By Cody Herron-Webb
On Friday, Atmosphere will be returning to Anchorage as part of their “Mi Vida Local” album release tour. They may not be a name known in every house, but those who do tend to have them on heavy rotation.
For those of you unfamiliar with the Underground Hip-Hop duo, Atmosphere has been putting music out since 1997. Consisting of DJ/Producer Anthony “Ant” Davis and Rapper, Sean “Slug” Daley, Atmosphere puts out rap songs that is far from the typical club hits on the radio.
Unafraid to self-decrepitate or throw a spotlight on their own shortcomings and fears, Sean sings about issues that might just mirror a situation you have been in. Lyrically driven, they are heavy enough to bring tears to your eyes or deliver smiles and laughs.
Here is a short playlist with a few of my favorite Atmosphere songs.
Sunshine – Probably their most well-known song, this is all about finding the joy in a beautiful day. Here in Alaska, many of us know firsthand how welcome the warming light of the sun can be. Here is a love song for that giant ball in the sky that gives us life.
Don’t Forget – This track is all about reminiscing on those golden years of high school when you only cared about music and friends. No matter how old you get, there is something about those songs that bring back pleasant memories. What songs remind you of the good old days?
Became – A winter camping trip in the woods will change things forever.
Last to Say – About growing up in a house with physical abuse, this song may trigger some bad memories. Sean explores the vicious cycle of domestic violence and the compulsion that victims often have to stay. Written from the viewpoint of a child observing his mother being beaten and that of a friend, they both ask to be the “last to say: Please don’t stay.” Be warned that this is a heavy one.
She’s Enough – A high energy anthem for the lady that Slug is doting on. Happy and positive, this song is about taking care of your partner and being satisfied because she’s enough.
The Best Day – Put this song in your collection. One of the best ways to motivate yourself on those days that you wake up on the wrong side of the bed or just don’t want to be at school/work. Celebrate the bad days because you must take the bad with the good and it all works out in the end. Every day can’t be the best day.
The Loser Wins – There are lot of people out there who are toxic and sometimes losing a friend can be a victory overall. As painful as it might be, these experiences can teach a very important lesson. A burned bridge can be a good reminder that you have a choice on who you keep in your life.
The Waitress – How many homeless do you walk or drive past each day? Have you thought about their struggles and the life they lead? The diner waitress is the highlight of the singer’s day because her animosity is the only thing constant in his life. He is broke, homeless, and cold but takes solace in the familiar routine of their interactions.
Yesterday — This one will still sometimes bring tears to my eyes. It’s about catching sight of someone from your past and wondering how a conversation with them would happen now. Written towards a deceased family member, the song is a reflection on how the relationship struggles of the past seem trivial compared to today’s wish for an amiable resolution. My first serious girlfriend introduced me to Atmosphere and, after we split, this song was one of the things that helped me get through. It reminds me that after things are over, you can still look back on an event and grow from it.
Guarantees – Life isn’t all peaches. In fact, this song is from Atmosphere’s 2008 album “When Life Gives You Lemons, Paint That Shit Gold.” Sometimes it can be a real struggle to stay positive when things don’t turn how you imagined it. As hard as it can be, nothing is guaranteed in life except for a life worth living for.
Modern Man’s Hustle — Probably my favorite song on this whole list. The song reminds me that love survives through the hard times as well as the easy ones. All we are searching for is to be needed and the most important thing that we can do is to be there for those we care about.