Centered on the different paths people choose in life or how they survive their different struggles, Atmosphere’s When Life Gives You Lemons, You Paint That Shit Gold is a very heavy series of short stories that share the voice of one author and the timbre of one composer. Lyrically and sonically, it’s clear that the words and rhythms were built together, instead of some Frankenstein piecemeal fashion like many other rap songs.

For those reasons, the tracks fit near-seamlessly together. But they also stand alone as episodes worthy of solo dissection.

No matter how you consume them, some of the songs will undoubtedly bite back, making you angry for or at the characters, their circumstances and the substances that push and pull them in different directions. And that emotion is the telltale sign of this album’s impact on those who hear it.