Sitting down with Jinx from Complex, Slug of Atmosphere detailed his thoughts on the place of the phrase “conscious rap” and later listed off his own favorite five emcees.

“Truthfully I don’t even know what that phrase means anymore, ‘conscious rap,’” he said. “I realize, all of these different sub genres and whatnot, they were created so you could say as few words as possible when you’re trying to explain what somebody sound like. So nowadays you might even find rappers that are like, ‘Don’t put me in the conscious rap bucket.’ Whereas I think Kendrick is conscious rap. When you’re speaking about trying to make something out of nothing. To me that’s conscious rap. To me, to an extent, all Hip Hop is. When I was growing up gangster rap was conscious rap. But I’m old. It’s easy for me to look at it like that.

“I still remember when we didn’t separate all these branches of this tree,” he added. “I still remember when not only did we not separate them but we were still scared that the grownups were right and that it was just gonna be a fad. They told us it was a fad and it was gonna go away so we took the time to try and water this and make it grow into something. And now it’s there, it’s never going away. It’s not a fad. We won.”

Asked about his favorite emcees of all time, Slug rattled off names of emcees that began their careers in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s.

“My top five is Big Daddy Kane, Rakim, KRS-One, Scarface, and, right now, Black Thought,” he said.

Slug then went on to list a group of contemporary rappers he listens to.

“Like everybody else I’m a huge fan of Kendrick,” he said. “Action Bronson I like that dude. That kid Logic, I really like what that dude is doing. I think he comes from a very sincere place with what he’s doing. Ab-Soul is a favorite of mine right now…What I think is funny is the people that really go out of their way to be spiteful about it. To be like, ‘I’m just not feeling Danny Brown. I hate Danny Brown.’ You don’t realize Danny Brown is helping you build your identity right now, just as much as if you did like Danny Brown. The things you hate make you just like the things you love make you.”

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