Atmosphere, the preeminent independent hip-hop duo comprised MC Slug and producer Ant, reassert their status as legends of the genre with the release of their most realized, streamlined effort to date, The Family Sign, due April 12th on Rhymesayers Entertainment. Slug and Ant have distinguished themselves from their peers by composing albums encompassing the entire spectrum of human emotion while tethering each piece to a central aural aesthetic. The Family Sign takes this philosophy to new realms of solidarity with Slug metaphorically touching on themes of fatherhood, loss, love, disappointment and jubilation and tailoring them to the instrumental frame work provided by Ant as well as keyboardist Erick Anderson and guitarist Nate Collis. Lyrically, The Family Sign is evidence that hip-hop wields the ultimate potential to discuss life’s virtues and shortcomings.
The Rhymesayers camp, and Atmosphere in particular, have emerged as an industry anomaly, selling over two hundred thousand copies of 2008’s When Life Gives You Lemons, You Paint That Shit Gold, an accomplishment for any artist. Iconic pioneers of the new music industry model, Atmosphere regularly sell out strings of shows between albums and their 2011 itinerary is slated to include venues with capacities upwards of nine thousand. Performances of this size are, simply put, an unparalleled precedent for an independent artist. Atmosphere have steadily looked forward and continued to retain a tremendous fan-base, finding favor in new, young listeners while their peers are mired in nostalgia and stagnancy.
Slug and Ant have united a body of devoted fans that religiously subscribe to the idea that creativity, as a microcosm for life in general, is a give and take, counterbalanced and anchored by appreciation for ones friends, family, and audience. This philosophy is what The Family Sign embodies, and it’s the key to the tremendous legacy that Atmosphere continues to establish.