Press Play: Atmosphere

Everyone has to go through growing pains. A series of moments when we attempt to find our place in the world. These times are often challenging. Many of the artist we come to appreciate serve as examples of how to embrace these challenges and grow from them. This is true for the music group Atmosphere.

Atmosphere formed in 1989 in Minneapolis, Minnesota under the name Mental Subjects. Duo members Sean Daley and Derek Turner decided that their chosen name didn’t fit, and decided to try on the name A Rhythmic Culture.  But, that name didn’t seem to fit either, so they decided to switch up their identity one more time and finally settled on the name Atmosphere. This new identity represented them as a duo, but who were they individually? Daley chose to refer to himself Slug, while Turner chose the name D-Spawn.

The two met while in high school. Their partnership began as a rapper and a DJ, but eventually, Spawn encouraged Slug to begin rapping as well. They added a third element to their powerful chemistry in the form of a producer named Ant. The three decided to make their partnership a collective collaboration by linking up with artists like Musab, Phull Shurkle, Black Hole, and The Abstract Pact. They newly formed group would present themselves under the name Headshots.

This decision to expand their artistic base proved to be beneficial because the record label Rhymesayers was born out of the decision. Headshots earned local popularity. They released their first album Overcast! But as with most stories, hardship came after success.

Three years after the formation of Headshots and the release of their first album, longtime member Spawn decided to part ways with the group. Slug and Ant continued their work with the group Headshots and their commitment to Atmosphere.This departure did not stop the growing moment that was initiated by Overcast!  The band went on to release ten more albums. The most recent album being Fishing Blues which released in June of this year.


Slug credits the success of the group to their commitment to touring. Fans may have a different sentiment. They may have an appreciation for Slug’s creative use of allegory and characterization.  That is something listeners will have to decide for themselves. Be sure to press play on Atmosphere, and check out a live show so that you can decide for yourself.