The Plot: We find a boy as a young teen doing whatever he has to do to survive in a city where no one cares. He is growing up with mental illness where he hears voices. Tortured by his dark past and his status as a drug lord at the current moment he commits suicide.
This is the plot for the new concept album from TruAspect entitled The Atlas Complex. I’m a big fan of concept albums (when done right) and they seem to work better with hip-hop than any other genre. The fluidity of the art is conducive to a narrative in way that doesn’t work as well with rock or alternative music.
The story starts with “ESPIONAGE!” which starts off with an original, inventive beat that serves as a nice canvas to drop some rhymes. As with the beat the lyrics are fresh. When the vocalist spits “Or if you downloaded it, spread the success. 2.0, improved with more RAM” it’s hard not enjoy the tech savvy talk. A lustrous vibe is cemented in your brain from the start with ”SlowGrind featuring YoungHitladenAKAConz8000.” The beat is smooth but it’s the repeating sensual female moan that seals the deal.
“These Walls/Mannequins” samples a standup bass and soothing background vocals that create a jazzy ambience for the vocalist to reference pop cultural phenomena. He raps “Like, stop catching ego off your Twitter and Facebook fam, You know they’ll sugarcoat everything that comes out.” Towards the end of the song it transitions to a backwards sounding effect that simulates his mental illness and the voices he hears. ”OnFire” may have the catchiest chorus on the album while “Cruizin' featuring TolCalvin” confronts the existential dilemma that our protagonist is experiencing. The story ends with the darkest chapter “[TheAtlasComplex]” as the man decides to take his own life.
The Atlas Complex is a well thought out concept album that not only tells a very dark tale but has good music and rhymes to back it up. Check it out.
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