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Published on October 10th, 2021 | by MuzikScribe


Atmosphere Drop Anxiously Awaited New Album WORD?







Building anticipation for its arrival with a series of immersive and critically acclaimed maxi-singles, underground hip-hop titans Atmosphere proudly present their new album WORD? via Rhymesayers Entertainment.



After setting the stage with a pair of impressive maxi-singles, simply titled “WORD? Side A” and “WORD? Side B”, the group returned with “WORD? Side C” last month. The latter maxi-single churned out over half-a-million streams in a few weeks’ time fueled by the high-powered and head-spinning posse cut “Pressed” [feat. Anwar HighSign, BlackLiq, Sa-Roc, Haphduzn, & Lateef the Truthspeaker], earning critical acclaim from HotNewHipHop, who summed “Pressed” up best as simply “giant.”

In advance of the full album’s release, tracks from WORD? have cumulatively surpassed 5 million total streams and counting with highlights such as “Woes” and “Clocked,” just to name a few. Right out of the gate, mxdwn claimed, “‘Woesplays with futuristic and funky sounds to complete its deep yet light hearted message,” while HotNewHipHop stated “it’s all Atmosphere, who remain in fine form both lyrically and behind the boards.”

As always, Atmosphere have constructed a carefully crafted cohesive vision with the full tracklisting. This time around, Slug and Ant welcomed collaborators such as Evidence, Sa-Roc, and Nikki Jean. In addition, they joined forces with Aesop Rock and gone-too-soon icon MF DOOM for “Barcade”, a track that expands upon the inimitable creative chemistry the trio shared 20 years ago on “Put Your Quarter Up“, the last time all three were together on one song. The song serves as a fitting tribute for their fallen friend and a closing chapter for their collaboration. Check out the full tracklisting below.

Fittingly, Atmosphere also just unveiled an action-packed animated music video for “Barcade”, directed by Rob Shaw. In following with the video game theme of their collaborations, the 90’s console-inspired visuals depict each MC as a “final boss” of their own game level, spitting their verses as unbeatable otherworldly supervillains who quite literally devour any challengers.

Atmosphere also recently completed a 17-date co-headlining tour with Cypress Hill, along with special guest Z-Trip, which concluded with a sold-out performance in Colorado at the world-famous Red Rocks Amphitheatre. The tour garnered recent acclaim from The Spokesman-Review, RIFF, TopShelf Music, MTC Mag, and more.

Continuing to pack headline gigs, the group is also scheduled to perform their final show of 2021 at the Cali Roots Baja Sessions this November in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, and they’re slated to perform at the California Roots Festival in Monterey, CA as well, in 2022.

Following their last release, The Day Before Halloween—an imaginative, distorted-synth-driven concept album—Atmosphere’s refreshing new project veers toward their signature sound. Further highlighting producer Ant’s undeniable talents, WORD? leans into the classic boom-bap aesthetic, bringing a unique energy out of Slug’s wisdom, wit and delivery. From onset, WORD? proves to be as much of an exercise in refining and advancing their craft as it is a harkening to earlier work. That is, while Atmosphere’s releases have grown more broodingly cinematic, and increasingly concerned with the human condition and mortality, WORD? manages to reintroduce moments of levity and lightheartedness throughout, an approach seldom heard on their albums of late.

From album opener “Fleetwood,” with its razor-sharp snares and warm fleshy bassline, to the resonant melody of “Clocked”, there are strong hints of Atmosphere’s nascent years within the sound. Meanwhile, songs like “Woes,” “Strung” and “Vanish” cheerfully make light of daily hardships, but they’re more likely to be remembered for making listeners want to bob their heads and sing along. With Slug and Ant directing the course, the album plays like a joyride through a range of experiences and emotions, with an extensive cast of special guests hopping in and out along the way, including Evidence, Muja Messiah, Musab, Nino Bless, Nikki Jean, Anwar HighSign, BlackLiq, Sa-Roc, Haphduzn, Lateef the Truthspeaker, Aesop Rock, and the late MF DOOM. The result is a project that feels like it came from the era or, perhaps more fittingly, the mindset that created albums like God Loves Ugly, Seven’s Travels, or the popular Sad Clown series, while sounding as polished and perfected as more recent albums like Mi Vida Local and Whenever.

Ultimately, WORD? pairs the breadth of Atmosphere’s talents with the beauty of their growth, all while showing they still have a lot of fun in the process and don’t mind letting the listener in on the fun as well.





Crumbs (feat. Evidence and Muja Messiah)


Strung (feat. Musab)


Sleepless (feat. Nino Bless)


Carousel (feat. Nikki Jean)


Pressed (feat. Anwar HighSign, BlackLiq, Sa-Roc, Haphduzn and Lateef the Truthspeaker)



Barcade (feat. Aesop Rock & MF DOOM)



More About Atmosphere:

For over two decades, Atmosphere has maintained a course of rigorous output, releasing over two dozen studio albums, EP’s and collaborative side projects in as many years. In that time, the venerated duo have built a legacy out of bringing honesty, humility and vulnerability to the forefront of their music, continually challenging themselves to evolve without straying too far from their roots. Slug has proven masterful at storytelling and writing compelling narratives, leaving a trail of his own influence while paying homage to the rappers and songwriters that helped shape him. Ant has skillfully molded the soundtracks with inspiration from soul, funk, rock, reggae, and the wizardry of hip-hop’s pioneering DJ’s and producers, creating his own trademark sounds while providing the pulse for songs about life, love, stress and setbacks. At its essence, Atmosphere has been a musical shepherd, and with each new album comes a new journey as they guide generations of listeners through this thing called life.


For more on Atmosphere:

Website: atmospheresucks.com

Twitter: @atmosphere

Instagram: @atmosphere

Facebook: Atmosphere

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