Slug (rapper)

Sean Michael Daley (born September 7, 1972), better known by his stage name Slug, is an American rapper from Minneapolis, Minnesota. Slug is best known as one half of the hip hop group Atmosphere, which he founded with Derek Turner (Spawn). Turner has since left and Anthony Davis (Ant) produces Atmosphere with Slug. In 1995, Slug, in collaboration with Anthony Davis, Musab Saad, and Brent Sayers founded the Minneapolis-based independent hip hop record label Rhymesayers Entertainment.

Slug in 2012
Background information
Birth nameSean Michael Daley
Born (1972-09-07) September 7, 1972
OriginMinneapolis, Minnesota, United States
GenresHip hop
Years active1989present
LabelsRhymesayers Entertainment (Present)
Warner Music Group (2007-)
Fat Beats
Women Records
Associated acts


Slug was born Sean Michael Daley in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on September 7, 1972. The son of Valerie and Craig Daley, he is of Irish, Norwegian, African-American, and Native American descent.[1] Slug's nickname comes from his father's; his dad was known to his friends as "Sluggo" and thus they began to call Sean "little Sluggo," which he shortened to "Slug".[2] Before fully establishing himself as an official artist, Daley spent much time making music with fellow Minnesota rapper Nic Lehnertz. The two worked on projects together, and Daley recognizes Lehnertz as a contributing factor to his success. Lehnertz quit rapping after high school, while Daley went on to pursue a professional career. In Atmosphere's early years, Slug DJ'd behind the scenes and let Spawn handle lyrics. The group eventually formed a strong relationship with Ant (Anthony Davis) and began collaborating on music. Along with solo MC Musab (then Beyond), and groups Black hole, Phull Surkle, and the Abstract Pack they formed the mid-1990s crew Headshots, with Slug appearing on the underground tape series HeadShots (1-7).

Another notable project of Slug's is Felt, a collaboration with his friend, another underground rapper, MURS. Other projects he has been a part of include The Dynospectrum, in which he was known as "Sep Se7en", and Deep Puddle Dynamics. He is a member of a loose collective known as The Orphanage, along with Aesop Rock, Illogic, Eyedea and Blueprint.[3]

In 2005, Slug and MURS started up Women Records, a record label through which they would release the albums of rock bands that they were friends with. The label was set up as an imprint through Rhymesayers Entertainment.

Lyrical themes

A prominent theme in lyrics is his allegorical usage of women, especially in his earlier work. A notable use of women by Slug is in the song "Woman with the Tattooed Hands", which Slug has said is "a metaphor for that same stuff that everybody has already made songs about".[4] Further uses come in the form of the song "Abusing of the Rib" from Headshots: SE7EN: it has been said that the "lover" that Slug speaks of is actually an allegory for or a girlfriend addicted to heroin.

A character Slug refers to as "Lucy", who has been purported to symbolize a range of different entities, is the most notable of these allegories. In earlier Atmosphere songs, it is believed that Slug used Lucy as a means of writing about ex-girlfriends. Lucy became so prominent that Atmosphere's 2001 album bore her name, Lucy Ford: The Atmosphere EPs, with the record itself concentrating fairly heavily on women and relationships, in songs such as "Don't Ever Fucking Question That" and "Mama Had A Baby And His Head Popped Off". Slug himself has since said of Lucy that he originally believed "her" to be a representation of the dichotomy between himself and women. He acknowledges now that Lucy became a demonization ("Lucy Ford" being a play on words for Lucifer) of himself and his dependency on alcohol, drugs, sex and validation.[5]

Slug raps in an introspective style, as seen on the song "Little Man", in which he confronts the complaints that people have about him by looking at his relationship with his father and son.[6] This introspective style has become less prevalent as of Atmosphere's 2008 album When Life Gives You Lemons, You Paint That Shit Gold in which Slug navigates through other people's lives.[6] Slug has stated that in and around the year of 2005, he began to move in a new direction lyrically as he became more aware of the effect his lyrics would have on kids, especially his own son who was becoming a teenager at the time.[7]

Slug also dislikes some of the songs that he wrote before and does not perform them live, such as "Vampires" from 2002 album God Loves Ugly.[8] Daley has stated: "[...] when I did get my phase of trying to figure myself out, there was a lot of tug-of-war inside of me between wanting to hate a particular woman and then feeling guilty about that. And there’s certain songs that I won’t perform anymore, because the game of tug-of-war is over and I know where I’m at.[9] Furthermore, Slug has criticised Atmosphere's debut album Overcast! saying: "It's obvious that I’m trying so fucking hard on Overcast and you can see through it and tell it's not a person it's more of an attempt at trying to fill the niche, it was like I was trying to prove to myself that I was a rapper."[6]



