Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Atmosphere: God Loves Ugly [Fat Beats, 2002]
Slug is hip hop's finest poet of everyday life because he's come to terms with moderate success, the amenity that affords him opportunity to look around. Neither resentful nor driven, he doesn't feel sorry for himself, doesn't overrate himself, doesn't think the world owes him a promotion budget. Metaphoric tough talk aside, he doesn't bitch about r&b or bling, either; sure he wants more, but he's got too much pride and too much self-knowledge to waste emotion blaming the system. His one obsession is unrequited love, which he analyzes with such thoughtless candor and penetrating introspection that I not only believe the someone exists, I think it's possible her name's really Lucy. He raps like a man thinking, over strong, simple beats that put his thoughts in order and his body in gear. If Lucy says he's ugly, he's too good for her. A-