Stateside Presents

ATMOSPHERE

ATMOSPHERE

BROTHER ALI, DEM ATLAS, Plain Ole Bill and Last Word

Sun, February 19, 2017

Doors: 8:00 pm / Show: 8:00 pm

Rialto Theatre - Tucson

Tucson, Arizona

This event is all ages

ATMOSPHERE
ATMOSPHERE
Minneapolis is known for many things — pretty lakes, the Mall of America, lutefisk. But 17 years ago, hip-hop act Atmosphere transformed the city into something else entirely: a nexus from which underground rap spiraled-out to the masses. And thanks to the duo’s indefatigable touring habits, Top 20-charting albums, and their galvanizing artist-owned label Rhymesayers (MF Doom, Aesop Rock), they’re still pushing the boundaries of what indie rap can mean.
It’s with that overachieving-underdog spirit that MC Sean “Slug” Daley and producer Anthony “Ant” Davis have named Atmosphere’s eighth studio album Southsiders (out May 6), a shout-out to their native neighborhood. Because, says Slug, “We have spent the majority of our career — God, we can call it a career! — repping the south side of Minneapolis pretty hard.”
While Southsiders is a celebration of the group’s fortitude, it is also a deeply introspective, and sometimes conflicted, work. “It’s a natural progression from the last record, The Family Sign, which was about growing my family,” says Slug, now a father to three, who finds himself contemplating mortality. “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.”
The album captures everything from a blazing, anthemic takedown in “Southsiders,” to the ebb-and-flow of loss in the sauntering “Arthur’s Song,” to emotional abandon in the rousing “Kanye West.” The latter — and its mantra, “put your hands in the air like you really do care” — is a high-five to the rapper whose emotional reactions are often misperceived as not caring. Say Slug, “I wanted to write a song about loving something so much that you submit to the moment."
All told, Southsiders took about ten months to complete. During that time, “I spent a lot of time agonizing over every detail, every word,” Slug says. He and Ant started out writing together in a Minneapolis basement. But these days, they trade tracks back and forth over email, with Ant triggering the creative flow by offering skeletons of songs.
Where Slug is the stalwart perfectionist, Ant persists as his healthy foil, finding beauty in sonic flaws. Says Slug: “He gives me the room to be as anal as I can be, even though he’s usually like, ‘Okay man, it’s okay. Let it go.’ He is the voice of reason I listen to.” Ant’s behind-the-board acumen is also key to Atmosphere’s unique sound: the live instrumentations provide vibrant tonal contrast to Slug’s often-weighty subject matter. Such as in album’s first single, “Bitter”: A condemnation of self-entitlement, it’s set, intriguingly, against sly synth percolations.
Much of Slug’s songwriting agony stems from his need to translate things he relates to into universal messages — which is why even after all these years, Atmosphere remains relevant in the rap game. “Do I want to leave a legacy of, ‘Oh, that guy was really dope. He figured out how to rhyme astral projections with gastral infections’?
Or do I want to be a positive energy source for the movement in general?” Slug says. “There is purpose behind what I do than just talking about me.” And how does that impact his rhymes now? “Well,” he points out, “I have to keep things realistic: making sure the gross stuff represented itself as gross, and that the beautiful stuff stays beautiful.”
BROTHER ALI
BROTHER ALI
Brother Ali is a highly respected Hip Hop artist, speaker and activist from Minneapolis, MN. His decade long resume includes six critically acclaimed albums, mentorships with Iconic Hip Hop legends Chuck D and Rakim and performances on late night talk shows with Conan O Brien and Jimmy Fallon. He's been the subject of Al-Jazeera and NPR pieces and was a keynote speaker at this year's Nobel Peace Prize Forum. He's landed coveted press features such as Rolling Stone's 40th anniversary "Artist to Watch" and Source Magazine's "Hip Hop Quotables".

Ali has won the hearts and minds of Hip Hop fans world wide with his intimate song writing, captivating live performances and outspoken stance on issues of Justice and Human Dignity. In 2007, Ali was flagged by The US Department of Homeland Security for his controversial critique of America's human rights violations in his song/video "Uncle Sam Goddamn". In the summer of 2012, Ali was arrested in an act of civil disobedience as an organizer of Minnesota's Occupy Homes movement to defend Twin Cities homeowners from unjust foreclosures.

Brother Ali's latest album, Mourning in America and Dreaming in Color is his manifesto on the political, socioeconomic and cultural suffering in modern American life, as well as a declaration of hope and possibility for a brighter future. The album is introduced by Dr. Cornel West.

Dr. West had this to say about Ali and his work. "Brother Ali is fundamentally committed to truth and justice. He's part of a great tradition in this country and around the world that highlights the wretched of the earth, allows them to undergo an awakening and shatters their sleepwalking. I want the world to know that Ali is my brother and I have so much great love and respect for him. We're part of the same tradition concerned with Truth and Justice. He does it in his own smooth, sophisticated way. Sometimes he's funky and sometimes he's direct, but I love the way he tells the truth. The album itself (Mourning in America and Dreaming in Color) is such a force for good and a food source for people's souls. People can feel the love on the vanilla side of town and on the chocolate side of town. It's a human thing. A love thing."

Brother Ali is currently working on his first literary offering, tackling the topics that are discussed in his speaking engagements and workshops.
DEM ATLAS
Since signing to indie heavyweight Rhymesayers Entertainment in late 2013, deM atlaS hasn't wasted any time in spreading his brand of Hip-Hop music across the world. Steadily on the road since his signing, he was able to find the time to release his unofficial debut, DWNR, in late 2014. DWNR was a special release because each cover was uniquely hand-drawn by deM atlaS himself. Released to critical acclaim, the first pressing of over 1000 copies sold out within 48 hours.

"DWNR, his grunge-influenced Rhymesayers debut, is deeply melancholy, and splits the difference on 'depressed' and 'party mode'" -Pitchfork

deM followed the release of DWNR with major festival plays around the country, and supporting label mates Atmosphere on the "North of Hell", "Welcome to FL" & "Fortunate Tours".

After taking a break in France to record an album with french super group Ursus Minor, deM is gearing up to release his second EP in the fall of 2015.
Venue Information:
Rialto Theatre - Tucson
318 E. Congress St.
Tucson, Arizona, 85701
http://www.rialtotheatre.com/