Rhymesayers inks St. Paul's Dem Atlas

The Rhymesayers Entertainment family just got a little larger. On Tuesday, the Minnesota hip-hop label announced the signing of Dem Atlas, who hails from St. Paul and is a native of Akron, Ohio, and has been on the cusp of breaking out for a bit now. He hit number 27 on the 2013 Picked to Click tally.

Known for his collaboration with Guante and Rube, Sifu Hotman, as well as a background fronting a rock band called the Argonauts, Atlas showed extreme promise with the release of the EP Charle Brwn earlier this year.

The collection nods to the best of '90s rap, with beats, flows, and lyrical references that cite Nas, Common (back when his name had some Sense attached to it), and countless others. It's wrapped up in a charismatic package that's fresh in its execution. Atlas's creative rhyme schemes and energy burst forth out of these tracks with Busta's dexterity and the Pharcyde and Souls of Mischief's good-time vibe.

"Pharcyde... Souls of MIschief, Tribe Called Quest... I'm obsessed with that stuff," he told City Pages earlier this year. "It really helped me to write to it. When I first got into hip-hop, that's all I listened to. Their tonality. I liked the way they sounded, like they were in this box and they were just trying to get out of it. How they manipulate their voice, it's like singing. They were like jazz players."

For now, the Charle Brwn recording is up for free download on Bandcamp. So get acquainted if you haven't already.

Dem Atlas will open as part of No Bird Sing's Definition Sickness album release. All Ages, $10/$12, 7 p.m., Thursday, November 14 at Cedar Cultural Center. Tickets here.

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