Few groups can boast a quarter-century in hip hop and even fewer can say with all sincerity, that they're at the height of their popularity after said amount of time.
With the release of their seventh studio album, Southsiders this past Tuesday (May 6) MC, Slug (Sean Daley) and DJ/producer Ant (Anthony Davis) took to the Sunset Strip to celebrate with a few hundred of their friends and fans.
Before the doors even opened, Slug surprised fans standing in line by greeting them one-by-one as they waited to get into The standing room only Roxy Theatre. The Minneapolis 'rhymesayer' gave the people something to go home with, taking pictures and signing autographs before going inside to prepare for the show.
Open Mike Eagle kicked things off, rocking an hourlong set with a high energy performance that combined elements of R&B and spoken word to create a unique sub-genre of hip hop reminiscent of Arrested Development.
Atmosphere hit the stage around 9pm, sending the crowd into an immediate frenzy as they blazed through their hits like "Puppets" and "God Loves Ugly," before jumping into their latest single, "Kanye West" (which most of the crowd already knew word-for-word).
Slug fittingly had the drinks flowing by the time he got to "Pour Me Another." Sporting a black hoodie, the fiery MC worked his way from one side of the stage to the other interacting with the capacity crowd and going back and forth with his DJ/producer as he has for years in the past.
Of course the place erupted on another level when "Trying to Find A Balance" came on. Unlike with a lot of veterans, Atmosphere received just as much love for their new music as they did the hits that got them to this point.
Atmosphere showed clear awareness of the important role fans like the ones in attendance have played in propelling the duo's longevity to a level that few in hip hop can boast.
With so many new artists fading into has-been status before they can even open up a savings account, Atmosphere is a true testament to the value of consistency in hip hop.
Southsiders is available now in stores and on iTunes.