What It Is

Atmosphere makes a hip-hop album for people who don't like hip hop

People who actually like hip hop may wish for, well, more hip hop. There's no discernible scratching on Lucy Ford, no interplay between MCs save for a hidden final track with El-P of Company Flow. "Homecoming" has the lumbering claustrophobic funk of an industrial-strength "I Am the Walrus," but it lacks the improvisatory crackle of Eyedea and Slug even just talking onstage.

Perhaps treating tracks less like a soliloquy to a mirror and more like a phone call to a friend would point a way forward for Slug. It is in grappling with the question of what Atmosphere is, and ain't, that Slug will produce the masterpiece he has in him.

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