Icelantic's Winter On The Rocks ft. Atmosphere w/ De La Soul, Living Legends, Watsky, deM atlaS, The Lioness, DJ Keezy, and DJ Cassidy @ RED ROCKS AMPHITHEATRE
18300 W. Alameda Parkway
Morrison, CO, 80465
This event is all ages
Defining success is not an exact science by any means. In some ways, it's especially difficult to quantify one's success when they have a job that places them in the public eye, a position that is ripe for critique and high expectations. Perhaps those who best thrive in those scenarios are the ones who can navigate through all noise and continue to evolve and grow, both in their skill sets and as individuals.
In many ways, that is an integral part of the Atmosphere story. Over their twenty-year career they have managed to continually tweak and strive to perfect their formula, while neither straying too far off their path, nor resorting to playing it safe. Starting at 1997's Overcast, the group's first official album, and traveling through 18 years of new albums, side projects (e.g. the Sad Clown series and Felt), and various collaborations, all the way up until 2014's Southsiders album, Atmosphere's music has evolved in a way that differs from many of their peers and predecessors. A hard look at that evolution doesn't reveal the commonalities of following trends or struggling to fit in, by either over-extending in an effort to stay cool to the younger generation, or succumbing to the pressure people tend to place on artists to maintain the same sound from album to album. Instead, the Atmosphere discography evolves in a natural way.
Musically, Ant has continued to define Atmosphere's sound, ranging from a healthy mixture of upbeat and fun, to the oft more iconic, moody and personal. Through out the 1990s, Ant spent countless hours in his basement with a wealth of records, a keyboard sampler, a turntable and a 4-track, working with a who's who of the Twin Cities' Rap talent of that time. Those experiences tuned his ear, molded his work ethic, and shaped his vision. In turn, those lessons have continually become more prominent in the Atmosphere aesthetic, blending live musicians and sampled production with his keen sense of how to compose a well-arranged song.
As for the lyrics, Slug started his passion for rhyming with an obsessive-like penchant for the way words intersect, as well as how those words can be manipulated for unexpected and clever meanings. But, at the same time, early on Slug expressed an interest in doing more than simply proving he could be witty, but also writing about subjects that speak to people personally, as well as emotionally. These practices also naturally helped the Atmosphere fan base to expand beyond the usual independent Hip Hop audience, extending their reach to an alternative audience who also related to the personable appeal and emotional range of both Slug's songwriting and Ant's musical backdrops. Particularly, Slug has been consistently successful in leveraging his understanding for the power of words, recognizing that a song containing the right story or personal perspective can be extremely effective in capturing and holding the listener's attention.
Undoubtedly, the impact of Atmosphere's music has been the roots to their long-term success, but their continued rigorous touring and performance schedule has been the vessel for engraining these stories and the legacy of the music into their fan base. Early on in their careers, Atmosphere stepped beyond the genre lines and performed shows through out the Twin Cities with Rock bands, Punk Rock bands, and Jazz Ensembles. This was directly influenced by the fact that both of them were already fans of a wide range of music. Although this was a natural reaction to being a fan of the music, that experience also afforded Atmosphere, and their Rhymesayers peers, the opportunity to witness first-hand the D.I.Y ethos shared by some of these other musical movements. Atmosphere began to apply many of these tactics and work ethics to their growth, which was specifically influential in the development of Atmosphere's approach to touring. These strategies found Atmosphere expanding their tours into cities that few, if any, Rap artists were including in their routing. The result is a storied connection between the artists and the listeners, which has grown into long-term Atmosphere fans passing down that experience to their children and so on, and thus continually ushering in a new generation of Atmosphere fans. Early on in their touring excursions, Atmosphere shows were noted in history for challenging the idea that Hip Hop audiences had to be filled exclusively with scowl-faced males fueled by ego and testosterone. Instead they created an environment that invited women to join in on the party. All of these factors have led to a fan base that ranges from ages 14-54 and beyond, and one that remains solid, as well as ever evolving.
