By Jeremy Azevedo
|Atmosphere may not get as much press for this as Radiohead did a few months back, but for indie rap fans, Atmosphere is one of the biggest artists in the game, and the unannounced arrival of a totally free album from out of nowhere is a pretty big deal.|
And for those of you assholes that are habitual music downloaders and to whom all albums are free, it’s still nice to be able to sleep a little easier at night for once, wouldn’t you say?
Strictly Leakage is essentially a “thank you” to Atmosphere’s fans and supporters, but it is certainly no collection of cast off b-sides and outtakes. This album stands on it’s own as a cohesive whole, and while it isn’t a grand departure from the usual introspective everyman jams set to dancy, breakdown beats that Atmosphere is known for, who ever said that’s a bad thing? Slug and Ant have perfected a style that sets them above and apart from the rest of the scene, and I would hate to see the formula unravel under the guise of “evolution”.
How to look hard at the trailer park.
The thing that makes Atmosphere so great is the way Slug rides his honest, eloquent slice-of-life tirades on the flow of Ant’s incredibly bouncy and fun rhythms. The two are particularly on point on the tracks “The Things That Hate Us”, about the love/hate relationship we all have with the things that are the most harmful to us, and “Domestic Dog” about picking up chicks at the grocery store.
I can’t express strongly enough how important it is that all these songs are actually about something, one of the things most hip hop albums fail to achieve. It’s consistently refreshing to hear a rapper express an opinion about something or attempt to convey a specific point rather than simply rap about how good of a rapper he is, or how stoned he gets, or how much he likes tits or how many nonsensical big words he can make rhyme in a single sentence or some other such played out bullshit.
Strictly Leakage is a party album, so don’t expect a lot of songs in which Slug bitches about his failed and destructive relationships with women. But don’t worry, he makes up for the lack of negativity by taking plenty of playful jabs at his fellow rap scenesters. Don’t sleep on this, if you’re a fan of Atmosphere or if you’re just curious what all the hype is about, go to http://www.rhymesayers.com/atmosphere/ and download the album right now.