Review Summary: " And the list goes on and on...."
The cynical and sometimes depressive hip-hop rhymester Slug has made a name for himself in the recent years. Although he and much of Minnesota is booming as of late, his debut was a clear cut reason why he is recognized as of today. What may be more important than anything else on Overcast!
is the production doesn't overtake Slug's beats as recent albums (not a detriment on any of his work with Ant) . The producer on Overcast!
and later the Lucy Ford EP
is Spawn (Derek Turner); immediately noticeable is the lack of energy across both pieces of material. Overcast!
may benefit from it, as Slug really has his time to shine.
The constant bombardment of problems, complaining, causes of depression, and even relationships is embraced in full force as "Scapegoat" sparing no one. Slug goes on to blame AIDS, women, gangs, religion, hip-hop rivalries, drugs - much like he says the list goes on, on, and on. "Scapegoat" would remain to be his stamp to allow his fan base to grow from. College radios ate it up and its easily noticeable to say the least. It's exactly what you all want to bitch about, right here on a fantastic, pessimistic, and un-loving track. This is an obvious highlight on Overcast!
, which is why its so hard to see through all 18 tracks. Many are un-loved by both or either Spawn and Slug. The former may take most of the blame, but it would seem the first incarnation of Atmosphere was lacking in both timing and beats.
Much of Overcast!
may feel 2nd class to you on the first few listens, but of course Slug has a few tricks up his sleeve. Although his more recent albums are more dark in nature, Overcast!
doesn't neccessarily take a step in that direction entirely. Overcast!
is more of a boast in lyrical attacks not aimed at a certain group. Slug's debut is exactly as you'd expect from an unproven hip-hop artist, he's trying to garner some acclaim in the local scene and gain some recognition. Glimpses of the boasting as I said is brought to the forefront with the playful "1597" and somewhat too fast for its own good "Brief Description". Rumblings of his skills, both on the mic and open mic assaults would soon prove to be true. It would seem Slug had more motivation to essentially "make it", for one still working at a record store, while pulling overtime shifts at Target just to support his only son would be incentive enough to try to pull together something.Spawn would later decide that Atmosphere as a group would be unworthy to continue and would move to Houston.
does suffer from a few amateur moments, both from Spawn and Slug. Spawn for one begins to bring some watered-down, uninteresting, background beats that neither help or even meld with Slug's voice and the various contributors. Slug himself would be at fault for trying to find his angle. As in the present time its obvious that Atmosphere the collective and Slug more so, feeds off the disinterest and depression of his youth. That type of edge and attachment would prove to keep him in the light and consitently improve on those aspects. Overcast!
is more of a mash-up of ideas and neither is extremely cohesive or worthwhile. Although lyrically a mature album, both the lack of direction and slow-moving beats are not welcome to the ears of some.