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When Life Gives You Lemons, You Paint That S**t Gold (Bonus Video Version)

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Album Review

As the group that helped create the term "emo rap" and give Minnesota and Midwestern rap a place on the map, Atmosphere clearly feel a relative amount of freedom to express themselves however necessary on When Life Gives You Lemons, You Paint That S**t Gold, their fifth studio full-length. As he has on the duo's past albums, MC Slug plays the role of the storyteller, describing the lives of his various characters, all down on their luck (drug addicts, single mothers, homeless men) and struggling to just make it from day to day. The vitriol and anger that were found in Slug's earlier rhymes, however, has left — along with much of Ant's heavier production — and are replaced by lyrics that, though equally reflective, take a more resigned view of the world. These are people trying to cope with what they have and who they are, people who have accepted the facts that make their lives reality, who are no longer demanding something different. "They fight about money, they fight about life/So she concentrates so so hard on the music/And loses herself inside the bass and the movement" he rhymes in "In Her Music Box," describing a little girl, and in "Yesterday" he admits that "Leavin' me was probably the best thing you ever taught me." Slug has never been one to gloss over the ugly details, and when his characters are broken (and they all are, to varying degrees), he makes sure to let everyone know. "Your Glasshouse," which features TV on the Radio's Tunde Adebimpe on background vocals, tells of a woman for whom it "ain't the first time throwin' up in a strange toilet," and who then returned to the unknown bed "and fell back asleep," while "The Skinny" has the lines "Your lips taste like his dick/I can always tell when he's been in your whip," his pronunciation of that final syllable particularly exaggerated. The self-loathing and depression from Atmosphere's other albums are both still here, but they're less intense and immediate, reflected in Ant's concentration on live guitars and keyboards, a wholly more organic presentation. This is an understandably more mature group, but fans who've connected to the palpable anger found in the duo's music, if they haven't matured at the same rate or in the same way, may find Lemons to be lacking in the very thing that drew them to Atmosphere in the first place. [The Deluxe Edition of Lemons also comes with a hard-cover children's story, written by Slug and Ant, a nicely illustrated but jumpy and strangely written tale that hypothetically relates to the album's title. Better is the hourlong concert, taken from a two concerts at Minneapolis's First Avenue in November of 2007.]

Customer Reviews

wow whered this come from

Have to say up here in Canada, I havent ever heard of these guys before but was just blown away with the talent on this album. And its these types of artists that SHOULD be getting the airtime inplace of all the garbage out there that people call hiphop. Its guys like these that really make me confident that hiphop isnt dead at all, you just have to look a little harder to find it.

The only guarantee in life is an album worth paying for.

After 3 years of waiting for Ant and Slug to release a new LP they deliver with "When life.." With the spattering release of EPs and Strictly Leakage Ant and Slug have perfected the art of keeping their fan base happy. Strong tracks on this album are "Puppets," "Shoulda known," "Your Glass house," "Yesterday," "Guarantees," "Wild Wild Horses" and "Vanity Sick." There are some weak points in the album but it does not take away from the experience at all - bad atmosphere is still 100% better then 50 cent. Overall, a great album and worth the $9.99.

Tha Bomb!

Atmosphere is embellished with talent, normally I'm more into lyrical hip hop but I really enjoy the heart that they but into all their work. THIS is real hip hop.


Formed: 1996 in Minneapolis, MN

Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

A hip-hop group from Minneapolis, Atmosphere centers around rapper Slug (aka Sean Daley). The son of a black father and a white mother who divorced when he was a teenager, Slug became entranced with hip-hop, graffiti, and breakdancing, and formed the Rhymesayers collective (originally known as Headshots) with two high-school friends -- Siddiq Ali (Stress) and Derek Turner (Spawn). After some early gigs as Urban Atmosphere, where Slug DJ'ed behind Spawn's rhyming, the pair hooked up with producer...
Full bio
When Life Gives You Lemons, You Paint That S**t Gold (Bonus Video Version), Atmosphere
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