The summer has fully engulfed our city, bringing with it sweltering heat and burning winds. As the days get hotter and hotter, many are looking for a way to have fun without melting outdoors. Whether it is going to a movie at the theatre, a local trampoline—world, or finding some nighttime entertainment, the cool route is always the better route. For those with an inclination for hip-hop music and a good concert, there are two events coming up in the next few months that you won’t want to miss.
On Aug. 31st Atmosphere is coming to The Rialto Theatre with guests Prof, Dem Atlas, and DJ Fundo. While not everyone may be familiar with the prolific Atmosphere, they are a group well worth knowing about.
Formed in 1989, Atmosphere has been called the group that has, “…transformed the city [Minneapolis] into something else entirely: a nexus from which underground rap spiraled-out to the masses.” The group was originally composed primarily of rapper Sean Daley, better known as Slug, and Anthony “Ant” Davis, as well as other artists who toured with the group and worked on their early albums. The duo, joined with other local Minnesota artists and formed the record label Rhymesayers Entertainment. Now more of a family than a simple record label, Rhymesayers is composed primarily of local Minnesota artists but has also expanded to representing nationally recognized hip-hop and rap artists.
Atmosphere sits at the head of what many consider to be the most well-composed collection of artists in the underground hip-hop industry. The label hosts its own Soundset Festival, a multi-day concert that draws well over 20,000 attendees. And now, the group, currently composed of Slug, Ant, Nate Collis playing guitar, and Erick Anderson on the keyboard, is bringing their perfected sound to the Old Pueblo.
Only one month after Atmosphere comes to town, Club Congress will be hosting another Rhymesayers artist, Brother Ali. The blind, Islamic emcee has earned a reputation that goes well beyond such simple classifications. Ali could be called more of a musical activist than a simple artist. “In an age of hip-hop where the paradigm of swag over substance reigns supreme, few emcees are willing to use their platform to tackle the hot-button topics and pressing social maladies of our time - but it’s apparent that Minneapolis-based hip-hop artist Brother Ali is one of those few.”
Ali released his fourth full-length album under the guidance of platinum selling producer, Jake One. Jake One has worked with big name rap artists the likes of 50 Cent, T.I., and Wiz Khalifa. Ali’s newest album, Mourning in America and Dreaming in Color, “presents a scathing yet honest critique of America and its many flaws while simultaneously presenting a hopeful outlook of its possibilities.” Brother Ali’s music taps deep into the beating heart of hip-hop and attempts to shine the light on the real problems in the world, not just the fancy clothes and big parties found in many different artists’ repertoire. Ali’s show will be at Congress on Oct. 8.
With these two fantastic headliners coming to our city, this is one of the greatest chances anyone could have to begin to understand the enormous and ever changing culture that is underground hip-hop. Get out of the oppressing summer heat and find your way into these two historic local venues for a fantastic show.