Slightly Stoopid & Atmosphere
About Slightly Stoopid:
Slightly Stoopid's Miles Doughty and Kyle McDonald were signed to Sublime mastermind Brad Nowell's Skunk imprint while still in high school, and did two albums for the label, Slightly Stoopid in 1996 and Longest Barrel Ride two years later. While the sound back then was SoCal skatepunk influenced by thrash elements and copious amounts of weed, Doughty and McDonald's playing and singing had matured considerably by 2001 and Live & Direct: Acoustic Roots. The duo was later rounded by drummer Ryan Moran and percussionist/vocalist Oguer Ocon. By 2003 and Everything You Need, they were rocking a California-centric sound of loopy sampledelic pop, hip-hop influence, sunny marijuana affirmations, and the occasional return to raucous skatepunk. In 2005, Slightly Stoopid released their most accomplished album to date, Closer to the Sun. The record mixed dub and reggae influences with light hip-hop and an easy groove -- on tracks like "Ain't Got a Lot of Money," Doughty and McDonald suggested Jack Johnson fronting Fun Lovin' Criminals. Their eclectic mix of sounds found the band on tours over the years with a variety of acts including the Marley Brothers, blink-182, G. Love & Special Sauce, Pennywise, and N.E.R.D. Considering Slightly Stoopid's longtime and adamantly D.I.Y. work ethic, Closer to the Sun impressively debuted in the Billboard Top 200 and sold nearly 25,000 copies in its first two months of release. The EP Slightly Not Stoned Enough to Eat Breakfast Yet Stoopid appeared next, which contained Sun outtakes and other classic studio recordings. Playing nearly 200 shows a year for their diverse fan base affectionately termed Ese Locos or Stoopidheads, the group released a live album (Winter Tour '05-'06) and DVD (Live in San Diego) in June 2006. The releases reflected the band's tendency to jam for nearly two hours at their gigs, focusing on improvisation and crowd interaction. Despite their intense touring schedule, the band managed to make it into the studio, and in 2007 they released Chronchitis. The following year they treated fans to an updated version of their Slightly Not Stoned Enough to Eat Breakfast Yet Stoopid release. The updated version featured all of the tracks from the 2005 EP, as well as outtakes from Chronchitis, cover songs and unreleased crowd favorites. They returned in 2012 with Top of the World, an album that continued their evolution towards smoother sounds and featured guests like G. Love, Barrington Levy, and Jurassic 5's Chali 2na. - All Music Guide
Atmosphere are a hip-hop group from Minneapolis centering around rapper Slug (aka Sean Daley). The son of a black father and a white mother who divorced when he was a teenager, Slug became entranced with hip-hop, graffiti, and breakdancing, and formed the Rhymesayers collective with two high-school friends -- Siddiq Ali (Stress) and Derek Turner (Spawn). After some early gigs as Urban Atmosphere, where Slug DJed behind Spawn's rhyming, the pair hooked up with producer Ant (Anthony Davis), as well as like-minded locals such as MC Musab, Mr. Gene Poole, and the Abstract Pack, forming an underground hip-hop clique dedicated to freestyling, clever and complex lyrics, and anti-gangsta positivity. In 1998, Atmosphere released their debut album, Overcast!, which quickly became regarded as an underground hip-hop classic thanks to Slug's deeply personal, poetic musings, as well as Ant's bare-bones -- but inventive -- production.
The next Atmosphere album was titled Sad Clown Bad Dub II, a 2000 set originally sold while the group was on tour. (Now out of print, it's a highly sought-after collector's item.) A year later, the group released Lucy Ford: The Atmosphere EP's, a collection of three EPs built around the theme of Slug's complicated relationship with his ex-girlfriend, the lost love of his life. The group has toured consistently, both at home and overseas; while Ant usually doesn't accompany the group on the road, Mr. Dibbs of the group 1200 Hobos often joins in behind the turntables and Slug is usually assisted on the mike by young rappers like the teenaged Eyedea. In June 2002, the group -- down to the duo of Slug and Ant -- unleashed God Loves Ugly, an 18-track effort that returned to previous themes ("F*@k You Lucy"), but also contained the group's most pop-friendly single to date, "Modern Man's Hustle."
By this time indie rap superstars, Atmosphere returned with their fourth album, Seven's Travels, in 2003, followed two years later by You Can't Imagine How Much Fun We're Having. The group continued to put music out during the next couple of years, including the free download Strictly Leakage in late 2007, a near-party album that they followed up with When Life Gives You Lemons, You Paint That Shit Gold in April 2008, a record that featured plenty of live instrumentation and guest background vocal spots from Tom Waits and TV on the Radio's Tunde Adebimpe. The “double-EP” To All My Friends: Blood Makes the Blade Holy appeared in 2010, with the full-length album The Family Sign following in 2011. - All Music Guide