and he is such a great performer. Controlling the crowd, and engaging us with him and ourselves. At North Coast this September 6th of 2015 (1 day before his birthday), he had everyone in the crowd holding hands and hugging. I was reluctant at first, along with the guy whos hand I was holding... But when we finally gave in it was a beautiful moment to be apart of, as I'm sure it was for the rest of the crowd.
His transformation of introspection is really awe inspiring. In his early years in the 90's, he often rapped about his struggles with women, and was generally more angry at the world. Over the past two decades he's brought himself out of his own darkness through his art. With some very philosophically uplifting and self reflective lyrics.
He speaks to me in an indescribable way, and I feel like I know him personally. That's what makes him such a great entertainer. A lot of new rap is about money and hoes, and not their personal struggles as human beings. Which to me, is the root of all great entertainers, actors, comedians, writers etc. included. Taking our struggles, and uncertainties into art to influence and inspire others.
And at the expense of letting others see you naked, completely exposing yourself with the risk of peoples hatred and rejection. Yet it is met with love and admiration to the people who appreciate this kind of unselfish gift giving. It's really a heroic and noble way to make a living.
I could go on and on about Slug because I love and respect him so much, and if I ever met him I would not be able to get enough words out to interpret my appreciation for him.
Also, Ant just has the dopest beats around town. Let's be hones.