The Hip Hop Mortuary

"I wax lyrics so poetic even the most narcoleptic skeptic feels awake and perceptive"

I did a post awhile back introducing Atmosphere and their label Rhymesayers Entertainment... You can check it here. I assume most of you have heard of Atmosphere, as their probably the first group to fit into "mainstream underground hip-hop". Also called emo-rap, presumably because the duo strays away from "Fuck bitches, Get Money"... instead opting to rhyme about everyday marital problems and blue-collar life (pretty emo if I do say so myself). Anyway, as a Minnesota hip-hop-head, the scene 10 years ago was nearly dead... there's always a few people doing there thing... but one person can't support an entire state's musical reputation. When these guys arrived on the scene 10 years ago, they were met with very little attention, as most good rappers are, and it's taken years for critics to pay attention to Ant's superb production skills and Slug's innate rhyming... but now that the world has begun to pay attention, it's pretty funny how much support these guys have gotten from the same people who shot them down a few years before. Aside from creating an extremely well respected record label, Atmosphere has also created a stronghold in underground and alternative hip-hop... After that long-ass intro, let's see what they bring to the table...

The Good:

1. The Arrival- I've always thought that Slug sounds best over these loud-multi sampled instrumentals... and this track is no exception. Only problem is that the lyrics waver from ill to wack and incoherent... beat still fucking knocks though.

4. Musical Chairs- I don't know what the fuck the last two tracks were... but the album gets back on point after this track, although the lyrics are questionable (rapping about Pilgrims and 18th century civilization with no tie whatsoever to the song).

5. Say Hey There- Probably the most brilliant elevator music sample ever... but sadly the slow flow and quick moving instrumental take a while to mesh... you'll be feeling this track halfway through.

8. Pour Me Another- One of countless songs Sean Daly has written about alcohol... this is one of the better ones although it's not all that memorable.

9. Smart Went Crazy- Probably the best song to ever come out of Minnesota (maybe even the Midwest).

10. Angelface- Another one of those songs that's pretty good but not memorable in any sense.

12. Get Fly- A hustlin' anthem for all the non weed carriers. This is one of the better songs off this album, and it's only marred by the last two minutes of the track which nearly put me to sleep.

13. Little Man- Echo the comment from "Smart Went Crazy", this song is amazing in a different way but in the same breadth as song number 8.

This album was very well produced, Ant has always been one of the most consistent producers I have ever heard, and his productions are always enjoyable. Slug is much more inconsistent, he has a few out-of-the park successes "Smart Went Crazy" and "Little Man" which are amazing tracks... but he also has his fair share of missteps: spoken word on lots of the songs, he opts to sing at times, and the lyricism is very shaky.

0-20: Terrible listening experience
21-40: Maybe one good song
41-60: A few good songs
61-80: Half are good songs, half are weak
81-100: Great listening experience, almost all are great songs

I give this album a 78. I noticed that HipHop DX rated this as one of their best albums ever... which it isn't. I don't know if I even recommend a download, you could probably be on your merry way if you just downloaded the standout tracks listed above.

Download Here


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