RADD: Are Atmosphere strictly hip hoppers or do you get down with other genres?

SLUG: I mean, I listen to anything that’s got good storytelling, I don’t listen to a lot of instrumental music. A big part of my connection to music are the words and the stories. Even someone like Willie Nelson sings song of struggle and I like songs of struggle but it still comes from hip-hop. I mean I grew up on hip-hop and it taught me about communicating the struggle.

RADD: In your earlier years, did you find the fact that you were white rappers from Minnesota a challenge?

SLUG: Growing up in my neighbourhood everyone in my hood knew I actually come from a mixed race background when it was time to introduce myself to people in other cities, it was a time in the 90s when there were so many white rappers from the underground that no one even flinched. It was like a big Benetton ad, we all got along.

RADD: As a hip hopper with exposure to the world, do you think you have a responsibility to educate the youth on the real world?

SLUG: I don’t even think that’s a hip hop thing, just as a human being with a voice and people listening to you have a responsibility. I’m just happy I made it to 40 years of age, so I need to try teach the youth to make it to this age. I ‘m not the kinda guy that says rappers have to be role models.

RADD: What advice would you give to the little guy that’s trying to compete in the big fish market?

SLUG: Don’t lie to nobody, especially yourself. Because if you got to lie, you’re not making art; you’re hustling. The hustle has got more emphasis than the art and we gotta fix that.

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