When it comes to consistency and longevity in hip-hop, few have the stature of the Minnesota rap group Atmosphere. Composed of the MC Slug (Sean Daley) and DJ/producer Ant (Anthony Davis), the dynamic duo has been working in tandem for almost 20 years. After building up a close-knit fan base through their onslaught of powerful tracks and rigorous touring schedule, the hip hop group still hasn’t missed a beat when it comes to putting out quality music.
Released this past summer, their latest and seventh studio album Fishing Blues has received praise from fans and critics alike. On the record, Slug’s rhymes breech political boundaries he’s never crossed before, while Ant’s production prowess is as refined as ever. Along with the album, the duo has released a number of powerfully vivid music videos, such as the visual for “The Shit That We’ve Been Through”, which showcased an intense closeup of a tattoo gun in action.
Atmosphere has now released a new music video for the track “Seismic Waves”, which might be their most poignant visual to-date. The video follows Slug though a dismal prison, spitting his conscious rhymes while other jail inhabitants riot around him. The music video, directed by Kron, takes a unique POV approach that showcases prisoners taking control of their entrapped environment. The politically charged video comes at a time when a historic prison protest is taking place across the United States.
The song itself explores the long history of racial inequality in the world, spitting bars like, “Things ain't been the same since Trayvon, shit/Things ain't been the same since Reagan; wait/Ain't a single thing change from the days/When the gods went crazy and broke the languages.” All in all, the political rhymes coupled with the visuals creates a thought-provoking experience that helps see humanity’s deep-rooted issues with race and mass incarceration in a clearer light.
In the midst of an extensive tour, Atmosphere will kick off the second leg of their “Freshwater Fly Fishermen Tour” tomorrow, which will also feature fellow Rhymesayers' labelmates Brother Ali and deM atlaS, as well as Plain Ole Bill and the Last Word. Influenced by the immense success of their latest album and ongoing tour, the hip hop duo also announced a new set of concert dates that extend though February 2017. Check out their tour schedule to see if Atmosphere will be rolling through a city near you.