Chris DeLine

Cedar Rapids, IA

Atmosphere “The Rooster”

Published in Blog, Culture Bully. Tags: , .

In 2001 when Atmosphere was introduced to my loosely knit group of friends, Lucy Ford appeared as apart of a sect of hip hop that we hadn’t heard yet. Lyrically the music appeared urban as it tossed around words about the nature of streets life and the surrounding environment; but the album (cassette tape at the time, actually) didn’t use gang violence as a theme or an excuse for which the storyteller lived his life (something unheard of in a time when No Limit Records reigned supreme).

“Nothing But Sunshine,” which has since developed into somewhat of a standard in my own personal collection, unraveled began with a stab at the generation’s turn towards acts like Korn as a majority of the country’s youth began describing themselves as the minority: they were the lost children, the left behind, the abused, etc. But their dramatics were just that, and Slug called it as he saw it in the track’s introduction, “What was my childhood like? What difference does that make, my childhood was messed up…find me one person that had it right, what does that got to do with me rhyming?” Ironic then, that he became somewhat of a demigod in a shortly heralded movement deemed emo-rap, an offspring from the horribly depressing, casually nihilistic movement that could (or can, rather…does emo still exist?) best be represented by bad haircuts and outgoing depression. But in spite of that, the group trudged ahead and recently released the next in line of their ongoing Sad Clown EP series (the Winter edition: Vol. 9, and the Fall, 10), and will follow that up with volume 11, Sad Clown Bad Winter later this month.

The three EPs stand as, essentially, bonus material for the duo’s forthcoming album When Life Gives You Lemons… Given the solid nature of each, on Sad Clown Bad Fall in particular, it can only be assumed that the album is going to stand as one of the best of the year. As an example, this track, “The Rooster,” not only resurrects Slugs focus as that of an observer of his surroundings, but his ability to tell an honest story with a message. The message is simple, but it reminds me of when a friend of a friend offered me up a tape years back and I heard some stories that still stick with me to this day: alcohol, it tends to cause some problems…not necessarily earth shattering in its revelation, but then again…it’s something that I need to be reminded of every now and then.

[This post was first published by Culture Bully.]