When some people hear the word "atmosphere," they think of blending in rather than standing out, no originality — beige, to put it lightly. All of these things go against what Atmosphere represents. Born a white guy in Minneapolis, MC Slug uses this potential disadvantage to his benefit, making quite a name for himself on the underground scene over the past decade as DJ partner Ant keeps the beats fresh. The blog-beloved Slug's rhymes attempt to bring back the social awareness of past artists like Public Enemy, Run-DMC and Grandmaster Flash by focusing on day-to-day issues instead of splashy political statements. His best song by far is "Yesterday," an R&B-piano-based homage to his father — like the majority of his lyrics, it's unflinchingly honest.

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