Atmosphere The Fun EP (Happy Clown Bad Dub 8)

[Rhymesayers; 2006]

Rating: 1.5/5

Styles: underground hip hop
Others: Aesop Rock, Sage Francis, MF Doom

"If I felt as if I had something special to tell/ Why would I work against myself and hide it under my belt?" –"In My Continental", Slug (circa 2002)

Slug peaked on Lucy Ford. His most brilliant songwriting emerged from that period. His lyrics were a fine balance of the everyman's struggle described in simplistic terms and a thematic depth and complexity of the situation that brewed beneath the simple outer skin. Yes, it had "depth" and "complexity" — two words Slug feared. He feared these words were too closely associated with the more experimental indie hip-hop acts, as in: "Yo, that verse was so deep, god. I can't even understand that shit yet."

Slug didn't want to be included within this faction of artists. So he distanced himself. The only problem is Slug was already distanced from this herd of avant-garde MCs. He was never that "deep." He was always near the surface where he bubbled with insight, modest intellect, and charisma. He went out of his way to take steps backwards and delivered everything after Lucy Ford as watered-down, as easy-to-digest-as-a-grape albums, as vacant-of-any-soul songs. Lucy Ford had soul; everything since is self-conscious. Slug is trying to please everyone he shouldn't. His art has suffered for it.

This EP, a part of the Sad Clown Bad Dub series — a series of limited releases that once provided additional glimpses of Slug and Ant's charm with an extra touch of whimsy — falls victim to the direction Atmosphere has taken since Lucy Ford. It isn't good. But it is sad. (Funny how he changed the Clown to happy on this release.) Slug has dumbed his art down. But for whom?

1. Say Hey There (Alternate Version)
2. Panic Attack (Alternate Version)
3. They Call It
4. You Make Me Wanna
5. Secret
6. Spaghetti Strapped
7. Horny Ponycorn Horns

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