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Discussion Starter #1
Made with another guy. The way we did it:

We each came up with a top 100 list. 63 songs appeared on both lists. The places of those were tallied up (5th on my list and 11th on his list for 16, etc) and placed in order from 1-63. The remaining 54 songs were ranked based on how high they appeared on individual lists, cutting off at 27. After some minor adjustments, we came up with the list we're presenting today.


100. They Call It
99. The Last To Say
98. The Major Leagues
97. How I Won The War
96. Say Shhh
95. Carry Me Home
94. Can't Break
93. Like Today
92. Write Now
91. Sad Clown

90. They All Get Mad At You
89. One Of A Kind
88. The Number One
87. That Night
86. Bird Sings Why The Caged I Know
85. Hockey Hair
84. YGM
83. Your Glass House
82. Ode To The Modern Man
81. The Pill

80. The Ropes
79. Give Me
78. Commodities
77. Peyote
76. C'mon
75. Party For The Fight To Write
74. WND
73. The Best Day
72. You Make Me Wanna
71. Wild Wild Horses

70. Inside Outsider
69. Hair
68. A Song About A Friend
67. A Girl Named Hope
66. Say Hey There
65. If I Was Santa Claus
64. The Arrival
63. Self Hate Bad Dub
62. Multiples Reprise
61. Lift Her, Pull Her

60. Primer
59. Get Fly
58. Pretty Broad
57. Travel
56. 52 Pickup
55. Mama Had A Baby and His Head Popped Off
54. RFTC
53. Step By Step
52. The Things That Hate Us
51. Secret

50. Shoulda Known
49. Good Daddy
48. Saves The Day
47. Summersong
46. Lovelife
45. Edie Brikell
44. Pour Me Another
43. Don't Forget
42. Millenium Dodo
41. Shrapnel

40. I Don't Need Brighter Days
39. Painting
38. The Ocean
37. If You Could Save Me Now
36. The Rooster
35. Me
34. My Songs
33. They're All Gonna Laugh @ You
32. Don't Ever Fucking Question That
31. Trying To Find A Balance

30. Smart Went Crazy
29. Angelface
28. Like The Rest Of Us
27. Lyndale Ave Users' Manual
26. Panic Attack
25. Modern Man's Hustle
24. Happymess
23. Scalp
22. Aspiring Sociopath
21. Less One

20. Godlovesugly
19. My Key
18. Fuck You Lucy
17. My Notes
16. Scapegoat
15. Nothing But Sunshine
14. Abusing of the Rib
13. To All My Friends
12. Not Another Day/Between The Lines
11. Sunshine

10. The Waitress
9. Guarantees
8. Puppets
7. The Woman With The Tattooed Hands
6. Yesterday
5. The River
4. Always Coming Back Home To You
3. In Her Music Box
2. Body Pillow
1. God's Bathroom Floor/Little Man (cheated, sorry)
 

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Ridiculously overrated by his fans but nice list. Little Man is the song that originally turned me onto him.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
trilltolive said:
Ridiculously overrated by his fans but nice list. Little Man is the song that originally turned me onto him.
you think so?  I disagree.  I actually think he's the goat (which I suppose probably serves your argument, lol).  here's my rationale though:


There are three main arguments as to why he's the greatest of all time:

1) A simple score of how good his material is
2) The stylistic diversity of said material
3) The staggering amount of music and consistency thereof

It's probably easiest to start with the second point. Slug's the greatest of all time at two completely different styles of rap: the poetic, cryptic and often abstract style he employed from the late 90s through about 2004 and the detail oriented storytelling that really emerged in 2007. For the latter, Slug essentially became a modern, improved Slick Rick. Unlike other skilled storytellers (Nas, Jay-Z, Joe Budden, even Eminem) Slug is able to make fantastically enthralling songs about the unremarkable. It makes sense, really - realism is usually taken with a grain of salt when stories all end in gunshots or AIDS diagnoses. The observational skill and psychological analysis he applies to everyday people have already proven to be the foundation of classic material in literature and other genres of music, but remained relatively absent from hip hop. For proof of Slug's skill in this area, see 2008's When Life Gives You Lemons You Paint That Shit Gold or the 'seasons' EPs released in 2007 and 2008. Now, it's important to note that this change in style was not out of necessity or lack of success with his previous approach - God Loves Ugly and Lucy Ford (again, accompanied by countless other tracks we'll get to later) made Slug a hero for championing a style that frankly didn't exist yet. Obviously, it had earlier precursors on Def Jux and other places, but Lucy Ford was written like nothing else that had come out in hip hop history to that point. Perhaps the biggest testament to Slug's ability as a writer is that nothing he's ever done has really felt experimental - in fact, it all seems effortless and conversational, despite its complexity.

