Nothing But Sunshine

| Tuesday, June 9, 2009

I had a fairly crappy day. Vector Calc final. Felt like KILLING A FEW UNFORTUNATE BITCHES. Things got better mostly while I was sitting alone in my room, surfing and listening... but sometimes I'm so worn out that I don't know what I want to hear. Soothing electropop? Rude french house? Psychedelic goa? Brutal industrial noise? Or... hip hop?

At a pause in the music I remembered a sampling from one of Atmosphere's songs, so I located it and put the whole Atmosphere collection on shuffle. It's relatively rare when I choose to just listen to rap but when I do, I enjoy it. I must say, Atmosphere is my favorite rapper. His style always tends to put me in a good place, and his lyrics always tend to make me smile. I can think of more than a few quotes I'd love to share from his songs, but today one song stood out for me: "Nothing But Sunshine". I've only heard this song once or twice before--I admit, I don't regularly listen to everything I have by him--but when this came on I recognized it immediately. The friendly lo-fi melody on piano seeming to drip dust and yellow sun, and of course the untiring chorus:'s nothing but sunshine. It's all sunshine, it's nothing but sunshine. It's all sunshine, it's nothing but sunshine.

I looked up the lyrics and actually learned some things about Slug. He's not a bad storyteller either.
First verse:
Now when my mother died I had to take it in stride
There ain't no room for pride in watching your father cry
And dad made it until maybe a year later
When they found his suicide inside of a grain elevator
Got over it, I had no other offers or options
Thought about whether or not mom and pop was watching
Never bothered with caution, no time for fear
Saw my folks carry fear for most my early years
And I learned from it, turned numb and ignored the storm
A burning sun waiting for the world to plummet
Finished growing up under my uncle's roof
He taught me how to count all the way up to 100 proof
From watching him I learned how to gather nourishment
Living off the different women that he had to nurture him
And on the surface I became a normal pre-teen
More afraid of nuclear war than snake bites and bee stings
My best friend was my TV
Game shows and cartoons substituted for puppies, rainbows, and balloons
Now here I am, the shy type, and I think I'm doing alright
Considering what it was like living my life

How's that for some fresh optimism?

Atmosphere does this thing in a few of his best songs where near the end he throws in a few short lines, and repeats them as the song is drawing to a close. It's like the dessert at the end of a good meal. He does it in "Godlovesugly". He does it in "Smart Went Crazy". And he does it in "Nothing But Sunshine".
And I'm gonna be alright, and you gonna be alright,
You ain't gotta hold my hand, just walk with me tonight

Slug has this gift of telling me exactly what I need to hear.[/fangirl]
As gloomy, livid, and cold-faced as I get when I am forced to get in the math groove for finals (the reason I never made any friends in math), I'm gonna be alright, and so are you if you give me some goddamn space, but I still care about you always. Although maybe that's taking away from context. But I can think what I want.

Listen for yourself.
Youtube (full song + lyrics)


Overmind said...

The thing about Atmosphere that I really like, is that he doesn't just rap about people smoking blunts and getting laid at parties like the majority of rappers. Instead he creates stories about his life which are hauntingly similar to our own. It's always good to know that even the rich and famous have problems we can relate too.