Studio Albums



Deep Puddle Dynamics


Musical collaborations

Song Album Artist Year Label
"B.L.A.K. Culture" and "Unaligned Sperms"ComparisonBeyond1996Rhymesayers Entertainment
"Pea King"Hank Mobley's Sound of LoveCasino Royale1996Anal Log Music
"I'll Be OK"FloatAesop Rock1999Mush Records
"Never"World PremierUnknown Prophets2000Unknown Prophets
"Slug & Sage Freestyle parts I & II"Still Sick... Urine TroubleSage Francis2000Strange Famous Records
"Atmosphere Exclusive"For Persons With DJ AbilitiesDJ Abilities2000Rhymesayers Entertainment
"Frisbee"P.A.I.N.T.Abstract Rude2001Battle Axe Records
"Forget Me"The Many Faces of Oliver HartEyedea2001Rhymesayers Entertainment
"Night Prowler" and "Nothing Less"Almost FamousLiving Legends2001Legendary Music
"Uncle Sam"Second NatureAll Natural2001All Natural Inc.
"Days Grow Old", "Orphanage Freestyle Parts 1 & 2"Sick Of Waiting TablesSage Francis2001Strange Famous Records
"Put Your Quarter Up"Ritual of the MolemenMolemen2001Molemen Records
"All I Have"Out of ManyRusty Ps2001
"Global"The OpeningThe Planets2002Red Sea Entertainment
"In Regrets"Small StepsHeiruspecs2002Interlock
"Gotta Love 'Em"Search And RescueDJ Murge2002Battle Axe Records
"Lambslaughter"Madman (single)Prime2002Molemen Records
"Embarrassed"Sick Of Waging WarSage Francis2002Strange Famous Records
"Unsatisfied and Fuck Heros"Luckiam.PSCEligh2002Living Legends
"Edie Brikell"USSR: The Art of ListeningDJ Vadim2002Ninja Tune
"Blah Blah Blah" and "Missing Teeth"Shadows on the SunBrother Ali2003Rhymesayers Entertainment
"Fallen"The Darkest CloudVakill2003Molemen Records
"Sex And More"Phobia Of Doors 12Fred Ones2004Traffic Entertainment Group
"The Great Debate"Fahrenheit 69Blowfly2004Alternative Tentacles
"Steel Toe vs. The Rookie"The Emperor & the AssassinMicranots2004Rhymesayers Entertainment
"Doomage"Sickly BusinessSage Francis2004Strange Famous Records
"Hold Mine"Vitamins & Minerals (EP)Blueprint2004Weightless Recordings
"(Even) More Human Than Human"RevolutionsX-Ecutioners2004Sony Records
"You're A Bitch Too"You're A Bitch Too (single)D-Tension2005Brick Records
"Track 05"Block in the Box (promo CD)Blockhead2005
"My Alien Girlfriend"Killing FieldsMolemen2006Molemen Records
"Bleeding Hearts Club (MPLS Chapter)" and "Bush League Psyche-Out Stuff"AuditionP.O.S2006Rhymesayers Entertainment
"Moving At The Speed Of Life"Legendary Music Vol. 1Living Legends2006Legendary Music
"The League of Extraordinary Nobodies"I'll Sleep When You're DeadEl-P2007Definitive Jux
"Line Of Scrimmage"The Weatherman LPEvidence2007ABB Records
"The Office"Bloody RadioGrayskul2007Rhymesayers Entertainment
"Dance With Me"Sweep the LegHangar 182007
"Don't Leave (When the Winter Comes)"Strange Journey Volume OneCunninLynguists2009QN5 Music
"We Made It"Survival SkillsKrs-One and Buckshot2009
"Supervillainz"Born Like ThisDOOM2009Lex
"!BOOM!"SAY G&EThe Grouch & Eligh2009Legendary Music
"In Your Soul"Who the F@%k Are You?C-Rayz Walz2009Definitive Jux Records
"Work"Picking Flowers Next to Road KillKristoff Krane2010
"Buzzkill"Girls Like MeIntuition2010Hellfyre Club
"Hip-Hop"Everything's A Gamble Vol. 2King Magnetic2010King Mag Music/Fat Beats
"Late For The Sky"Cats & DogsEvidence2011Rhymesayers Entertainment
"Swimming"Kaiser Von Powderhorn 3PROF2013Stophouse Music Group
"Go!"World ViewAWKWORD2013Sub-City Productions
"Astronauts"Winter and the WolvesGrieves2014Rhymesayers Entertainment
"Fun-eral"Have a Nice LifeMurs2015Strange Music [10]
"Tree of Life"n/aLogic2015SoundCloud [11]
"Never Stop the Show"GreatfulClassified2016Halflife Records
"Pistol Dave"This Was Supposed To Be FunEpic Beard Men2019Strange Famous


  1. "Rhyme out of joint". City Pages. Retrieved 2015-12-14.
  2. "Atmosphere Interview - One on One". Retrieved 2010-10-07.
  3. "Blueprint Explains the Backstory to this Orphanage Picture - Weightless Recordings". Weightless Recordings. 2016-05-04. Retrieved 2017-02-07.
  4. MVRemix. "Slug (Atmosphere) Interview | MVRemix Urban". Retrieved 2010-10-07.
  5. Sarah Marie Pittman (2009-02-24). "Atmosphere's Slug Gets Real About Lucy Ford | Pollstar - The Concert Hotwire". Pollstar. Retrieved 2010-10-07.
  6. "Interview: Slug of Atmosphere". 2008-10-20. Retrieved 2010-10-07.
  8. Gillespie, Blake. "Minneapolis is Rhymesayers | Longtail". Impose Magazine. Retrieved 2010-10-07.
  9. "Atmosphere: More than a Feeling". XLR8R. 2008-04-23. Retrieved 2010-10-07.
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