As Atmosphere steps into their 21st year of making music, Slug & Ant show no signs of slowing, compromising or losing sight of their vision. Nor has time revealed any diminishing of those qualities that have brought them this far. As 2016 swung into gear, Atmosphere had already ended the previous year and led into another with a string of singles, and still have an abundance of music on the way, including their latest album, "Fishing Blues". The title of the new album speaks directly to the sentiments that opened this bio; Is this the point in the career where Atmosphere chooses to step back, put up the Gone Fishin' sign and reminisce about their successes? The answer, a resounding no, is found in the music, a collection of songs that both define and redefine the Atmosphere sound. Their passion and creative spark are as illuminate as ever. Slug and Ant still have plenty of stories to tell…
De La Soul
In 1987, a trio known as De La Soul formed from Long Island, NY roots and changed the landscape of hip-hop as we knew it. Now, for over 20 years they have rocked us with their De La songs full of inscrutable samplings, whimsically irreverent lyrics, social commentary, light rhythm and laid back rhymes. They have gained respect within and outside the hip hop community with their contributions to rap, as well as jazz, funk, soul and alternative genres. Not only are their musical innovations acclaimed and respected worldwide, but they paved a path for many alternative rap groups to come after them.
De La Soul formed while the trio – Kelvin Mercer (Posdnous, Plug One, Plug Wonder Why, Mercenary), David Jude Jolicoeur (Trugoy the Dove, Plug Two, Dave), and Vincent Mason (P.A. Pasemaster Mase,Plug Three, Maseo) – attended high school in the late 1980's. As a group their stage names reflected the same whimsy they brought to their rhymes. Through backward spelling of Mercer's nickname as a high school DJ "Sound-Sop" became Posdnous and Trugoy was derived from Jolicoeur's favorite food –yogurt. Mason noted in an early interview that Pasemaster was the DJ and Mase wasn't simply a nickname, but an acronym for "Making A Soul Effort".
The group soon caught the attention of producer Paul "Prince Paul" Huston (of local rap group Stetsasonic) with a demo tape of the song "Plug Tunin'". He played the tape colleagues on New York's rap scene, and soon De La Soul signed with Tommy Boy.
3 Feet High and Rising
De La Soul and Prince Paul produced the group's debut album, a mock-game show soundtrack titled 3 Feet High and Rising (released spring 1989). The release was an undeniable smash hit and was quickly hailed as the future of hip hop. The album sounded like nothing else in hip-hop and presented a clear alternative to the hardcore rap that was dominating hip hop at the time. 3 Feet High and Rising was a package of clever rhymes laced with cleverly inventive eccentricities and quirks. Where most of their contemporaries drew directly from old-school rap, funk, or powerful barrage of groups like Public Enemy, De La Soul were gentler, taking in not only funk and soul, but also pop, jazz, reggae, and psychedelia.
The album featured a collage of samples that were taken not from the usual James Brown rhythm tracks but from TV shows and obscure recordings, many from De La Soul's parents' collections. "Transmitting Live from Mars" set a sample from a French lesson record atop a sample from the 1968 Turtles hit "You Showed Me." The hit single "Me Myself and I" which was set to a sample of Funkadelic's 1979 "(not just) Knee Deep" reached Number 34 on Pop charts and reached Number 1 in R&B, further cementing the group's popularity.
The members of De La Soul were hailed by critics and audiences as ingenious revolutionaries, but also uncomfortably labeled as a neo-hippie band because the record proclaimed the dawning of "the D.A.I.S.Y. age" (Da Inner Sound, Y'all). Lyrically, much of 3 Feet High and Rising praised peace and harmony — a message that was fading from the rap scene. However, the hippie label agitated the group, as they always envisioned their career as a constantly changing style. Nevertheless, The Three Feet High and Rising album reached number 24 on the pop charts, number one on R&B, and went gold. At the end of the year, 3 Feet High and Rising topped many best-of-the-year lists.
They quickly became prominent members of a loose alliance of New York-based alternative rappers dubbed the Native Tongues Posse which also included A Tribe Called Quest, Black Sheep, Queen Latifah, the Jungle Brothers, and Monie Love. For a while, it looked as if De La Soul and the Native Tongues posse would eclipse hardcore hip-hop in terms of popularity.
