Steve J. Moore

When Life Gives You Lemons…

In Music on September 1, 2008 at 4:36 pm

What better time than Labor Day Weekend to ponder the nature of optimism? Of course, the first logical jump my mind makes from that word is to hip-hop–wait, did I just say that? Maybe I meant something else like rap–wait, rap? Ok, so those words aren’t the first that come to mind when I think about accentuating the positive, but one can always be proven wrong.

Driving my little gold Toyota Corolla around Springfield, I don’t usually consider myself any flavor of cool for doing so. I get over thirty miles-per-gallon so I suppose that’s cool by today’s green standards even though there have been diesel cars getting over forty and fifty since the early 1980s. Nonetheless, I can’t help but feel inordinately cooler when I start rockin’ some beats. Recently, I heard from a friend that the best hip-hop album of the year was by Twin Cities duo called Atmosphere.

Titled mysteriously When Life Gives You Lemons… the standard edition album features a golden facade striped by a dark band

but the deluxe edition cover offers a one-line insight into the authorial intent: a rap thesis that blings of audacious optimism.

Solving the mystery, we learn that the guys of Atmosphere, upon receiving lemons from Life, just Paint that Shit Gold. The title alone just grabs you by the shirt and looks you in the eye, which is exactly what it intends to do.

Unlike rhymes from Fitty or Diddy, you won’t find big butts or hos in different area codes. What you will find is a collection of stories. Rap narratives of hardship, good and bad choices, drug abuse, a man missing his father, and the escapes children make when the world around them is harsh.

Not a rap fan? Hate hip-hop? Bored with what the radio plays? Try some smart, self-aware, and reality-based music that isn’t interested in selling songs as much as telling stories.

Now, since it’s a holiday weekend, I’m going to get back to chillin’, maxin’, and relaxin’ all cool.

  1. Steve, I always enjoy your posts. I may need to give this album a shot. I normally abhor rap because of it’s extreme materialism and the needless use of profanity. But this has sparked my interest a bit đŸ™‚

  2. I’ve been listening to this album for a few months now and it’s seriously awesome. Taken as a whole, the album feels really laid back compared to the in-your-face style of a lot of rap/hip-hop music today and the storytelling is masterful. Standout tracks for me are Puppets, Glass House, and Music Box.

  3. This album took rap in a different direction, I agree. I hope that it can move forward as a genre not plagued by empty materialism.

  4. […] do like hip-hop and rap (see post on Atomosphere). My tastes in music vary greatly and I credit myself as a person who gives people chances. So, I […]

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