Atmosphere Headshots: Se7en

For many Atmosphere fans, the group’s crowning achievement is their 2000 sophomore release, Headshots: Se7en, the last in the series of local, cassette-only albums from Minnesota’s now disbanded Headshots hip-hop crew. A four-track recording, Headshots: Se7en certainly didn’t sound perfect, but it was significant. Slug, Atmosphere’s front man and indie-rap poster boy, replaced the critically-acclaimed battle-rap of the group’s Overcast! debut with his personal and emotional rhymes, inspiring the subgenre of emo-rap. Spawn, Slug’s previous co-rapping and co-producing partner in Atmosphere was replaced by new producer Ant, whose higher musical output was able to keep up with Slug. So, a remastered, re-release of Headshots: Se7en is a no-brainer. But it’s also got its own merit above and beyond its significance in the evolution of Atmosphere. Album opener, "Sep Seven Game Show Theme” takes De La Soul’s Three Feet High and Rising game show interludes to another level with a funny parody of rap "culture” and game shows. On "The Stick Up,” Slug and Eyedea brag up their sexual prowess on a great Digital Underground-type beat, and on "A Tall Seven and Seven,” Slug attempts an intervention on record. And that’s just a small taste. What’s more, the first edition of the re-release also contains a ten-track bonus disc of songs from the previous six Headshots releases, including the fantastic, bad-trip track "Mushroom Trails” by Sess & Slug. Atmosphere has done right with this deserving re-release. (Rhymesayers)