Slug (Atmosphere) - conducted by Todd E. Jones  

Canít You Imagine Atmosphere Having Fun?

November 2005

MVRemix: Who are some artists or producers you would like to collaborate with in the future?

Slug: I donít really have a wish list anymore. I used to want to work with this guy and want to work with that guy. I pretty much covered the basics on who I wanted to work with. Also, as I have gotten older, I have refined my ideas about working with other artists. Nowadays, I wonít work with anybody just for money. I wonít work with anybody just because they're famous. I wonít even work with anybody just because theyíre dope. My rule now is that I only work with friends. Even if my friend isnít that tight, I would rather make a song with my friend than make a song with the dopest rapper in the world, who I donít know. The song with the rapper I donít know would sound like a fake collaboration for starters. Also, I donít want to make a song with you and find out later that you beat your wife, kicked puppies, or some shit. I just donít want to work with assholes. I donít want that on my resume.

MVRemix: Word association. When I say a name of a name, you say the first word that pops into your head. So, if I said, ĎFlava Flav', you may say ĎClockí, ĎCrackí, or ĎThe Surreal Lifeí. Okay?

Slug: Okay. Iím not that good at this, but Iíll try.

MVRemix: Murs.

Slug: White girls.

MVRemix: Dead Prez.

Slug: The realness.

MVRemix: Happy Mondays.

Slug: I donít know. M&Mís. Something about the band Happy Mondays always reminded me of Skittles and M&Mís. I donít know why. I wonder if they had a real colorful video at one time.

MVRemix: Necro.

Slug: Hubcaps.

MVRemix: Public Enemy.

Slug: Chuck D.

MVRemix: Phife Dawg.

Slug: Wack.

MVRemix: Curtis Mayfield.

Slug: The shit.

MVRemix: George Bush.

Slug: (Wack)Ö in parenthesis.

MVRemix: Do you think hip-hop has become too focused on what place the emcee represents?

Slug: I donít know if it is too focused on that. Iím actually kind of excited that the rules of hip-hop, that were established years ago, are still in place in most areas. There is a rule to make people have a good time and forget about their problems. I might add that the back-packers donít know how to do that. People like me, Aesop, Mr. Lif, and Murs, just remind you of your problems. You have mainstream guys, like Ludacris and 50 Cent, who put shit out that makes you forget about your problems. I have to appreciate that. I have to respect that. To me, in my mind and vision, hip-hop began in some basement of some burned out building in the Bronx. Those people werenít there to listen to somebody woe over a woman. They were there to fucking throw their hands in the air and forget about their light bill. As far as take your boys with you, that rule is still in place. Represent where you are from is also a rule that is still in place. Iím always going to embrace those three rules. Without them, I donít know if hip-hop would have made it here. I donít know if it would have made it as far as it made it.

MVRemix: What are some major misconceptions do you think people have of you?

Slug: Just that we are upset and whiney. Yeah, some of the music is like that. People seem to relate to that. Yeah, thatís good for them and it is a bit of a catharsis for me to get shit out. But, in the end, Iím a happy dude, man. I know it sounds corny, but itís the truth. Iím a happy dude.

MVRemix: Around what time in your career did you and Rhymesayers start to financially survive from hip-hop?

Slug: I quit working for other people and became self-employed in the year 2000. That was because we took every damn dime I made and opened up a record store. We werenít living off of what we were making. We all had hustles, all legal hustles, but unethical. Iíve been working record retail for so long that I had a couple of industry scams. I was making about $1,200 to $2,000 a month from it. So, I was able to quit my job and go full time with this. I consider that self-employment. Granted, the money wasnít coming directly to me because of rap. I was making money off of record label people and this and that. I was doing stupid little promo hustles, helping reps, and this or that. It was around 2000. Thatís when we opened the store. I didnít have to live off of the rap money I was making. I was able to take all of the rap money and keep flipping it on top of itself.

MVRemix: Whatís next for Atmosphere (Ant & Slug)?

Slug: Iíve been working on a new project that has been all just in writing right now. We havenít started to put beats to it yet, but when we get off this tour, we will. Weíll go home and start working on the new record. I donít know yet what to say about it because it is still so early. There will probably be another record in us within a year and half.

MVRemix: Any collaborations?

Slug: Iíve been trying to track down Tom Waits. I know his son. I would like to sit down and have lunch with Tom. We could sit down and see if we get along. Maybe, if not collaborating, we may discuss some kind of conceptual collaboration that neither of us actually performs, but one that we both help orchestrate. I know some of the people he knows and I know some of the people he needs to know. I really think there is room to get a ĎStorytellersí thing going on.

MVRemix: Any final words?

Slug: Eat your vegetables and wear your seatbelts.

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" the end, Iím a happy dude, man. I know it sounds corny, but itís the truth. Iím a happy dude."