Tag Archives: Vast Aire

How The Atoms Family Became a Force in Hip-Hop

Atoms family

The Atoms Family’s roots can be traced back through the history of independent hip-hop in the mid-’90s. Founded by Cannibal Ox’s Vast Aire and Vordul Mega, the Family collective at one point included 35 artists, and was known for excelling at the freestyle ciphers that took place outside New York City’s open mic venues. But the interconnected soloists and groups claiming membership in the Family yielded only a few official releases. The first mention of the name Atoms Family was stamped on the cover of the 1996 vinyl EP Beyond Human Comprehension—even though that project is credited to the group Centa Of Da Web. Cryptic One, the MC and producer who ended up taking on the same sort of de facto leadership position that RZA undertook with the Wu-Tang Clan, says, “Looking back, it’s weird so many people knew us and respected us but never actually heard us.”

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