I have a special allegiance to Atmosphere. I don’t think any music, period, has had such an impact on my life, my personality, my taste, my memories, me. I grew up outside Minneapolis, the city was the only sign of life on extended winters and slow summers in a small town. As soon as we acquired a drivers license we there every day, stomping around Hennepin and Lyndale. Slug’s voice sounds like home to me. God loves Ugly feels like growing for me, and I remember stealing my sisters i.d to get into First Ave for a Seven’s Travels show sometime in high school. I have every album, every e.p, every piece of vinyl they have printed and have been to more shows in more states than I could ever count or remember. It’s an allegiance bred into my bones by growing up on a steady diet of his rhymes when it felt like nothing and no one in the world could ever understand what it was like to be young and stuck in the Midwest. He gave us something to be proud of and now here I am at nearly twenty five, and still waiting patiently and enthusiastically for new music. His newest album, The Family Sign, was released earlier this week on itunes, buy it. I’ve spent a few days with it, mulling through the lyrics, closing my eyes to decipher which beats I like best, and deciding the inevitable question; is it as good as the old stuff we grew up on? Much like the album itself the answer is multi dimensional and intensely personal. Here is an interview I conducted with myself.
Q: What is your overall opinion on the album as a whole?
A: Well, I’d have to start by stating that, yes, once again, I love it. It’s different, but I have respect for artists that are capable of evolution. I think I would be disappointed if he were delivering me the same material I fell in love with at fifteen. Is it better, I don’t know yet. The album as a whole is slower than anything we have heard from him. While there have been previous tracks with a similar tempo, this entire album rides on a swagger rather than his usual cut throat delivery.
Q: You somehow just answered that question without actually answering it I think, what about his lyrics? As a rap artist isn’ that one of the most important elements?
A: haha yes, I suppose it is. I think the lyrics have fallen in suit with the evolution of the sound itself. They are more grown up, a lot less of a fuck you to the world, a lot less funny. I dig it, but I’ve also grown up too. I don’t think this album would have as strong of an impact on adolescent me as the albums that came out during those times. I feel like I have grown up surrounded by this music, I feel like it’s growing with me. It’s good, but no it’s not the same as it used to be.
Q: Is that a good or bad thing?
A: It’s not either and at the same time it’s both. I think it’s less affective in that gut wrenching find solace from the world sort of way, but musically I think it’s better and that’s a good thing.
Q: Spending some time with the album what has stood out for you?
A: Well, I usually make notes like this:
*sounding most like an old groove: “My Notes” it’s articulate, creative, and fierce. It makes me want to drive around the lakes on a spring day with the windows down smoking a spliff.
*most likely to play in my bedroom late at night while I write: “Something So” and “Who I’ll Never Be” poetic, slow, and heartfelt these are songs where I see love in the growth made on this album.
*favorite beat: “Ain’t Nobody” I like the Big Bad and Ugly feel behind it. And “She’s Enough” it makes me want new speakers in my truck, haha.
*favorite one liner: “let’s not make this an issue, but the truth is I don’t miss you”
Q: any last sentiments on the album for now?
A: I’d say thank you if I could. Thank you for this one and every one before it. I am also really curious to see how this material is delivered live, and I can’t wait to see him on tour in Pomona this May.
Thanks for stopping by.