Premiere: Atmosphere – “Kanye West”



A lot has happened in hip-hop since Atmosphere dropped Overcast in 1997. Kanye West went from obscure Chicago producer to celebrity superstar. Rhymesayers grew into one of the most important independent labels in hip-hop history. Yung Lean was born. Through all these things, Atmosphere is still Atmosphere.

Slug has always had a way of touching on the ugly and the beautiful, relatable and poetic at the same time. Ant has always been a master of balancing the gritty with the melodic. On the duo’s new album, these things have not changed.

Atmosphere’s eighth studio album Southsiders comes out on May 6. “It’s a natural progression from the last record, The Family Sign, which was about growing my family,” says Slug, now a father of three. “I’m starting to think, ‘What is post–family man? What am I supposed to rap about now?’ I’m sticking to my roots, rapping about what I’m doing, what I think about. This record is—much like the other ones—a very detailed look at my life.”

When we first saw the tracklist for Southsiders, the title “Kanye West” had a lot of people wondering. Well, here it is. “I wanted to write a song about loving something so much that you submit to the moment,” says Slug.

Pre-order Southsiders now and get “Bitter” and “Kanye West” instantly. Listen to Atmosphere’s “Kanye West” below.

Atmosphere also announced that they will be playing two very special, intimate record release shows on May 6 at New York’s Highline Ballroom and May 8 at Los Angeles’ Roxy Theatre. Release party tickets go on sale this Thursday, April 10 at 11am CST for NYC and 12pm CST for LA. See full list of tour dates below.

April 18 – Boulder, CO @ eTown Hall (live radio show taping – SOLD OUT)
May 6 – New York, NY @ Highline Ballroom (Album Release Party)
May 8 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Roxy Theatre (Album Release Party)
May 14 – Saskatoon, SK @ O’Brian’s Event Centre
May 15 – Calgary, AB @ Flames Central
May 16 – Calgary, AB @ Flames Central (second show added!)
May 17 – Edmonton, AB @ Union Hall
May 18 – Regina, SK @ The Exchange
May 20 – Winnipeg, MB @ Garrick Centre
May 25 – Shakopee, MN @ Soundset Festival
May 28 – Kitchener, ON @ Wax
May 29 – London, ON @ London Music Hall
May 30 – Toronto, ON @ Phoenix Concert Theatre
May 31 – Montreal, QC @ S.A.T.
June 1 – Ottawa, ON @ Ritual Nightclub
June 4 – Halifax, NS @ Marquee
June 6 – Portland, ME @ State Theatre
June 8 – Boston, MA @ Blue Hills Bank Pavilion (w/ Damien “Jr. Gong” Marley)
June 7 – Clifton Park, NY @ Upstate Concert Hall
June 10 – Philadelphia, PA @ Skyline Stage @ the Mann Center for the Performing Arts (w/ Damien “Jr. Gong” Marley)
June 11 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Mr. Smalls Theatre
June 12 – Pontiac, MI @ Crofoot
June 13 – Cleveland, OH @ House of Blues
June 27 – Milwaukee, WI @ Summerfest
August 10 – Squamish, BC @ Squamish Festival
July 11 – Saugerties, NY @ Hudson Project Music and Arts Festival

*New dates in bold

  • Todd Vandale

    The Kayne West title has nothing to do with anything.
    It’s a corny way of grabbing some media attention.

    Pick perhaps the most Googled on rapper on earth right now. Name a song after him and gain some more listens.

    This dude has been washed up for the last 8 years, boring backpacker hip-hop, we’ve progressed, he should to.

  • Basquiatcase

    I’m doing the Kanye West right now; not caring much for this! Cheap attempt to get attention!

  • Hiphope

    All you that have commented on this suck respect and your ignorant. Slug is one of the only artists to stay true to his roots and keep his same style his whole career.he is inspiring and dope and one of the few that is okay with not making millions, he wants to preserve the music. Get the shit out of your ears or go listen to Chief Keef and stay off Atmosphere

  • SongbirdTEG

    The way he raps reminds me of my friends who got to college and started rapping for fun. Not really sure if that’s a good or bad thing. This doesn’t sound any different than those guys just starting to rap. Kind of wonder if P&P would’ve even wrote this if not for the title. Guess this is just an acquired taste that I don’t have. I’m not gonna diss it if other people enjoy it I guess….

  • Jim

    tell us how you really feel

  • Someone

    If you guys could create beats like this you wouldn’t be commenting your ignorant shit on here. No one cares what you think that simple.

  • Alteez

    Just because we (I) think that Atmosphere’s new material is pretty lackluster and uninspiring, doesn’t mean we don’t like good Hip-Hop dick. I’ll go listen to Oddisee and Freddie Gibbs instead. Maybe if Sean sounded hungry for once, and Ant’s production was more than 5 synth chords, I would enjoy their music again.

