Atmosphere adds to the arsenal with their new retro-style video titled ‘Earring’ featuring the rapper juggernaut known as Musab. Shot in a quasi Sergio Leone/Quentin Tarantino motif, the video gives visual credence to the meaning of the muse and the soul of the song about the struggles of a relationship as two people come to the realization that they are about to drift apart unless something is done about it, and that something is long dedication, focus of priorities, and work. Lots of work. I know because I’ve been there. And so have most of you. And Slug knows this. He uses the skill of lyrics for what it was meant for. Learning and loving. Learning from those who have been there and learning to love what you have, before you lose it.
About ‘Mi Vida Local’
The seventh Atmosphere album, Mi Vida Local, reflects the ways in which the world–and Atmosphere’s place in it–have changed. The idyllic domesticity of the past few records has morphed into anxiety over keeping loved ones safe during turbulent times. Instead of bragging about backstage misadventures it’s about grappling with mortality. The easygoing collaboration between Ant and Slug has started to feel more like the life-or-death intimacy of two men trapped together on a lifeboat.
At times it’s a heavy album (“I might be the last generation of grandparents,” goes a key line from “Virgo”), but it’s far from grim. There are jokes being cracked, joints getting smoked, a little trash talking and beefing here and there, after all, it’s still a rap record.
And Atmosphere’s never sounded better.
As the name implies, Mi Vida Local is intensely focused on the place it was created–the southside of Minneapolis–where Slug and Ant work tirelessly in their “beautiful basements”, refining their sound without interruption. (Although a handful of friends from the Minneapolis hip-hop community showed up to contribute.) A year of one-on-one collaboration resulting in an album that matches complex subject matter with equally deep beats–ones that show a clear lineage back to the psychedelic funk landmarks from an earlier era where America was going through a post-utopian hangover, and prove that there won’t ever be a time where boom-bap beats don’t sound perfectly of the moment.
Mi Vida Local might be the best album Atmosphere’s ever made. It’s definitely the one they needed to make right now, and one listener needs to hear just as urgently. If it’s sometimes an album about how the fight to find happiness never really ends–even after you get the house and the kids and the artistic freedom to make dad-rap records–it’s also about discovering that there’s happiness to be found just in fighting.