Now, as far as a simple appropriation of how good these albums are. First, let's just look at the seven official Atmosphere albums. Overcast! (which included former member Spawn on a relatively small percentage of the album) was, like I said, basically the natural progression of the turn-of-the-century backpack movement. Songs like Scapegoat that are still cited today are proof of that. However, looking back now it's easy to see shades of Slug's developing style, and while the album is fairly divorced in style from any other Atmosphere record, it would be a recommended hip hop listen by any standard. Lucy Ford is hailed by a classic by anyone who's had the pleasure of listening to it - the combination of storytelling and observation make for a very unique listen in the sense that outside of "The Woman With The Tattooed Hands", nothing really remarkable happens in the narration of the album. Hell, many of the album's highlights are about what would usually be considered mundane, but not in a kitschy, self-referential, 'ironic' way. It's just astute views of Slug's (and more often, his characters') worlds. God Loves Ugly is usually held in similar esteem. The album is more centered on cryptic self-introspection, but is hailed as a similarly great release. I've reviewed this album on here, and it's interestingly polarizing in that it features songs that show Slug's increasing polish as a writer (Modern Man's Hustle, God Loves Ugly, Lovelife) and an increasingly cryptic, anti-commercial bend (Shrapnel, One Of A Kind, A Song About A Friend). Both albums are in my upper shelf of classics. Seven's Travels is more uneven than the previous albums, as it sees Slug and producer Ant playing with the fringes of their style. I'd argue that its highlights (Trying To Find A Balance, Bird Sings Why The Caged I Know, Gotta Lotta Walls, Lift Her Pull Her, Shoes, In My Continental, Good Times, Always Coming Back Home To You) are some of Atmosphere's best material to date, but the other half of the album is marred equally by experiments that, while interesting, don't quite hit the mark and crossover attempts (National Disgrace, Reflections) that are ultimately unnecessary with the success of "Balance." While certainly still an album that would be considered well above-average, it was redeemed by 2005's You Can't Imagine How Much Fun We're Having, an album that's pretty much impossible to pick apart. Aside from one interlude (Bam!), the album's tracks are almost impossible to rank, with the exception of "Little Man" which is one of the two or three best songs in Slug's catalog. YCI was certainly a return to top form and a challenger to his previous work, but Slug undoubtedly outdid himself on 2008's When Life Gives You Lemons You Paint That Shit Gold. I'm going to refrain from saying much here because I plan on reviewing it soon, but suffice to say I consider it the best album to be released in the 17 years since Illmatic. 2011's The Family Sign is similar to Seven's Travels in that it's an album split evenly into exceptional material and relatively tame songs that do nothing to offend, but aren't particularly memorable. Actually, it strikes more of a middle ground than the other album. TL;DR: Slug's best albums are better than almost any other rapper's best albums and his median album quality and the quality of his worst albums are higher than any other rapper with the possible exception of Kanye West.

Finally, as if those seven albums weren't enough proof, Slug's catalog is staggering simply for its size. 2007 and 2008 for Slug is, in my opinion, the best two-year run in rap history with the release of Lemons, the four seasons EPs and the free digital release Strictly Leakage. That's 47 songs in less than two years, three albums' worth of classic material. Not just good, but career-defining music. 2009's Leak At Will is one of the best EPs of the decade, and 2006's Happy Clown Bad Dub 8 isn't far behind. There's still 2010's To All My Friends/Blood Makes the Blade Holy and the slew of material released between 1999 and 2003 - think Lil Wayne with a far higher standard for quality and artistry. This isn't even to mention the three Felt records with Murs, which are exceptional in their own right.

Most importantly, there's one more ace in the deck: Sad Clown Bad Dub 2. The 12-track tour-only release is probably the second- or third-best thing in Atmosphere's catalog and in my opinion the clearest example of why pre-2007 Slug was as compelling a writer as the newer edition.

It bears repeating: All of this material - even the never-officially-released b-sides, even the poor quality leaked records - is pretty damn good. There aren't more than a dozen 'bad' Atmosphere songs, and almost none that were officially released. He has either four or five classic albums and his worst albums are, well, good. I'd rate the Family Sign and Seven's Travels (and Overcast, for that matter) 7/10 or higher, and I'm notoriously harsh with my grading.


For clarification: It's art, and clearly dependent on taste. If it's not your thing, it's not your thing. I enjoy listening to lots of great artists I'd consider upper echelon, but my buddy challenged me to clarify my thinking on why someone would be the best artist in rap history. I could probably argue for Nas, Joe, or even Jay-Z as well, but I don't think any of the arguments would be as strong as I could make for Slug.
 

