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In Her Music Box

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Atmosphere: Overlooking a Father's Flaws

Atmosphere: Overlooking a Father's Flaws

In Her Music Box

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Thursday's Pick

  • Song: "In Her Music Box"
  • Artist: Atmosphere
  • CD: When Life Gives You Lemons, You Paint That S--- Gold
  • Genre: Hip-Hop

Atmosphere's "In Her Music Box" paints a tender portrait of a young, adoring daughter who relates to her dad through hip-hop. courtesy of Atmosphere hide caption

toggle caption courtesy of Atmosphere

"In Her Music Box" hardly sounds like an Atmosphere track. For one thing, the Minneapolis duo's producer, Ant, has forsaken chopped-up samples in favor of live instruments. Though it's a song about hip-hop, it's got a lullaby quality, in which the angelic sounds of flute and synthesizers stand in for the titular music box.

Standing in for the title character is the group's MC, Slug, who sounds almost unrecognizable because he's rapping about someone other than himself. Though most famous for his heart-on-sleeve emo-rap anthems, he tells imagined tales about everyday Minnesotans on the group's fifth album, When Life Gives You Lemons, You Paint That S— Gold.

While the album frequently profiles bums, junkies, and promiscuous women, "In Her Music Box" paints a tender portrait of a young, adoring daughter willing to overlook her father's flaws. They're connected by their love of rap music, and in between trips to McDonald's and the car wash, they sing in their Buick. "She knows all the words, but she leaves out the bad ones," Slug raps. "Except bitch, she always sings the word bitch / because it makes her daddy laugh, it's her magic trick." Her parents fight and Dad gets high, but when the radio's on, everything's okay. Though a dramatic departure, "In Her Music Box" is the most touching song of Slug's career.

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When Life Gives You Lemons, You Paint That Shit Gold

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Album
When Life Gives You Lemons, You Paint That Shit Gold
Artist
Atmosphere
Label
Rhymesayers
Released
2008

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