If you go

Who: Atmosphere with Grieves, Budo, Musab and DJ Abilities

When: 9 p.m. Tuesday

Where: Fox Theatre, 1135 13th St.,


Every family needs to take a summer road trip, so Atmosphere invited members of its Rhymesayers collective on The Family Vacation Tour.

Atmosphere’s touring in support of its new CD, The Family Sign, and the Boulder stop will include rappers Grieves, Blueprint, Budo, Musab and DJ Abilities.

This tour’s a hot commodity and Atmosphere’s Tuesday show at the Fox is sold out. Not to worry, the alternative hip-hop act’s set to play Red Rocks on August 19 with a different lineup. That roster features Evidence, Blueprint and DJ Babu.

Rapper Slug (Sean Daley) and DJ/producer Ant (Anthony Davis) are the driving forces behind Atmosphere and the duo still brings an indie edge to its rhymes.

“We’re just going to keep this thing going until they make us stop,” said Daley, a.k.a. Slug. “I grew up as a kid loving this music, and being able to play a role in creating something other people enjoy is the reward.

“It’s a hobby we managed to make a career out of. We’re in a fortunate situation to be part of a record label we created and to distribute the music we believe in.”

Atmosphere and the rappers in the Rhymesayers collective have created their own micro-economy.

The artists have managed to be economically independent and develop music they love. That’s given Atmosphere the opportunity to grow with every project.

“We try to change with every record,” Daley said. “I hope people can see the evolution that Ant and I see. Each record follows where we are in our lives.

“Our raps are based off our perspectives. I try to keep the moral compass high through the stories I tell the listener, but you get to interpret it.”

Atmosphere’s last record was interestingly dubbed When Life Gives You Lemons, You Paint That Shit Gold. You can’t top that for a record title.

It’s been three years between full-length Atmosphere records, but the rappers did release several EPs.

“We stayed busy,” Daley said. “We put out EPs, but we kept a lot of stuff under the radar. You’re only allowed to annoy people every so often, and we wanted to save the promotional machine for a big record.

“We wanted to give it enough time between record cycles. We’re very proud of this new one. This is one we could take to the people.”

Atmosphere’s new record is called The Family Sign. The album dropped on April 12 and the rappers are ready to tour behind the project.

“There is a difference in our lives now,” Daley said. “I’m a 38-year-old rapper and what I’ve got to talk about on the record is very in line with that. A lot of the lyrics on Family Sign center around the idea of family and friends — the people we care about and that are close to us.

“A lot of the record deals with relationships. It’s about what’s important; what’s a priority and what’s not a priority.”

To flush out the record’s sounds, Atmosphere added lots of live instrumentation to The Family Sign.

“We started doing that in 2005,” Daley said. “I did it, because I came home from tour in 2004, and I realized I needed that nervousness that comes with putting together a live band.

“When you have that many people on stage it’s a puzzle, so you have to figure it out together.”

Atmosphere will be taking a full crew out for its summer Family Vacation.

“We’re bringing a lot of the family artists with us to Boulder,” Daley said. “We have Grieves on this tour. He lived in Colorado for a long time and grew up there.

“Musab makes some very thought-provoking music and Blueprint’s got a new record.”

Daley and his crew are ready to have fun and interact with their Boulder fans.

“Our vision is to communicate with the audience,” Daley said. “All these artists have something to communicate.

“The Red Rocks show will be a different tour, but we’re still promoting the same record. It will also be more of a party theme for the summer. After that, we’ll be stepping this thing up to the next level.”

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