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Atmosphere set to light up the Newport

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Atmosphere breaks some rules of hip-hop — hip-hop groups don’t come from Minnesota, you can’t rap about deep feelings and you need a major record deal to succeed in the music world.

They sold-out Newport Music Hall three weeks before the concert, once again proving to the music industry that you don’t have to be conventional to be successful. You just have to be talented.

In the wake of their first album in three years, Wednesday’s stop in Columbus is the first in Atmosphere’s “The Family Sign” tour, according to the band’s website. Doors for the show open at 7 p.m.

Comprised of rapper Sean “Slug” Daley and disc jockey and producer Anthony “Ant” Davis, Atmosphere’s signature sound involves complex rhymes laid over bluesy guitar riffs and electronic beats.

Amanda Schneider, a second-year in parks, recreation and tourism and environmental education said the group’s introspective lyrics extend beyond the boundaries of most rappers.

“They bring something different to the table with regard to what they rap about and the way they go about doing it,” said Schneider, who might attend the concert. “It’s just different, clever and relatable.”

Trevor Fitzgerald, a third-year in environmental science, agreed, adding that it’s the subjects of the songs that make them so appealing.

“The lyrics are about real life problems, not drugs, money and girls,” said Fitzgerald, who plans to attend the concert. “It makes it easy to relate to the music, which is why they’re one of my favorite groups.”

The concert falls on April 20, or 4/20, a holiday in cannabis culture that promotes the public use of marijuana.

PromoWest Productions, the company that owns and operates the Newport, has a hard-line stance against marijuana use, said Marissa Luther, PromoWest Productions marketing manager.

“Our policy is that it’s an illegal substance and that it’s not allowed,” she said. “A lot of our shows bring things like that, and we handle them as we see fit.”

With an expected crowd of up to 1,400 people, the Newport isn’t taking any chances, Luther said.

“We’ll have extra security, but it’s not really just because of the pot situation. It’s mostly just because it’s a sold-out show,” Luther said. “We like to make sure that everyone is safe and has a good time.”

Despite the extra security, Fitzgerald doubts concertgoers with the intention of smoking illegal substances will be deterred.

“It definitely won’t stop anyone,” he said. “I’m sure some people will be caught smoking and maybe get kicked out, but with marijuana so widely accepted now, it’s not that big an issue anymore.”

While there is room for conflict at the show, the concert should still be enjoyable, Schneider said.

“Expect a whole lot of clean-looking high-top Nike Dunks, sunglasses indoors and some really creative hip-hop,” Schneider said. “This would be a nice way to shake up my normal routine with some good hip-hop and an interesting show.”

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