Minneapolis based rap duo, Atmosphere made it’s roots in the underground rap scene in the 90’s. The two artists Slug and Ant have changed the game of rap music and stayed relevant for nearly two decades thanks to their persistence and touring. Their appearance at Red Rocks Amphitheater on August 28 is one you won’t want to miss.
The original duo that started it all, Sean Daley (slug) and Derek Turner (D-Spawn), met in high school where Slug acted as the DJ while Spawn was the rapper. They originally performed under the name "Mental Subjects” and after a few name changes the group went by “Urban Atmosphere” before shortening the title to “Atmosphere.” After being introduced to producer Anthony Davis (Ant), the two decided it would be a good opportunity to collaborate and learn more from him. They recorded tracks together and Ant taught the duo how to structure their music properly and improve their vocal delivery.
The group joined a collective called Headshots which consisted of other rap artists Musab, Phull Surkle, Black Hole, and The Abstract Pack and eventually created their own record label known as Rhymesayers. The Headshots group released a set of cassettes in 1996 that brought the label some notoriety through NPR’s All Things Considered. Atmosphere’s first album Outcast! got some airplay on college radio stations and widened their fan base. D-Spawn left the group shortly after the album was released and left Slug and Ant to continue the legacy of Atmosphere.
Since then, the duo has created seven more albums, collaborated with numerous rap and hip hop artists and even incorporated live musicians into their lineup. It is easy to see how the group has changed and grown over the years from one album to another but one thing that remains consistent is Slug’s writing style. The songs have covered everything from Slug’s own personal struggles to the struggles of middle class America.