Atmosphere Impresses Again With Upcoming Album’s Second New Single

Courtesy:  Rhymesayers Entertainment

Courtesy: Rhymesayers Entertainment

Indie hip-hop duo Atmosphere—Sean “Slug” Daley and Anthony “Ant” Davis—recently released the second single from the group’s upcoming album Southsiders. The single, ‘Kanye West’ is a solid follow-up to the album’s lead single ‘Bitter.’ Daley writes in the song’s opening verse, “She said she wanted somebody she could take care of/And right then is when we paired up/Pull a chair up and make a space for yourself/You should taste what I felt/It’s probable/That those on the bottom/Gonna hold you accountable/It’s lonely at the top/And it’s also hostile/Everybody got their own course full of obstacles/Don’t let your heart grow cold like a popsicle/She said she wanted someone to treat her as an equal/And right then we started speeding toward Reno/Burnin’ rubber in the burgundy Reagle/Fly like a dove/Then dive like an eagle/I’m a seventy-duce/That year was a classic/Buzz got loose/And we here tryin’ to catch it/She said she was unimpressed/That’s when I stood up and did the Kanye West.”   The very first thing that listeners will notice in this song is the length of the verse. The song’s other verse is just as long. That’s not a bad thing, either. As a matter of fact, it’s a good thing. That’s because it’s so unlike most mainstream rap and hip-hop songs stylistically speaking. Instead of just writing a radio friendly rap song, Daley and Davis have crafted a piece in this song that paints a vivid musical story.

Speaking of writing a musical story, the video for ‘Kanye West’ can be viewed online now at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3JrDVPsVbVA. The companion video, which presents an older Asian man and a younger black woman, is quite the effective companion to the song. The meaning behind the visuals has been hotly debated. Some have gone so far as to say that the elderly man is supposed to represent Kanye West and his waning relevance. Others have made reference to North West, the daughter of West and his wife. Regardless of whether there’s any credence to these theories, the video for the song brings the song full circle. Just as the song will keep audiences listening, so will the companion video. The two together make ‘Kanye West” one more contender from Atmosphere to be one of the year’s best new singles.

Atmosphere’s new album Southsiders will be available Tuesday, May 6th via Rhymesayers Entertainment. It can be pre-ordered now online at http://fifthelementonline.com/collections/atmosphere-southsiders-pre-order and https://itunes.apple.com/album/southsiders-deluxe-version/id828734533. More information on that album, the duo’s new single, its tour dates and general information is available online at http://www.facebook.com/Atmosphere and http://twitter.com/Atmosphere. To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

‘Bitter’ Is A Solid Intro To Atmosphere’s Upcoming LP

Courtesy:  Rhymesayers Records

Courtesy: Rhymesayers Records

Minneapolis, MN based hip-hop duo Atmosphere will release its latest album Southsiders through Rhymesayers Records Tuesday, May 6th.  In anticipation of the album’s release, the duo (MC Sean “Slug” Daley and producer Anthony “Ant” Davis) has released the album’s debut single ‘Bitter.’  The single is a great first impression for anyone that is new to the duo’s music.

‘Bitter’ is a great first impression for audiences that might be new to the music of Atmosphere first and foremost because it is clean. What’s more, it’s not about drugs and alcohol and doesn’t objectify women.  Yet it still has some serious bite.  That is something that is rare in today’s rap and hip-hop industry.  So any radio programmers that might have this single but have yet to check it out should take this into account and give it a chance.  What’s more, the song could be argued to be a battle rap of sorts.  As the song’s title hints, it is about a friendship that has become broken between two individuals.  What’s most interesting in the song is that Daley’s subject that is speaking isn’t even sure what has caused his former friend to become so hateful toward him.  He writes in the song’s lead verse, “Everything used to be so good then/Now it seems like you’re mad at my footprints/I’m only tryin’ to scribble in the book, man.”  There’s a lot of venom in this line.  But it’s justified venom.  Daley’s bite gets even sharper as that opening verse progresses.

As the opening verse progresses, listeners hear Daley’s attitude blatantly change.  It changes from a point of confusion over the situation to more of a confident, defensive attitude.  He doesn’t allow his subject (himself?) to remain the victim.  His subject becomes more empowered, telling his former friend, “It’s not my fault you’re hurting/You must have a lot of free time/Otherwise, why you tryin’ to see mine/Strain ya neck/Let the blame project/Don’t give yourself the same respect/So independent but undependable/We’re all gettin’ old/So take a mental note/And  stop being so covetous/The crime is the punishment/Now run and get a sliver of dignity/You ain’t gotta be a figure of misery/You don’t want to be a victim to victory/Listenin’ to a bittersweet symphony.  His subject is telling that former friend, “Hey, We’re getting older.  Stop being this way.  You’re only hurting yourself! So grow up and stop being so immature!”  This is one hundred percent relatable for any listener.  Who out there hasn’t been in the situation of having a friend that turned on them and started hating them without any explanation whatsoever?  That ability of the song to relate to its listeners is the starting point of what makes the song an excellent first choice for Atmosphere’s upcoming album.  Just as important to the song is its musical side.

The musical side of ‘Bitter’ makes the song an excellent opener for Southsiders because of how well it complements the song’s biting lyrics.  The keyboard line is the starting point of what makes the song’s musical side work.  The keyboard line is an arpeggio of sorts.  The arpeggio is in a minor key.  That minor key adds a certain emotion to the lyrics in itself.  The equally strong bass line makes for an excellent counterpoint to the keyboard part.  The bass line uses more notes than the keyboard part.  But looking at the song from the vantage point of composition, the solid four-count of the bass line’s whole notes actually accents the eighth notes of the keyboard line.  The specific notes of the bass line counter the keyboard line perfectly, too making the two feel even more like one whole.  Add in a chorus comprised solely of low voices at the song’s end, and the song as a whole ends up sticking in listeners’ ears and minds just as easily as anything that is on mainstream hip-hop radio today.

‘Bitter’ can be heard now online via YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MQuXxQwungE&feature=youtu.be.  Fans can pre-order Southsiders now at http://fifthelementonline.com/collections/atmosphere-southsiders-pre-order and https://itunes.apple.com/album/southsiders-deluxe-version/id828734533.  Audiences can hear ‘Bitter’ and more songs from Southsiders Saturday, April 26th at the University of Vermont’s Springfest 2014 in Burlington, Vermont.  The duo is scheduled to take the stage at 1pm ET.  More information on Atmosphere’s upcoming album and live events is available online at http://www.facebook.com/Atmosphere, http://twitter.com/atmosphere, and http://rhymesayers.com/atmosphere.  To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.