ATMOSPHERE featuring Mr. Dibbs and Slug at the Comfort Zone (480 Spadina), Saturday (November 2), 9 pm. $18 (all ages). 416-763-9139. www.ramosent.com.
Often characterized as a whiny slacker with bad taste in clothes, Atmosphere microphone maestro Slug, aka Sean Daley, admits he hasn't bought a new pair of pants in six years.
But the slouchy Minneapolis MC is no couch potato.
When Slug isn't getting freaky on the microphone with Atmosphere alongside cut creator supreme Mr. Dibbs and Ant, the point man for the ever-expanding Rhymesayers empire is probably dealing beats from behind the counter at the Rhymesayers record store or sizing up Midwestern talent for the Rhymesayers label.
He just followed up Atmosphere's raw new God Loves Ugly (Rhymesayers) disc with the Felt (Rhymesayers) EP, subtitled A Tribute To Christina Ricci, involving Mr. Dibbs, the Grouch and his Def Jux counterpart, MC Murs.
According to Slug, the EP isn't merely a manifestation of his unrequited lust for the alluring film star, and after talking to him you have to agree. It actually seems a lot more like some kind of delusional psychosis.
"I had to be careful not to make the rhymes about her too obvious," explains Slug over a cellphone while cruising through Tennessee. "If I mentioned all the shit that really went down, she'd get mad and we'd probably end up getting sued.
"She has a boyfriend who manages hardcore bands, so I've got to call her up, like, 'Yo, meet me at the video store.' She'll roll up on her bike and lock it up to the stop sign out front, then we'll browse through the flicks, pick one out and go back to my place to watch it while feeding each other popcorn. But it's all very pure."
Yeah, pure fiction, as confirmed by Murs, who happens to be along for the ride.
"I wouldn't believe anything Slug tells you," he says. "Nothing!"
Like Murs, Slug has been working independently for over a decade, developing a surprisingly large suburban following with introspective rhymes that resonate with the disaffected backpack crowd. And Slug says he has no interest in making the move to the majors or even leaving Minneapolis.
"I'm 30 years old," he snaps. "What's the point of doing that now? I don't need anybody to make me a star. I don't want to be famous.
"If I was 23, I'd say, 'Fuck, yeah! I want all the money and pussy I can get! Where do I sign?' But now I just want the money -- at least enough to maintain my lifestyle, which isn't much. You can keep the fame."