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Atmosphere’s ‘Say Shh,’ the song that helped launch the Current nine years ago today

by Andrea Swensson

January 24, 2014

It was exactly nine years ago this morning that the Current first went on air and introduced itself to the Twin Cities with the help of Atmosphere's Minnesota-centric "Say Shh."

The song, which was tacked on as a hidden track at the end of the Rhymesayers' duo's 2003 album, Seven's Travels, had already become somewhat of an underground anthem, and at 9:01 a.m. on January 24, 2005, the Current spun it as a way to establish the station's connections to its community and celebrate an exciting new beginning.

"That morning, all the bigwigs had come up to gather around the studio. There were a lot of suits," founding program director Steve Nelson told City Pages as part of their oral history of the Current. "We hit play on the first song, and it was a hip-hop song, which they did not expect. The look on some of the faces was just—you could see it like a thought bubble came up over their heads, 'What have we done?'"

Fast forward nine years and both the Current and Atmosphere are still going strong. The hip-hop heavyweights have performed in the MPR studios numerous times throughout the Current's run, and joined Chuck D on stage as part of the station's "Fakebook" series. And the Current's family of listeners continues to grow, culminating in two back-to-back nights of birthday parties this weekend at First Avenue.

To mark the occasion, we're taking it back to the beginning and kicking off our ninth birthday by once again spinning "Say Shh..." at 9:01 a.m. This time, we have a special lyric video directed by Adam J. Dunn to go along with it, and you can watch it for the first time right here:

Catch Atmosphere performing live at one of their "Welcome to Minnesota" shows next month, where they'll be joined by No Bird Sing, Toki Wright, Dem Atlas, and DJ Jimmy2Times.

February 12: The Verizon Wireless Center, Mankato, MN

February 13: Clyde Iron Works, Duluth, MN

February 14: The Mayo Civic Center Auditorium, Rochester, MN

February 15: The Venue at the Hub, Fargo, ND

February 17: First Avenue, Minneapolis, MN


Clean Water Land & Legacy Amendment
This activity is made possible in part by the Minnesota Legacy Amendment’s Arts & Cultural Heritage Fund.