Seven Ways to Kick this Week’s Ass with Atmosphere.

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I believe one of the greatest living rap groups that exist is Atmosphere. I attended a concert with my brother last year, and it was one of the most incredible shows I’ve seen (so much energy). Slug’s humble words and Ant’s heart-string plucking beats will make you melt. And the boys aren’t messing around – They’ve been around for over a decade. If you are still sitting in your chair wondering who in the hell Atmosphere is, I highly urge you to pay your respects and head over to Rhymesayers or the iTunes store and support these artists.

This week’s Seven Ways was put together by hand picking some of my favorite lines from their songs (and it was quite a chore to just choose seven). These are just a few of the lyrics that resonated with me, and below is my personal interpretation. Feel free to create your own meaning and run with it. Enjoy.

  • Every day can’t be the best day / Do what you can right now, don’t hesitate / That’s why we try to make love and get paid / Take the bad with the good, now let’s play. Shit happens. Get over it. Shit is happening to him, them, her, us. Bills are knocking at everyone’s door and a lot of people are working jobs they hate to pay rent at a place they can’t stand. Every day may not be the best day, but you can sure as hell make the best of what you’ve got.  “The Best Day” from To All My Friends, Blood Makes The Blade Holy.
  • I think it’s great how you used to great / I can’t hate on how you choose to relate / But I know that you had the potential / I understand why you wanted to let go / A lot of pressure / In the middle of those shoulders / And we ain’t gettin nothin but older / Ain’t nothin’ changed  / But the day we run from / But nobody knows that / Better than you huh? My favorite line from this bit is probably “I can’t hate on how you choose to relate.” With so many billion people in this world, it’s extremely unlikely that we’re all going to be able to relate to something in the same way or from the same source as our neighbor. Don’t hate on someone who chooses X to cope with Y. You’ve never been in anyone else’s shoes but your own, so sympathize all you want, but it takes a real series of events for you to empathize with any other human. “Puppets” from When Life Gives You Lemons, You Paint That Shit Gold.
  • “When the grand scheme plan keeps all these people wonderin / Why we still runnin in place frustrated? / Pride is mistaken for hate, it’s upgraded / I got a little breath left, let’s suffocate it.” When society tries to whip out their cookie cutter, knock it out of their hands and run like hell. The “plan” most people choose to follow doesn’t allow them to live up to their fullest potential and unlock true happiness. And, to quote Fight Club, “You’re not your fucking khakis.” A 9-5 job does not define happiness, nor does a Mercedes, designer shoes or a white collar. Follow your dreams and make a living doing what you love. Also, “I can’t fight your war until I’m finished with mine.” Fight your own battles. People may be there to help you, but they’ve got their own handful of issues to overcome before they offer their hands. Same goes for you. Take care of you. “Get Fly” from You Can’t Imagine How Much Fun We’re Having.

August 16, 2011 show in Cincinnati

  •  “Spoke up, hold up, I’m on that grown-up stuff. / I’ll be the butt of your joke, ’cause I can hold my cup.” Don’t take life too seriously. Hold your own and don’t take things to heart. Shrug off smug comments because you’re better than that. “Ain’t Nobody” from The Family Sign.
  • “I wear my scars like the rings on a pimp / I live life like the captain of a sinking ship.” Simple enough. Live your life to the fullest. Head-on. Maxed out. When life give you scrapes and scars, when the world ruffles your feathers, flaunt it. Make the most out of life and embrace it. The entirety of the song focuses on staying true and dreaming big, as the chorus blasts “God loves ugly.” Regardless of your religion, it’s safe to say that we should embrace the “ugly” – our “flaws” – the characteristics that make us who we are – because that person is incredible and capable.  “Godlovesugly” from God Loves Ugly.
  • “Freefallin’ when you shook from the pack / Keep walkin’, let the foot leave a track / We often gotta look for the path / These problems, are the good ones to have.” We’re all thrown into this life and we all make choices to shape our current realities. A lot of this song revolves around the idea that things really aren’t as tough as we make them out to be. So, you’ve got a shitty job? At least you’ve got a paying gig. A thousand people would probably kill to be in your shoes, so bug off with you “FML, Woe is me” self-pitying mindset. “Freefallin’” from To All My Friends, Blood Makes The Blade Holy.
  • “I’ma roll a couple of boulders off the cliff / On the road below (look out below) / ‘Cause I don’t know what I’ma hit (yo).” Sometimes you don’t know what’s going to result in your actions, but you’ve just got to go with your gut and roll with the punches. If you spend your life meticulously planning each and every detail, you’re going to be either exhausted or highly disappointed. Jump before you test the waters. “Tears For The Sheep” from Lucy Ford.

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