Atmosphere – This Lonely Rose (feat. Blueprint & Aesop Rock)

2 out of 5

Label: Rhymesayers

Produced by: Atmosphere (?)

Cripes, look at those guests? And yet… what a mess.

Some problems here: these cats are not on the same page. Blueprint owns the best turn on the mic, here, perhaps in part because this beat feels very at home for his production tendencies – very slick; very soulful; a silky smooth chorus. And that chorus, which would seem to be about a precious, if prickly person – a generic person; the type that’s boldly themselves – is given the most affecting treatment by ‘Print, his words thoughtful and logical. Slug’s opening rhymes are, typical of the rapper, very self-centered, which is fine, except and he has trouble staying on target, slipping between that forever internalization (like, how does this rose reflect upon him?) and some stray let’s-talk-about-my-hometown lines, making his verse feel very unfocused, and thus at odd with the chorus. Setting that aside, he does sound good on the funkiness of the main theme, and the juxtaposition of the auto-tuned ‘this lonely rose’ lines would be fine… but then when ‘Print owns it (and refocuses the lyrics), it kinda casts a mighty shadow over the opening.

And then we get to Aesop. Of course, we love Aesop, but this is not a great song for him, and he goes way far afield with his verbiage in search of constructing a love song – not his best subject matter. He also doesn’t exactly have a lyrical voice in the way Sean or ‘Print can, making both his patter and approach of the subject an ill fit. Placing him in the middle of the trio might’ve worked, but as a closer, not so much.

And the track pretty much just ends there, without much variation between the three cycles of chorus and verse we got, musically, rendering the instrumental side of this single of limited entertainment as well.