Review: Atmosphere’s ‘Whenever’ captivates audience through emotional content

Whenever%2C+released+on+December+12th%2C+is+Atmosphere%E2%80%99s+8th+full+length+album.+Much+of+the+content+of+Slug%E2%80%99s+lyrics+have+remained+largely+the+same+as+they%E2%80%99ve+been+throughout+his+career.+He+deals+with+topics+of+depression+%28Slug+was+actually+the+first+rapper+to+be+associated+with+the+term+%E2%80%98Emo+Rap%E2%80%99%29%2C+dissatisfaction+with+life%2C+past+lovers%2C+and+the+experiences+and+sights+of+Minneapolis.%0A
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Review: Atmosphere’s ‘Whenever’ captivates audience through emotional content

Whenever, released on December 12th, is Atmosphere’s 8th full length album. Much of the content of Slug’s lyrics have remained largely the same as they’ve been throughout his career. He deals with topics of depression (Slug was actually the first rapper to be associated with the term ‘Emo Rap’), dissatisfaction with life, past lovers, and the experiences and sights of Minneapolis.

Whenever, released on December 12th, is Atmosphere’s 8th full length album. Much of the content of Slug’s lyrics have remained largely the same as they’ve been throughout his career. He deals with topics of depression (Slug was actually the first rapper to be associated with the term ‘Emo Rap’), dissatisfaction with life, past lovers, and the experiences and sights of Minneapolis.

Rhymesayer Entertainment

Whenever, released on December 12th, is Atmosphere’s 8th full length album. Much of the content of Slug’s lyrics have remained largely the same as they’ve been throughout his career. He deals with topics of depression (Slug was actually the first rapper to be associated with the term ‘Emo Rap’), dissatisfaction with life, past lovers, and the experiences and sights of Minneapolis.

Rhymesayer Entertainment

Rhymesayer Entertainment

Whenever, released on December 12th, is Atmosphere’s 8th full length album. Much of the content of Slug’s lyrics have remained largely the same as they’ve been throughout his career. He deals with topics of depression (Slug was actually the first rapper to be associated with the term ‘Emo Rap’), dissatisfaction with life, past lovers, and the experiences and sights of Minneapolis.

Tannen Holt, Staff Writer

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Stylistically, Atmosphere has been through a lot of changes. After their 3rd album release, “Seven’s Travels,” Slug’s delivery changed. Their sound switched from lo-fi indie rap, to now refined and hard hitting, though a handful of songs off newer albums stylistically mimic earlier Atmosphere tracks.

Atmosphere (if you aren’t aware) is a Minneapolis hip hop duo, consisting of rapper Sean “Slug” Daley and Anthony “Ant” Davis, the DJ and producer. Atmosphere has been together since 1996, and are the co-founders of Rhymesayers Entertainment, an independent hip hop label, based here in Minneapolis and host the Soundset Music Festival.

Whenever, released on December 12th, is Atmosphere’s 8th full length album. Much of the content of Slug’s lyrics have remained largely the same as they’ve been throughout his career. He deals with topics of depression (Slug was actually the first rapper to be associated with the term ‘Emo Rap’), dissatisfaction with life, past lovers, and the experiences and sights of Minneapolis.

Bde Maka Ska, the only single off Whenever, and the first track of the album, was released November 8th, and really sets the tone for the rest of the album. It starts soft, with just a lone harp. From there it begins to build with a guitar and bass while Slug gently serenades you. At 1:10 the beat kicks in and Slug gets into it, with his signature voice crack at the beginning of each bar.

My favorite track off the whole album would have to be Dearly Beloved, the sixth song. I love everything about that song. The song is very mellow, and pays homage to Prince and makes nods to Minneapolis. Also, it features Musab, always a win. The track also has a calming guitar riff and even makes use of a stand up bass towards the end.

In January Atmosphere is embarking on a tour to promote the album called the “Wherever” tour, with the first location being Minneapolis and its last as Saint Paul (after the former sold out within a week). 

The official Rhymesayers website says “the album houses blessed-to-be-alive-raps,” and that’s definitely the impression I got from listening. While Slug voices his frustrations and issues with life, I was never inclined to think he was taking anything for granted.

At face value, the album is good just for existing. I will never be disappointed with an Atmosphere release. The album has rich and dense emotional content. However, I still think nothing will ever top pre-2005 Atmosphere.