De La Soul is Dead
De La Soul's second album, De La Soul Is Dead (1991) was an obvious reaction to the perception that its debut, however innovative, was "soft." It featured a wealth of material that criticized the new violently careless direction of hip hop while still exuding the same clever humor featured on the group's debut album. The album cover features a broken daisy flower pot symbolizing the death of the "D.A.I.S.Y. Age" and the imagery that went along with it. The album spawned several singles with more serious tones like "My Brother's a Basehead" commentary on drug abuse, the dark tale of "Millie Pulled a Pistol on Santa" about young girl who could no longer take the incestuous sexual abuse from her father, and the lead single "Ring Ring Ring (Ha Ha Hey)," a story about the varied people who used De La's recent fame to try and launch their own careers. De La collaborated with the Black Sheep on "Fanatic of the B Word," Q-Tip from A Tribe Called Quest on "A Roller Skating Jam Named "Saturdays"", and Prince Paul even makes an appearance on the mic in "Pass the Plugs" with a verse of his own. The album also more prominently featured Vincent Mason as a rapper, providing verses of his own on "Bitties in the BK Lounge," "Afro Connections at a Hi-5," and "Ring Ring Ring (Ha Ha Hey)."
De La Soul is Dead eventually became a cult classic and was recognized as being underrated and underappreciated by an increasingly fickle public. "Source" magazine listed the album as one of their top 100 Hip Hop albums of all time, stating that "its true genius is rarely understood". There are several major differences between the CD version of this album and the other formats, as the tracks "Johnny's Dead AKA Vincent Mason," "My Brother's a Basehead," "Kicked Out the House," and "Who Do U Worship?" are only available on the CD. The limited edition double vinyl promotional copies of the album distributed to the media before the official release did not feature these.
De La Soul came back strong in late 1993, however, with Buhloone Mindstate (Number 40 pop, Number Nine R&B), hailed as a return to the group's quirky, groundbreaking form. While harder and funkier than either of its predecessors, this album still didn't fall into the traps of gangsta rap. The single "Breakadawn" broke the R&B Top 40.
1993's Buhloone Mindstate saw the group evolve a new sound and cemented their position as mainstays of the alternative hip hop movement. There were several moments on the album which proved the band had matured. "I Be Blowin'" was a departure as the track was an instrumental featuring saxophone playing by the legendary Maceo Parker. The introspective "I Am I Be" showed De La at their most self referential to date with subject matter about Pos' daughter, Ayana Monet, as well as his grandmother. "Long Island Wildin'" was a collaboration with Japanese hip-hop artists Kan Takagi (Major Force) and trio Scha Dara Parr (SDP). The album's first single, "Breakadawn," used a sample of Michael Jackson's "I Can't Help It" and Smokey Robinson's "Quiet Storm". De La Soul collaborated for the first time with Gang Starr's Guru on "Patti Dooke." Female MC Shortie No Mas, a cousin of Posdnuos, was prominent on many tracks on the album, showcased particularly "In The Woods." The album ended with a fun old school Biz Markie collaboration called "Stone Age." Missing from vocal duties is Mase, whose voice can only be heard on "Area" in a break near the end of the track. Also rarely featured is his scratching which was heard often on previous albums, with only "In the Woods" showcasing his talent in that area. Many publications, such as Rolling Stone, have listed this album as one of the best hip-hop albums of all time.
Stakes Is High
The summer of 1996 yielded a more conventional effort by De La Soul with the release of the album Stakes Is High. The project generated three singles — "The Bizness" (Number 53 R&B), "Stakes Is High" (Number 70 R&B), and "Itsoweezee (Hot)" (Number 60 R&B).This was the group's first album not produced with Prince Paul, with overall production credits given solely to the trio. The album's second single, "Itsoweezee (HOT)," with only Dave on vocals, did well due to its creative music video. The album spawned a third single "4 More," featuring Zhane which peaked at #52 in the UK. The album also served as a launching pad for the future star rapper and actor Mos Def, who appeared on the track "Big Brother Beat." The album featured collaborations with Common, Truth Enola, and the Jazzyfatnastees.
Art Official Intelligence
Years later, De La Soul announced that they would release a triple album series entitled "Art Official Intelligence" (or AOI). The first installment, Art Official Intelligence: Mosaic Thump, was released in 2000. This album was greeted warmly by record buyers, debuting in the Top Ten and reaching number 9 on the pop charts and number 3 for R&B Guest artists include Chaka Khan, the Beastie Boys, Busta Rhymes, and Redman.
