Atmosphere's Slug Talks "The Family Sign," Eminem

Slug of Atmosphere explains the meaning behind his latest LP and talks about Eminem's status among underground emcees in the '90s.

The Boombox recently caught up with indie phenomenon Slug of the duo Atmosphere to discuss his latest critically acclaimed album The Family Sign. The Minnesota-based Rhymesayer explains the process that went into making his sixth commercial release, saying that the LP was his way of re-connecting with his family, friends and army of fans after a two-year period that found him dealing with a host of personal problems, including the death of his friend and Rhymesayer Entertainment labelmate Eyedea.

“I was trying to make a statement to my people and to my community to an extent,” he said. “But I'm not trying to keep anybody out either. I just felt like the last two years for me has been so full of ups and downs. I was trying to make sure I was strengthening my connectivity with my family, my friends as well as the people who appreciate the things that we do.”

Slug also touches on Eminem and how the Detroit emcee’s meteoric rise to fame in the mid-‘90s affected him as a Caucasian rapper. He says that while he’s always respected Em as an emcee, he feels that Em’s popularity pushed other white underground rappers to musically disassociate themselves from him. He also added that much of the criticism Em has faced from other white rappers stems from jealousy of his success.

"I think Eminem and his existence and how big he got did influence the underground by making artists try to go the other direction,” he explained. “I wasn't seeing a bunch of people trying to emulate Eminem, but I was seeing a lot of people in the late '90s and early 2000's who were going to opposite direction of Eminem because they were insecure about being affiliated with him…I was already kicking my shit off before Em got big. I had my second and third record out, and I was already touring when that Slim Shady album popped off. And I was like, ‘This motherfucker is dope!’ I think that in most of the communities I frequented, that's how Em was regarded. You really couldn't take anything away from the guy. He was dope and he had Dr. Dre co-signing him! So to me, if you hated on Eminem, you were just a hater [laughs]."

He added, “As [Eminem] got bigger and became more of a pop star, that's when some of the backlash started. But it was never based on him as an MC. Because let's be real, a lot of the hate [that he faced from other rappers] was about jealously. There were a lot of MCs that hated the fact that Eminem was the one that made it and they didn't. That wasn't even a white thing. That was an MC thing."

You can read the full interview with Slug at The Boombox.

RELATED: Atmosphere Announces Family Vacation Tour With Blueprint, Evidence, DJ Babu


  • Bob24

    I like this dude, never really heard him much before if im honest living here in the UK. But from what ive seen recently i got top respect for him! That's good to see other m-c's with less fame as to eminem himself coming out an praising him for hes success as an em-cee. Would be good to see them both do a track together some time.

  • Giovanni Funes

    Slug is one of the most realest emcees out there. His music keeps getting better and better.

  • Anonymous

    No people say he's wack because they hear Love the Way You Lie on the radio or wherever and assume that's his entire catalog. Or atleast that's how it is now. It's a shame too.

  • Anonymous

    Slug is a real dude, always has been, you can tell from his music content.

  • Jeremy Orr

    thats some real ish he said bout Eminem..I remember my white friends automatically saying dude was wack w/o even hearing him, ppl were quick to put him in that Vanilla Ice role. I myself even pre-judged him at 1st, then I actually sit down and listened to his rhymes while taking out the content. His wordplay more than anything got to me, it wasnt even really what he was sayin it was more about the way he was saying that time I hadn't heard to many MC's regardless of race spit that way and thats why he's still around today...IMO (AND BEING WHITE DIDNT HURT EITHER!)


      Co-sign. Whites, blacks, all had to admit it, around late 90s, early 00s, nobody could touch Eminem and nobody had style and content like his. Jay and Dre agree that he is probably the greatest ever and they're legends themselves. To say he's wack is just jealousy. Real talk from Slug.

  • G_MON

    The Minnesota Missle! Real talk from Slug, he's gotta be Top 5 white rappers of all time .. maybe top 3 ... i could prolly argue that.