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WPG said:
typed that in real time
You mean you didn't already have that typed down and copy/pasted it? Got damn.

but no, I think Slug is good and I like Atmosphere (even if I'm always on the fence about Ant's beats) and I like his storytelling style that was kind of a great example of post-Slick Rick realistic and detail/introspection and pre-Drake's more subtext-oriented version of that. Honestly I haven't heard any of his more "abstract" stuff and I'd like to hear some of that if you'd give recs.

I have When Life Gives You Lemons and You Can't Imagine since I liked the beats on those best with his rapping :kanyeshrug:

DAVIDRKING said:
What? LMAO!
Is it really that outrageous to imply that most "serious" Atmosphere fans just completely stan him?
 

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Great list. I once again, basically agree with almost everyhting in this list. Also, I'd probably say that God's Bathroom Floor is a little bit better than Little Man, but  LM is still top 5.

Regarding your post stating your reasons as to why you think Slug is GOAT, I agree (I'm repeating myself now lol), I couldn't have said better myself. His quanity - quality  is almost, and probably fully, unparralled. And he's, in my opinion, the best song writer of all time.
 

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also I like his energy but his flow's always seemed kind of just...generic to me. I guess that and a lot of his production are his main detractor's but I see why people just love him.
 

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WPG said:
typed that in real time
I've seen you on studioleaks but dont have an account to respond. Though i love your posts, i think you overrate Atmosphere a little bit. Wanna make a top albums/underrated albums thread? I know of Dessa because of one of your old threads.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
trilltolive said:
also I like his energy but his flow's always seemed kind of just...generic to me. I guess that and a lot of his production are his main detractor's but I see why people just love him.
Yeah...there's not a lot of technical razzle-dazzle to wow anyone, but he stays within himself.  At the very least, he's never done anything that he CAN'T pull off, and that judgment is an important quality to have.  But if you put a lot of weight on varying your flow or rapping double time or whatever, I can totally see where Slug would fall short.

As for him being overrated: there are a lot of Atmosphere fans who listen to very little other rap.  They treat Slug like a deity who can do no wrong and act like he's head and shoulders above everyone else ever, so yeah, I know what you mean.  But I think he's probably underrated by the actual hip hop community. 

As far as the guy who said I overrate Slug a little bit...if that's still your perception, that's fine but I think I've at least substantiated myself.  It's not just a gut reaction thing - I think about music a lot and I'm fairly comfortable saying I have Slug #1.  I understand if others don't though, and I could make pretty good arguments for like, 6-8 other rappers. 
 

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WPG said:
Yeah...there's not a lot of technical razzle-dazzle to wow anyone, but he stays within himself.  At the very least, he's never done anything that he CAN'T pull off, and that judgment is an important quality to have.  But if you put a lot of weight on varying your flow or rapping double time or whatever, I can totally see where Slug would fall short.
Definitely agree. He knows what he's capable of and he doesn't go out of that comfort zone that fits him perfectly. Although family sign is the only project of theirs that I really don't like much at all. Slug just sounds uninspired on most of the album.

My top 10 songs would have to be:
1. Yesterday
2. Sunshine
3. Don't Ever Fucking Question That
4. Fuck You Lucy
5. Vampires
6. The Woman With The Tattooed Hands
7. Mother's Day
8. Always Coming Back Home To You
9. Angelface
10. Guns & Cigarettes


That was hard to do. My fav album is def God Loves Ugly but I love all their material except "the family sign." I really miss the old slug, but he and ant delivered enough great material to lessen the blow tbh.

"Oddly enough, I'm happy I ain't famous. Imagine waking up to the fact that you're simply entertainment."

Probably his best line.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
The Man said:
Definitely agree. He knows what he's capable of and he doesn't go out of that comfort zone that fits him perfectly. Although family sign is the only project of theirs that I really don't like much at all. Slug just sounds uninspired on most of the album.

My top 10 songs would have to be:
1. Yesterday
2. Sunshine
3. Don't Ever Fucking Question That
4. Fuck You Lucy
5. Vampires
6. The Woman With The Tattooed Hands
7. Mother's Day
8. Always Coming Back Home To You
9. Angelface
10. Guns & Cigarettes


That was hard to do. My fav album is def God Loves Ugly but I love all their material except "the family sign." I really miss the old slug, but he and ant delivered enough great material to lessen the blow tbh.

"Oddly enough, I'm happy I ain't famous. Imagine waking up to the fact that you're simply entertainment."

Probably his best line.
Good list.  I totally agree on The Family Sign.  In short, I feel like Slug was striving to be too universal and it came off as generic in places.  It still had some highlights, but you're right about it being uninspired.

As for Sunshine, fuck the hipster Atmos fans who think the song's too popular to like.  Shit's great.
 
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