  • Zazu

    “We’ve progressed?” Who’s this “we” and what have you progressed too? The “hip hop” that’s played on the radio? That’s not progress that’s deterioration of what the music was and should be. The only reason you don’t understand the title and purpose of this track is because your interpretation of music has been blinded by this conventional style rap music. Our attention deprived generation just wants instant gratification and hear something that’s familiar and repetitive so they’re not forced to have to think and react to the music and that’s the beauty of art. To analyze and understand the artists thoughts in your own way. Kanye West loves hip hop music. So much in fact that he has accepted that since it’s so superior and can’t be changed, he’s changed himself to still be with his true love. I think that’s what the songs all about. Changing yourself for something that you love. That’s why in the song, when he’s talking to the girl he starts telling her true things about himself that he finds interesting but she says “she’s not impressed”, so he stands up and does the Kanye West. Changes himself and acts different to impress what he loves and wants. Ironic that you think slug should progress and change with the times in a song where he discusses staying true to yourself.

  • hiphopcop

    “stay true to his roots and keep his same style his whole career stay true to his roots and keep his same style his whole career” go listen to yesterday and sunshine, then say they sound the same. Get your head out you ass you ostentatious cunt. This new shit sounds like a 15 year old “edgy” kid producing in his bedroom.

  • slug ftw

    This comment section is nothing but haters…slug will always be one of themost influential artist ive ever listened to

  • Golden Era DJ

    If you think this is good hip hop or good @tmos. then I feel bad for you. Yeah, remember when Atmosphere used to use the “@” symbol? That was ’97, and they haven’t done anything worth listening to since “You Can’t Imagine…” in ’05. For all you kids who talk about “progression” and blah blah…if you think this is good hip hop, you’re probably 15, and I’m sorry to tell you, you missed the boat…hip hop ended about 10 years ago, and those of us who did it for the 10 years BEFORE THAT have the authority on OUR artform, which is now all but dead and gone.


    shut yo dumbass up .. you sound like some teen who thinks underground is the only good shit

  • some guy

    You don’t have authority on shit lel

  • Jordan

    I don’t know if it fully ended then but definitely slowed down. I think Sage’s Copper Gone is going to be up there with the classics based on th one trck I have heard. And Aesop Rock defintely has never fallen off… but yeah this song is kinda garbage. Super weak hook.

  • Golden Era DJ

    And you are a 14 year old beatin his dick to moldy old porno mags he stole from his pops…take a seat, junior.

  • Golden Era DJ

    “trailed off” is how I see it…regardless tho, I’m sure you get my point. There are almost no great cover to cover albums in hip hop anymore. The last I can think of is the “1982” album from like 2008…all bangers.

  • J

    Slug is a hall of famer… But I wish he would making SHITTY music. Just please stop.

  • Shaq Mendez

    Stereotypical ignorant black people response

  • Dustin Jacobson

    I like the message but I think he should have attacked it from a different angle. He was using very simple rhymes, which made him seem inexperienced and made the track seem forced. Another thing I think contributed to the forced feeling of both Bitter and Kanye West were weak similes or comparisons, such as “don’t let your heart grow cold like a popsicle.” and “You’re so bitter. Cold as a river in the winter.”, which were the two that really caught my attention and sounded like nails on a chalkboard. I was annoyed at how one dimensional and easy it made his tracks sound. I hope this album, as a whole, is up to par with the standard he set with the rest of his albums.

  • dayman

    all of you ignorant assholes on here have no clue what’s going on. most of you sit here saying that this song or better yet atmosphere is crap. yet I’ve never hear of any of you, no one ever comes to any of your shows mainly cause you don’t have any. now with that said you can’t see it as whether or not it sucks cause it’s an art form, and if you see things so black and white then you are what’s wrong with the world today. it’s some one expressing their thoughts and feeling in a way that they feel comfortable. not every song is gonna be a hit, but at the same time it doesn’t make it the one thing to end the human race. So why don’t you come up with an original thought then maybe we’ll talk.

  • floggen

    What you wrote does not make any sense.

  • youknowmysteez

    Another disappointment. Well @least there are plenty of gems from back in the day that don’t get old.

  • Topp Cat

    Just sounds old and all that yelling and insisting of putting your hands in the air…

  • hiphopcop

    bitch please i didn’t say shit about other underground, I just think this new atmosphere material sounds like shit.

  • Todd Vandale

    The one thing you gotta love about the “underground ” hip hop stans is how mad they get at any voice disconcerning an MC they like.
    It’s always the same rebuttal to , kind of laughable. If we don’t like some boring, overrated, uncreative artist, then that must mean we all listen to only Chief Keef and Wacka Flocka.
    Get a fucking grip, tired of this, “but they make positive hip hop, with real life elements and they wear hemp necklaces” fuck outta here, we all don’t appreciate this Bob Dylan hip hop, boring 1997 productions, with same repetitive style. Progress or die.
    I knew commenting on this would have all the atmosphere girls in a getting they first period fluster, but you know what?
    Fuck you and your weak artists.
    I’ll listen to DOOM, El-p ( been around just as long but have some actual creativity)
    Or else I’ll just put in Freddie Gibbs and mad lib while I laugh at the hurt Stan’s defending this butterfly and botanicals rap.

  • Grip let me say this. I ride with these guys. Dedication can never be undermined. Stay who you are bro. Everyone’s not gonna love you all the time. #SALUTE

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