20 Songs, 1 Hour 17 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Sorry, drama lovers, but "Kanye West," from Atmosphere's eighth album, isn't a diss track. Rather, it finds rapper Slug—one of hip-hop's most beloved journeymen—reflecting on love, life, and parenthood. So it goes on Southsiders, an album that boldly grabs hold of hip-hop's third rail: getting old. "Gotta be a model civilian/And get your name printed on a bottle of pills and/Spill your guts into a Dixie Cup," Slug raps on "The World Might Not Live Through the Night." He may be a decade removed from the vanguard Atmosphere once occupied, but he remains an incisive lyricist, and his grown-man reflections still pack a punch. So do the boom-bap beats by longtime producer Ant, as reliable as an old Chevy. Fatherhood and family life have transformed Slug, but he reminds us some thing never change: "Been a few years since the last cigarette/But if you put your finger inside the flask, it's still wet."

EDITORS’ NOTES

Sorry, drama lovers, but "Kanye West," from Atmosphere's eighth album, isn't a diss track. Rather, it finds rapper Slug—one of hip-hop's most beloved journeymen—reflecting on love, life, and parenthood. So it goes on Southsiders, an album that boldly grabs hold of hip-hop's third rail: getting old. "Gotta be a model civilian/And get your name printed on a bottle of pills and/Spill your guts into a Dixie Cup," Slug raps on "The World Might Not Live Through the Night." He may be a decade removed from the vanguard Atmosphere once occupied, but he remains an incisive lyricist, and his grown-man reflections still pack a punch. So do the boom-bap beats by longtime producer Ant, as reliable as an old Chevy. Fatherhood and family life have transformed Slug, but he reminds us some thing never change: "Been a few years since the last cigarette/But if you put your finger inside the flask, it's still wet."

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