If there was ever a debate on how tragically unhip Minneapolis is, at least we'd still have Atmosphere. Dynamic duo Slug and Ant have been rocking the local scene, providing local music lovers with the city's answer to rap mogul Eminem.
Despite recent breakthrough success on MTV2, the MC-producer team has remained close to the underground on Minneapolis-based label Rhymesayers, ever since the 1997 release of Overcast!
With Seven's Travels, the duo's first release on punk label Epitaph, Atmosphere loses the edge of previous efforts. Slug becomes a smooth pimp on first single "Refections," an unusually upbeat track, guising the famed aggro lyricist rep as he half sings hooks (Look at your face/And all I could see was myself lookin' back at me).
Slug is the anti-Romeo on "Good Times (Sick Pimpin')," boasting an addiction for insecure women: got a thing for the women who don't love themselves/so either loosen up your hair or tighten up your belt. Slug sends out an angrier message on "Trying to Find a Balance," where he announces: I got some last words/F#ck all of y'all/Stop writing raps and go play volleyball.
He doesn't bother remembering his words on "Apple": just 'cuz you're an MC doesn't mean that you get to be an asshole. Slug turns out to be an asshole to MN fans, momentarily, with an ode to Los Angeles. He tries to recover later with the hidden track's shout out to the Midwest, which is neither better or worse than its rival. Even though it shadows the greatness of the duo's previous albums, Seven's Travel's is sure to bridge the gap between Atmosphere and crossover success.