Artist Profile: Atmosphere


Rapper: Slug
DJ/Producer: Ant

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Years Active:
1989 – Present

Hip Hop

Notable Songs:
God Loves Ugly
Modern Man’s Hustle
Smart Went Crazy





Hailing from Twins Cities, Atmosphere is the driving force behind many independent hip hop acts. The act consists of an MC, Slug (real name Sean Daley), and a DJ, Ant (real name Anthony Davis). Utilizing his gift of story telling, Slug paints pictures of hardships that people of all walks can relate to through rhymes and flow.

Atmosphere is widely regarded as one of the founders of the underground hip hop genre. Though the underground hip hop movement has slowed down considerably since the 90’s and early 2000’s, Atmosphere remains above the rest as maintaining relevance in a music genre where we’ve seen many rappers come and go.

Slug has a gift of painting vivid pictures of the modern American that anyone can relate to, often speaking about divorce, family dynamics, love (a different side of love), and working America. Ant is regarded as a great producer and DJ, often experimenting with sounds that normal Hip Hop DJs and producers would never touch.

An Atmosphere show can be one of the greatest experiences ever. For one, whenever they perform a song, it never sounds the same as the original song. Why is this? Because Slug raps with a live band. Yeah, a live band. In most rap concerts, the DJ would be in the back playing the beat and the rapper would be rapping their lyrics. For an Atmosphere concert, Slug and the band that he raps with would rehearse their bits and the band would be playing a song that sounds totally different from the song. This makes up for a very enriching concert experience. Here is an example of what I’m talking about:

Slug admits that most of the groups success is resulted in the constant touring that the group does, and one can see why when every song has the potential to be a great performance. After being in the hip hop scene for over 20 years, Atmosphere refuses to go commercial and has stuck to their independent roots. They created their own label, Rhymesayers, and distribute the music themselves. With a very strong and dedicated fan base, Atmosphere will continue to dominate the independent hip hop scene for years to come.

Upcoming Atmosphere shows, concerts, & tickets:

Image via Flickr user: laviddichterman

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