An Ant and Slug get stage time in the cold of Minnesota yet again this month, as our Twin Cities Hometown heroes and
philosophers rap artist Atmosphere will be at The Palace Theater in St. Paul on February 28th. Tickets are still available HERE and if you are as big of a fan of openers as we are here at TCM, joining the main act will be additional favorites such as The Lioness, DJ Keezy, and Nikki Jean. If you haven’t had the chance to be exposed to the story of any of these artists, I invite you to scroll down a bit and read on.
Nikki Jean is a Saint from the capital city Eastbound down highway 94 from where I sit in Minneapolis. She got her first steps in music in Philly when she was a lead singer for the band Nouveau Riche. She was put into the limelight with her contribution to Lupe Fiasco’s “Hip Hop Saved My Life” and went on tours with Kanye West and Mayer Hawthorne about ten years ago. Since then she has been making waves with song-writing and performing, releasing hits like “Pink Lemonade” and “Million Star Motel.” DJ Keezy was born and raised in the Mill City herself, back this way on the west side of the Mississippi. A disc-turner by trade, she has been given the title of “Best Club DJ” by local media back in ‘17 and takes pride in her emphasis on highlighting other artists through her music such as Kehlani, Big Freedia, and The Internet – just to name a few. Last but certainly not least we will see rapper The Lioness before Atmosphere takes stage. The Lioness, like Keezy, reigns from Minneapolis and has a lot of experience with performing alongside Atmosphere and other closely related artists such as Brother Ali and I Self Devine. A proclaimed advocate for “beacons of positivity and truth,” Lioness is actively involved with community involvement and improvement organizations around the cities when they aren’t making music. Lioness has released several mixtapes and two albums, with the most recent being dropped back in 2018, titled Greater Vision.
Atmosphere, “just a ten letter word,” is what I for one consider to be the second best Minnesota-produced artist to bless our ears, with first place undeniably going to Prince. The rap duo of story-telling-lyric-genius Sean “Slug” Daley and DJ/Producer hybrid Anthony Davis, started back in 1996, a few shy of a dozen albums later as well as ten EPs, we are getting a show that I imagine is highlighting their most recent crafted song collection “Whenever” that was released this past December and includes the popular hit “Bde Maka Ska” – what’s Lake Calhoun? May we soon forget it by hearing that hit and the many others that have been decorating the airwaves of the Minnesota metro heartland for years, and admittedly creating the sounds streaming way back when from my old wired headphones (remember those?). My love for this group started back in 2008 when I stumbled upon a song that changed my life and love rap forever, and if you’re new to them I encourage you to start with that exact track:
“The Surgeon General said says that guns are bad for your unborn baby” ~ Slug