The next year, the group followed up with a second installment of the series, AOI: Bionix, but the third part has yet to surface. AOI: Bionix, even featured a video hit with "Baby Phat," but Tommy Boy and the trio decided to end their relationship soon after putting a hold on the end of the series. Fans are still anxiously anticipation the final installment of Art Official Intelligence.
The Grind Date
In 2004, De La Soul released a new full album: The Grind Date on Sanctuary/BMG Records (run by Beyoncé's father, Mathew Knowles). The album's lead single was "Shopping Bags (She Got from You)." Although it was not the third AOI album fans had been expecting, the album was released to some critical acclaim and was well-received by most fans. The album features guests MF Doom, Ghostface Killah, Butta Verses and Flavor Flav, with production from 9th Wonder, Jake One, Madlib and more.
The following year, De La Soul returned with a self-released mixtape, Impossible Mission: TV Series, Pt. 1, on which Posdnuos announced the mission statement in a track called "Freedom Train:" "No longer backed by record companies but back by popular demand."
Are You In?
In 2006, De La Soul collaborated with Nike, to produce two versions of the Nike Dunk under their skateboarding division, Nike SB. The sneakers were an instant hit, and sold out at most retail stores that stocked them
In 2009, De La Soul and Nike continued their relationship with the release of "Are You In?": Nike+ Original Run, which was the group's first original material since The Impossible: Mission TV Series - Pt. 1. The album features Raheem DeVaughn as well as production from the Chicago based duo Flosstradamus. The recording is a single-track recording at 44 minutes, 17 seconds and was made available, exclusively, through iTunes. It is part of a continuing series of releases through the "Nike+ Sport Music" section of the online store.
Group member Posdnuos said to ClashMusic.com of Are You In?, "It had to feel like a De La album that wasn't just a poster for Nike – we wanted people to feel it was a great album on its own terms. We always think things through and put quality into anything we do – we never look to just take the cheque and run."
Other Notable Career Moves
In 1993, De La Soul performed together with alternative rock band Teenage Fanclub for the soundtrack of Judgment Night, on a track called "Fallin'".
In 1994, 500 copies of a promotional EP called Clear Lake Audiotorium were released on clear vinyl and CD. The 6 track EP contained edited versions of tracks off of Buhloone Mindstate but also featured the tracks "Sh.Fe.MC's" (Shocking Female MC's) which was a collaboration with A Tribe Called Quest, and "Stix & Stonz" which featured old-school hip hop artists Grandmaster Caz, Tito of Fearless Four, Whipper Whip, LA Sunshine and Superstar. The EP was widely bootlegged afterwards.
In 2000, the songs "Area" and "Keepin' the Faith" were featured in the movie Boiler Room.
In 2002, the song "Oodles of O's" was featured on the soundtrack for Tony Hawk Pro Skater 4.
In 2002, De La Soul was featured in the film Brown Sugar.
In 2005, De La Soul collaborated with Gorillaz on the hit single "Feel Good Inc.", which won a Grammy for Best Pop Vocal Collaboration after being nominated for a total of three Grammys. De La Soul also appeared on the LA Symphony single "Universal" and Posdnuos collaborated with the Portuguese MC Boss AC on a track called "Yo (Não Brinques Com Esta Merda)" (which translates to "Don't Play with This Shit").
In 2008, the group joined A Tribe Called Quest, Nas, The Pharcyde and others on the annual Rock The Bells tour.
De La Soul were honorees at the 5th Annual VH1 Hip Hop Honors on October 6, 2008.
The Living Legends crew is a family of independent hip-hop creators bringing their own raw, unique sound and an unfiltered glimpse into their daily lives. It is this personal connection with the audience that has allowed their loyal fan base to extend around the world and it is their talent as emcees and producers that has garnered them the respect of their peers.
It all started with BFAP (now known as Sunspot Jonz) and PSC (Luckyiam), who laid claim to the name of Mystik Journeymen in the early 1990's. By '94 they were locally legendary for throwing Underground Survivors shows, houseparty style at their loft – 4001 San Leandro Street, in East Oakland. That's where The Grouch hooked up with the Journeymen in 1995, just before they took off on their renowned first European tour.
