Independent hip-hop has always had an enormous following in Hawaii. Knowing this, it was no surprise when Rhymesayers record label mates The Lioness, deS atlas, and Atmosphere performed two capacity filled shows at The Republik in Honolulu, Hawaii.
The Lioness (Shaiwna Adams) and deM atlas (Joshua Turner) both grew up in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Each rappers set was about thirty minutes each. The Lioness’ rapid fire rhymes may have had an extra bounce since she was celebrating her birthday. deM atlaS was a bit more complex. The set was a mixture of rhymes and soulful crooning. atlaS danced across the stage and jumped into the audience which prepped the crowd for Atmosphere.
Atmosphere consists of the hip hop duo Slug (Sean Daley) and DJ producer Ant (Anthony Davis). Formed in 1996 the partners have released nine studio albums and 10 EPs. Without a doubt they are one of the most prolific and popular independent rap duos. Atmosphere have toured relentlessly and have always made Hawaii a tour destination.
Their popularity was evident the second Slug slipped on stage. The packed house went crazy! The crowd was treated to "Jerome" and “Stopwatch” off of the duos most recent album Mi Vida Loca. For the next two hours Atmosphere played a selection of tunes from over the past twenty years. Although it has been twenty years Slug and company performed with a ferocious energy like they were trying to prove themselves for the first time.
The songs “God Loves Ugly,” “Reflections,” “Guns and Cigarettes,” and “The Waitress” demonstrated Atmosphere’s intelligent lyrics and the complexity of the music. Slug’s raps are deeply personable, bearing the rappers blemishes and imperfections. Ant’s DJing, mainly absent of scratching, instead uses more live instruments. The duo’s blend of thoughtful lyrics and storytelling coupled with unique sonic beats have helped shape the hip hop genre.
In the end Atmosphere invited The Lioness and deS atlaS onstage to close out the show. The ensemble performed “Drown” and “Trying To Find Balance.” The talents displayed in Honolulu demonstrated why the Rhymesayers is considered one of the leading independent hip-hop labels in the business. Beginning April 22nd Atmosphere will bring this ensemble to London, Paris, Amsterdam, and Belin along with other cities throughout Europe. Don’t miss them!
Jerome / Stopwatch / Should Have Known / Say Hey There / Abusing The Rib / Fuck You Lucy / Kanye West / God Loves Ugly / Pour Me Another / Sunshine / Reflections / Modern Man’s Hustle / Guns and Cigarettes / The Best Day / Puppets / Waitress / Virgo / Little Man / Yesterday / God’s Bathroom Floor / Lovelife / Graffiti / E. Always Coming Back Home To You / Drown / Trying To Find A Balance