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When Life Gives You Lemons, You Paint That S**t Gold


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iTunes Editors’ Notes

Rapper Sean Daley (Slug) and DJ/producer Anthony Davis (Ant) have been representing Minne-ho-ho with pride for nearly 15 years, inspiring a slew of underground hip-hoppers in the process. The duo has always fit in rather well with the alt-indie rock crowd, thanks not only to their DIY distribution (they own the Rhymesayers label), but also to their aggressive sound and dark, vivid subject matter. Slug’s litany of downtrodden and despicable characters continues, only this time around, he's toned down the rhetoric a bit, trading in some of the anger in favor of introspection — more observer (and participant) than analyst. Musically, the synth-driven beats are more understated as well. The rueful lap-steel guitar on “Painting” perfectly captures the mood of regret, but “Yesterday” (again with acoustic piano) is a soulful, even gentle reminiscence about an old flame, and “Guarantees” has only guitar behind the rhymes. Tunde Adebimpe assists on “Your Glasshouse,” a chilling morning-after lament of spins, chills, dry heaves, and a “phone full of missed calls,” and “The Waitress,” a jazzy, flute-infused reflection, has the distinction of a beatboxing Tom Waits.

Customer Reviews

It will grow on you

The first listen to this record I thought that they had totally flopped in an attempt to reinvent their sound. There were a few standouts, but many songs that were uninspired at best. The beats definitely seem to be lacking, especially compared to many of the recent web releases (Sad clowns and Strictly leakage) and the lyrics come off as impersonal and monotonous. However after a few go rounds this disc starts to come together. "Like the rest of us" seems like a wack attempt at R&B and had me extremely worried right out of the gate. The Skinny is a total throwaway song about a "white pimp" and should have ended up on a B-side. "Shoulda known" could have been an Eminem song and makes you cringe when you hear the hook. "Can't break" reminds me of a Limp Bizkit song (ugh!!!) However there are some great songs on this album as well. Puppets is upbeat and the kind of song you crank every time your Itunes shuffles across it. Guarantees is good, although it is not Hip Hop, more like an attempt at a ballad. Painting is a cool new twist on an old sounding Atmos song. Yesterday is a definite head bobber, and a good use of the keys. The waitress has a strong beat, and the lyrics connect. Overall it is not the best atmosphere album to date, but not the worst either. Clearly Slug wrote this from a different perspective, which I think had good intentions but didn't quite get to its intended destination. When Bob Dylan or KRS - 1 (for example) tells a story, you have no doubt he lived that experience (even if they in fact didn't). When Slug tells his tales, you don't necessarily relate to his characters. I guess you could say the lyrics are often cliche' and seem recylced. Regardless, everyone in the world should pick this album up for no other reason than Atmosphere's committment to playing by their own rules. They refused to sign with a major lable, continue to lead the curve in viral marketing, and always keep their fan base front and center in their decision making. They may not get any radio play, but their influence on today's music scene is everywhere. Don't burn this album, don't steal it off the internet. Pay the $10 to lay a foundation for the future. For all music to be made by the artist at their discretion, and to be delivered to the fans in any way they see fit. Sean has hustled his way into pop culture, and you gotta appreciate that style. Minneapolis hip hop continues to be the only place in the country bringing fresh ideas to the industry.

End to end burner

This is different compared to the last album. It sounds like a follow-up to the Lucy/Ford EP's, where as YCIHMFWH sounded like a follow up to Overcast because the content was more hip-hop oriented and less "personal". I hope that makes sense. This is a great album though; there is no filler. You can listen to it from end to end which is a rarity in music now, not just hip-hop.


When they leaked this album on their myspace for like a day, my computer was stuck on their website "The Waitress" has an awesome beat, "me" and "Yesterday" are good hit home atmosphere classic style songs, I'm still gettting used to "you" and all the rest of the tracks are bomb. Ant and Slug really have it going on this one.


Formed: 1998 in Minneapolis, MN

Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap

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

Atmosphere are a hip-hop group from Minneapolis centering 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 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 Ant (Anthony Davis), as...
Full Bio
When Life Gives You Lemons, You Paint That S**t Gold, Atmosphere
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Customer Ratings