This is an mp3 blog attempting to document the gross amount of music I listen to. About once a day, I'll post something I like. If you're a copyright holder on anything I host, get in touch, and we'll settle things in a steel cage instead of a courtroom.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Atmosphere - or - like a piano being dropped from ten stories up

With every notable new-ish hip-hop producer falling over themselves to work with/remix Fallout Boy ('cause yeah, working with sadsack emo crybabies who wear pounds of makeup is definitely going to secure you that street cred you're so desperately looking to attain - at least Lil' Jon has the fucking good taste to work with the Bad Brains in what is promising to be the greatest song of all time), it's made me more apprecative about what I truly like about quality rap production.

Last time I was in California (way too long ago, you crazy desert rats), the then-new Atmosphere album You Can't Imagine How Fun We're Having was pretty much all we rocked in between Amanda making us listen to Soup Herder or Bowling for Nerf or whatever the fuck they're called. Anyway, I'd been a casual fan of Atmosphere before, but this record was killer front to back, in large part because of Ant's inventive, hooky production. Mixing gospel vocals, pianos, live drums, and strings in songs that were obviously rap platforms but structured like rock songs, he made himself into the underground answer to Kanye West.

Of course, it's not all rad production that gives Atmosphere such a gut impact. If I hear the phrase "introspective thug" applied to the group's MC Slug, I'll scream, but it's pretty accurate. How many rappers would eschew Cristal-laden verses for songs about struggling with alcoholism? How many rappers would send an open letter to an ex-girlfriend saying "you can choke on the blood from the tongues you bit"? (Let's not even get started on the uber-bitter "Fuck You Lucy.") Though at times the emotional presentation sags due to sog, it more often than not perfect for sitting up in bed, drinking a beer, and looking at nothing in particular.

For the teen girl in all of us.

One of a Kind:


Musical Chairs:

Party For the Fight to Write:


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