  • Angel Xavier De Peña

    Atmosphere is garbage

  • 2da9thpwr

    You've gotta love Sean for his honesty and humility. No other rapper can look at something like that objectively without ego. It's okay to love...

  • FourTrackFiasco

    Slug is mixed.

  • Anonymous

    oh yeah and R.A. The Rugged Man gets brought up alot too.

  • yugang

    I have to say its pretty humble of slug to say that shit about eminem cause find that to be kinda true in some ways. Plus, like sutterkane said, you'll have a alot of mofos from the internet naming off a another white underground mc that they'll say is better than em. Im not lyin when i say these particular names always come up in a arguement or debate about eminem & whos better than him: Cage, Copywrite, Eyedea, Ill Bill, Diabolic, Sabac Red, Aesop Rock, Apathy, Brother Ali (sometimes) and even slug himself gets brought up.

  • Anonymous

    eminem can lick ma nutz... atmosphere i way better

  • Anonymous

    I had sex with both and neither could break me off like a black MC.

  • mcmastermind

    Both MC's are mad dope. Eminem has a huge fan base but Slug has nothing to worry about. He has a true fan base of true fans, so his career is pretty good if you ask me. Pretty sick of him to admit this shit too.

  • SutterKane

    Bout time one of these white guys admits that shit Always love to laugh at the little backpack kids on the internet who be like "Fuck Eminem, My favorite Random whie MC is soooooo much better"......... No he isnt, go sit in a corner somewhere, lol Thats success tho, its not exclusive to rappers, If you work at a Grocry store and you get the biggest raise, or the best hours or whatever else, you'll be the guy everybody sits around talking about in the breakroom, like "Fuck that motherfucker, I work 10 x harder then him, I shoulda got that promotion, he must be fuckin the boss!!!"

  • WOWsuperFagwackBITCH

    LOL are you fuckin retarded superguccirap? jedi like dick is retarded, tyler the creator is garbage , hold up you hate on pac but tyler is a satan worshiper, GUCCI is the worse attempt at rap ever, you are truly a fag and everyone knows it you stupid fuck

  • @Nomedication

    i ment SuperGucciRap and Dustin6595+Trueee u dnt know shit!! But i give Jedi Mind Tricks n Tyler The Creator their props.

  • NoMedication

    Follow @Nomedication

  • NoMedication

    com'on SuperGucciRap and SuperGucciRap +Trueee!! u all some homo's!!! you all are jus hating on these 2 guys simple and plain!! Both of these guys are good at wht they do and blazed two different trails!!! and wtf are sayin about justin bieber being anti illumanti. You dnt shit about that subject!!! Lets see how many ppl roast ur ass on this stuipd comment!! Love hip hop or kill ur self! but for real jus kill urself!

  • SuperGucciRap

    Nigga fuck Eminem and Atmosphere. One rapper raps about bitching about his mom and the other faggot raps about how his former crush doesn't like him. Only homos, sensitive males and females who listen to Drake, B.o.B and Big Sean likes these morons. Listen to Jedi Mind Tricks, Hopsin, Tyler The Creator, Justin Bieber and Gucci Mane because they don't rap for women for money. They rap about the truth and say fuck illuminati but not in a hypocrite way like 2pac tried to do when he named himself after a satanist. It's Gucci Time!

    • Anonymous

      At MC Gusto SuperGucciRap is good but he's no MAANDYYYYYYYYY or HAANNDYYYYYY

    • Anonymous

      congrats on your no win, no prize victory.

    • MC Gusto

      SuperGucci is the most successful troll on dx by far.

    • Dustin6595

      Ok, Im doing this rite now, so nobody else has to, "if anybody responds to SupperGucciRap's comment in a negative way all defensively, your a dumb piece of shit that gullible and should be raped and murdered. just don't comment on this, hes obviously joking.

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