Let me start off by saying if you like hip-hop, you owe it to yourself to get all of Atmosphere’s work, especially God Loves Ugly, Seven’s Travels, and Lucy Ford. All in the Family is the first album in which Ant (the producer for Atmosphere) uses live instruments, and it really shows.
The Family Sign has many beats that are less drum-focused, which I believe leads to a more interesting story telling experience from Slug (the MC for Atmosphere). Atmosphere has a very unique sound for hip-hop, and All in the Family is no exception. Slug’s lyricism reminds me of A Tribe Called Quest, not because of style, but because of content. Atmosphere is void of boasting songs, and instead relies on complex and interesting stories and metaphors. The Family Sign is a spectacular album, but if you’ve never listened to Atmosphere, it may seem odd. I would suggest that if you like hip-hop, you should at least give this album a try.
Atmosphere is a breath of fresh air for modern hip-hop. Even though they have been in the game since 1997 with their first album, Overcast!, they still find a way to re-imagine hip-hop. Their overall sound reminds me of Outkast slightly, but it is still very unique. If you are a fan of experimental 90’s hip-hop, I would imagine that Atmosphere would be a breath of fresh air compared to what is currently played on the radio.
–Zeke, Teen Center Advisor