Minnesota hip hop duo Atmosphere have risen to the top of the independent heap by being confrontational, hilarious and adaptable ‒often at the same time.
Huck’s Fiftieth Anniversary Special collects lessons learned and creative advice from fifty of the most inspiring people we know. Each day we’ll be sharing a new excerpt from the magazine. Today, rapper Slug, of hip hop duo Atmosphere, explains how the group has managed to stay at the top of the independent heap.
#34 – Atmosphere
Hip hop’s true DIY spirit might be best personified by Minneapolis, Minnesota, duo Atmosphere. Long accustomed to being ignored by the bicoastal hip hop power structure, MC Sean ‘Slug’ Daley and DJ/producer Anthony ‘Ant’ Davis founded a record label (Rhymesayers Entertainment) in 1995, a festival (Soundset) in 1997, and a record store (Fifth Element) in 1999 – all before any of their albums broke big. How does Slug feel about a quarter century in the hip hop game?
“I make no apologies for the fact that I don’t know what the fuck I’m doing half the time. A lot of shit is outside my control, and I’m okay with that. That is a breath of fresh air as an artist. I appreciate the fact that my fans don’t expect me to be extra cool all the time. People allow me the room to be the idiot, or the inspiration, or just the exhausted person that I’m going to be. I’m an artist, but another part of me is a small business owner and an A&R guy. All of these things make up the shit that I write about. No matter who I am at any given moment, I can be that – as long as I’m not an asshole. The only time people get mad is when you treat them like shit. But I can’t remember the last time I treated somebody like shit. That sounds arrogant, but I mean it: you don’t have to treat people like shit unless you’re trying to.”
This is just a short excerpt from Huck’s Fiftieth Special, a collection of fifty personal stories from fifty inspiring lives.