Around the same time in the southern part of the state, Mid-city Los Angeles to be exact, 3 Melancholy Gypsys (Murs, Scarub & Eligh) were part of the almost mythic Log Cabin crew going back to 1993. Log Cabin later broke up and the Gypsys wandered separately. As it turned out, the three would cross paths again in the Bay Area and became Living Legends.
Aesop came to Oakland from Fresno, Arata from Osaka, and Bicasso from various points, East, West and elsewhere...
In 1999 the Legends shifted their center of gravity to Los Angeles, but their presence has definitely not diminished in Oakland and the Bay. You know it makes no difference where they stay because the universe revolves around them anyway. Over the years, The Living Legends have rocked Europe, Japan, Australia and Canada numerous times, plus they've toured the USA, north and south, east coast, west coast and beyond ...
In the years since, The Living Legends have continued releasing solo and crew projects and now have a catalog of over 50 full-length albums and numerous singles. All in all, this crew of motivated do-it-yourselfers has sold over 400,000 albums collectively, all with no major radio or television airplay, and 100% independently. At the beginning of 2008 The Legends came together at the famed Encore Studios in Burbank, CA to record, "The Gathering". A seven-song album that was recorded within a weeks time and features every crew member, on every single song, a feat that has never been done before in Hip Hop. The group has no plans to let up and they're only turning up the fire, so see if you can keep up.
George Watsky is a rapper, writer and performer from San Francisco now living in Los Angeles. A versatile lyricist who switches between silly and serious, technically complex and simply heartfelt, George won the Youth Speaks Grand Slam Finals and the Brave New Voices National Poetry Slam in 2006. Immediate after, George appeared on the final season of "Russell Simmons Presents Def Poetry" on HBO in 2007 while himself a college Freshman and subsequently performed at over 150 universities across the country. Rapping all the while under the name 'Watsky,' George released a jazz-hip hop record with his band Invisible Inc in 2007 and the self-titled 'Watsky' in 2010, which peaked at #7 on the iTunes hip hop charts. In January 2011 George's fast rapping went viral and led to two appearances on the Ellen Show, a slot on Last Call with Carson Daly, and an exploding online profile. George has performed at the Just for Laughs festival in Montreal, the NAACP Image Awards on FOX, three times at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, and has been featured in XXL, Billboard Magazine, and the New York Times Magazine. Watsky's social media presence made him one of only 23 artists dubbed by 'The Next Big Sound' as a 'Big Sound of 2011,' alongside Mac Miller, Kreayshawn and Skrillex.
Since signing to indie heavyweight Rhymesayers Entertainment in late 2013, deM atlaS hasn't wasted any time in spreading his brand of Hip-Hop music across the world. Steadily on the road since his signing, he was able to find the time to release his unofficial debut, DWNR, in late 2014. DWNR was a special release with each cover uniquely hand-drawn by deM atlaS himself. Released to critical acclaim, the first pressing of over 1000 copies sold out within 48 hours.
"DWNR, his grunge-influenced Rhymesayers debut, is deeply melancholy, and splits the difference on 'depressed' and 'party mode'" -Pitchfork
deM followed the release of DWNR with major festival plays around the country, and supporting label mates Atmosphere on various tours in the US, Canada and Europe. After taking a break in France to record with French super group Ursus Minor, deM returned home and released his second EP titled mF deM on July 15th, 2016. The project features new lyrics over 13 previously released MF DOOM beats and is available for FREE via Digital download at Fifth Element and Vinyl and CD in LIMITED quantities.
Starting in September 2016 deM atlaS joined Atmosphere and Brother Ali on the formers Freshwater Fly Fishermen Tour that spanned the U.S. and Canada until February 2017. Upon returning home deM immediately began putting the final touches on a full-length debut album and gearing up for a busy summer and fall.
"Her hustle is uncanny, her drive is relentless"!... 23 Year old Recording Artist x Female Rapper x Engineer x SESAC Affilate, Producer x Femcee x Songwriter... Queen.
Influenced by the music she grew up with,especially female artists. Loves bringing people together by creating a high energy atmosphere with dope remixes and throwback jams!
AEG Presents is thrilled to announce ATMOSPHERE with DE LA SOUL, LIVING LEGENDS, WATSKY, plus special guests live at Red Rocks Amphitheatre on Friday, February 1, 2019.
Red Rocks Amphitheatre
Thu, October 31