Atmosphere – Leak At Will

3 out of 5

Label: Rhymesayers

Produced by: Ant

Though a solid set of tracks, Leak At Will – named as a nod to parent label’s Rhymesayer’s storefront – Fifth Element – making this their first digitally-available release – is also where the net balance of Slug’s rhymes start to come across as more dated than not.

With an identity built off of a love for weed and sex, while those things never necessarily go out of style, they are rather limited in terms of lyrical focus, and Slug could only bash on ex-girlfriends so much in the process as well. His other main resource for tracks – and where I feel he excels – is when putting his flow toward telling others’ stories, in extended narrative format. They don’t have to have a point, even, and are often better when they don’t, allowing rhymes to have an organic vibe in detailing dailys ups and downs. Some of that is definitely here – They Always Know, The Ropes, and Mother’s Day are all quality tracks that blend personal experience with story-telling. But elsewhere you can feel Slug stretching to grow his subject matter, which ends up coming across as short-sighted (Feel Good Hit Of The Summer 2) or, I suppose similarly, shallow – the opinions of someone repeating party lines of the backpack / hip-hop worlds. His delivery is still sharp, though, and Ant’s beats here are quite excellent all around, using the creator’s embracing of digital sources to really layer depth into the music, whether it’s the more aggressive stuff (C’mon, Ropes) or enhancing his more typically soulful style.

Another perhaps inessential release, but also a very consistent set, which is a quality not all Atmos releases can boast.