I just went on a big record buying spree today. I got 13 new records, two of which include Atmosphere’s classic albums Sad Clown Bad Summer 9 and When Life Gives You Lemons, You Paint That Shit Gold (the special limited edition version). I’m about to keep them on repeat for the rest of the night.
If you’ve never heard of these two outstanding Atmosphere albums, I highly recommend you give them a listen. These are the songs I’ve posted from them thus far.
Sad Clown Bad Summer 9
When Life Gives You Lemons, You Paint That Shit Gold
Atmosphere - Bird Sings Why The Caged I Know
If you didn’t know, Slug has had a lot of relationship problems throughout his life. Consequently, many of his songs that reference women are specificly directed at his ex-lovers, and are inherently emotionally and lyrically aggressive. This is off of Slug and Ant’s solid 2003 album Seven’s Travels. My favorite song off this album is their classic Always Coming Back Home To You, which I feel is one of their all time best songs.
"Get the bird, bring her down to the ground from out the air. Gotta tear her apart, let me at her first. Sink her to the level of the rest of us that inherit the earth."
My Song Rating: 8.3 out of 10
Atmosphere - Scapegoat
Atmosphere’s older music has a distinctly different sound when compared to the kind of hip-hop they make now. Ant's beats are more boom-bap in nature and Slug's flow is a little more jagged and raw. Very 90's in style. This is off of Atmosphere's 1997 album Overcast. It’s a great album, but it’s definitely not as good as their newer works, such as You Can’t Imagine How Much Fun We’re Having or When Life Gives You Lemons, You Paint That Shit Gold.
"It’s women, it’s the plight for power, it’s government. It’s the way you’re giving knowledge, slow with thought control and subtle hints."
My Song Rating: 8.7 out of 10
Atmosphere - The Waitress
Throughout the years I’ve heard a few people say “Biggie is one of the best hip-hop story tellers ever, if not the greatest”, and all I can do is shake my head. Don’t get me wrong, Biggie’s damn good, but he’s no where near the best when it comes to emotional lyrical illustration. Slug of Atmosphere easily out does almost ever rapper in history when it comes to lyrically depicting a story that captivates the listener to the point where they become legitimately emotionally invested in the song’s characters. It’s one of the many reasons why Slug is a hip-hop legend in my book. This song is off of my favorite Atmosphere album When Life Gives You Lemons, You Paint That Shit Gold.
My Song Rating: 9.2 out of 10
Atmosphere - Painting
This is from Atmosphere's outstanding album When Life Gives You Lemons, You Paint That Shit Gold. Painting's instrumental is one of my all time favorite beats from Ant, who is one of my all time favorite producers. I heard this on NPR a while ago. It was one of the instrumentals they used for a transition. They've actually used a few of Ant's instrumentals for transitions…just one of the many reasons why I love NPR. As always, Slug’s lyrics are profound and sync up to the beat exceptionally well.
My Song Rating: 9.0 out of 10
Atmosphere - Don’t Forget
Just one of the many amazing hip-hop songs from Atmosphere that perfectly demonstrates how real lyrics will always trump one-dimensional/ignorant verses. This is from their EP “Sad Clown Bad Summer Number 9”.
My Song Rating: 9.5 out of 10
Atmosphere - 4:30 A.M.
Some classic slug. Whenever I play this song at 4:30 A.M. on a weekend, a big unsober smile always spreads across my face. Haven’t done that in a minute, probably should at some point though.
My Song Rating: 9.6 out of 10
Atmosphere - Sunshine
This is a true classic of hip-hop classics, and overall one of the best hip-hop songs ever.
"At a standstill with how bad I feel. I think I need to smell fresh air, so I stepped out the back door and fell down the stairs. The sunlight hit me dead in the eye, like it’s mad that I gave half the day to last night. My bad sight made me trip on my ass, right into that patch of grass like that’s life. All of a sudden, I realize something…the weather is amazing, even the birds are bumpin. Stood up and took a look and a breath, and there’s that bike that I forgot that I possessed."
My Song Rating: 10 out of 10