A Slug Among Men

Atmosphere's MC thrusts forth with his Midwestern brand of conscious hip-hop - but don't try to sleep with him on tour

Growing up in a lower-class south Minneapolis neighborhood, the young Slug found himself immersed in hip-hop culture. "I hated white people for years because of this movement," admits Slug, who is of mixed origin.

His life's been a tour of hip-hop's four elements, as he went from being a break-dancer in school in the '80s to being a graffiti artist and then a DJ until erstwhile scratch troupe "[Invisibl] Skratch Piklz came out and fucked that shit up," Slug says. "When they came out, I was, Fuck this shit.' I'm just going to rap because I'm good at this, and not only that, but I've always been good at talking to girls, and so if I just combine the rap and talking to girls shit, yeah, buddy . . ."

Seven's Travels presents itself as a concept album about touring, and the song "Reflections" touches on his groupie issue, as Slug raps, "And she doesn't seem to believe/I'm just another thief/Came to take a piece/Make you stutter when you breathe/Girl you're too smart/To be a tour mark."

And then they met Jam Master Jay:Atmosphere's Slug (left) hands the Run-D.M.C. bio to the ladies.
And then they met Jam Master Jay:Atmosphere's Slug (left) hands the Run-D.M.C. bio to the ladies.

Details

Scheduled to perform with the Hieroglyphics Crew, Encore, and Brother Ali on Saturday, September 27. Doors open at 6 p.m. Tickets are $20. Call 480-966-7715 for more information.
Nita's Hideaway, 3300 South Price in Tempe

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For this tour, Slug's come up with a clever way to get his message across to "band-aids" without being overtly condescending.

"I'm bringing the autobiography of Run-D.M.C., and what I'm going to do is get girls to come back to my room, and I'm going to hand them the book, and I'm going to say, Read me to sleep, and do me a favor. When you've noticed that I'm sleeping, mark the page you're on, because tomorrow, somebody completely different is going to pick up where the fuck you left off,'" he says proudly. "I'm not here on some dirt trip. I'm not going to videotape myself fucking you in the mouth, but at the same time you are providing something for me that is selfish. Then instead of walking away with a fan for life, I walk away with someone going, That guy's like the Crispin Glover of rap, and that's pathetic.'

"Any of them that are smart enough will get the message that I'm trying to send without really being offended, and I get to hear the autobiography of Run-D.M.C. without having to read it because I get car sick when I read in the car."

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