Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Atmosphere - Lucy Ford: The Atmosphere EP's (2001)

I can remember watching one of those HBO-televised rap battles years ago and was blown away that the dudes killing it were from Minneapolis of all places. I can remember Eyedea winning one year, and finding his first album he did with Abilities (2001's First Born). I wasn't blown away by that record, but I remember the clerk at Repo Records in Rosemont, PA (R.I.P.) telling me (I can't remember his exact words) that "I might want to check out the other rappers on Rhymesayers, like Slug or Brother Ali..." Long story short: I went back later that week and sold back that Eyedea album and picked up some Atmosphere.

Atmosphere is DJ Ant (Anthony Davis) and MC Slug (Sean Daley), also two of the founders of Rhymesayers Entertainment, a Minneapolis-based hip-hop collective that put the Twin Cities on the map. This album collects Atmosphere's first three EPs (Lucy, Ford 1 and Ford 2); it features production from a few other guys besides Ant- tracks from Moodswing9, Jel (of the group subtle and the anticon. collective) and El-P (founder of the DefJux label and Company Flow). The track The Woman With The Tattooed Hands is one of the best hip-hop tracks of all-time; I would consider it Atmosphere's signature song, in that it contains examples of all the trademarks of a great Slug rap: smart lyrics, great storytelling and excellent flow and delivery.

Grip this now!

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