Rap group Atmosphere perform great show at Republic
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Slug, a 44-year-old rapper from Minnesota and one-half of the music duo, Atmosphere, performed at Republic New Orleans on Jan. 24. The performance was the band’s first appearance in the city since 2001, and it featured two Minnesota rap artists, Brother Ali and Dem Atlas.
The beginning of the show was lackluster, and the crowd was not feeling the opening act, Dem Atlas. The song were slow and repetitive, and some in the audience clearly were wondering if they had made a mistake coming to the show at all.
However, the show picked up significantly when the next rapper on stage, Brother Ali, came on. Brother Ali bears an uncanny resemblance to Santa Claus, and the crowd loved every minute of the jolly man’s show.
Ali, a community activist, endorsed positivity between every song by giving inspiring speeches in between. His performance was just as good as his recorded tracks, if not better.
He gave thanks to two of his big inspirations: Muhammad Ali, from whom he gets his name, and Forest Whitaker. “Ali is an inspiration to me because he never let fame and money get to him. He stayed humble and gave back to people,” said Ali.
Preceding his song, “Forest Whitaker,” Ali discussed the actor’s struggle with his “not-so-great” appearance to become the great actor he is today. Ali, himself, suffers from albinism.
The interaction between the crowd and the performer was the best part of the show. Early in his performance, Ali asked the crowd to put away their phones and enjoy the moment with him. Following his performance, Ali told the crowd he’d be in the back of the room waiting for Slug to perform.
Slug, while not known for his great rap skills, is better known for his clown personality, which was on full display through his vulgar jokes and his ability to turn a bad situation into a light-feeling, humorous experience.
Surprisingly, Slug focused more on his older songs, rather than his new album “Fishing Blues.” He closed his performance with one of his most famous songs, “Sunshine,” then called Ali and Atlas to the stage to end it all with a freestyle battle between the three artists.
With a last big bang, the beat dropped to one of Slug’s most moving songs, “Trying to Find a Balance,” speaking on social issues and the personal battle with it, which made the crowd go crazy. The show exceeded all expectations.