Self-deprecating rappers are rarer than shout-outs to Vanilla Ice. Most hip-hoppers have a pathological need to present themselves as invulnerable and supremely masterful. Atmosphere MC Slug (Sean Daley) would rather turn his drunken encounters with women, uncool Minneapolis upbringing and tour misadventures into witty, poignant verses. This approach has snagged Atmosphere a chunk of the emo demographic. (Note the group's move from Fat Beats to Epitaph.) The follow-up to 2002's God Loves Ugly, Seven's Travels contains dozens of quotable lines from Slug's underdog persona, the words coalescing into engrossing short stories that bleed cleverness and barely suppressed rage. Beatmaker Ant and DJ Mr. Dibbs have spiffed up their production, too; Seven's Travels divides most of its nineteen tracks between a heavy-lidded, boudoir-soul aura (augmented by tender guitar loops) and a spare, tough funk attack reminiscent of Public Enemy, giving Slug's compelling words a resilient trampoline on which to bounce.