hip-hop renaissance man
"Englewood is my heart. My art reflects that."
Rapper, Radio Host, Clothier, Muralist. A true hip hop renaissance man, Pugs Atomz has travelled the world several times over, always making a lasting impression thanks to his energetic stage performances, forward-thinking attitude and highly relatable lyrics. Hip hop culture, worldwide and in Chicago especially, influenced him (from graffiti art in Englewood to street performers on trains).
He became a hip-hop leader and started a crew called The Nacrobat’s in the late 90's. 2000 was his first solo record titled “Thanks for not Rhyming” on Galapagos4 records. It featured his crew and production from the Molemen (Mf Doom, Rhyme Fest, Atmosphere, Saigon) and received a warm response from the underground scene. His second album, “24 Years later “ on his own label (Birthwrite Records) faired even better, getting him shows overseas and on a few tours to get his music to the people. The time he spent in Paris, Amsterdam, Brussels, Germany, and London seeing all the graffiti pushed him to go deeper with his music and art. He's painted movie murals (“Light it up” 20th century Fox) and corporate graffiti art (Ecko, IBM, Nike) He's hosted a "CTA" radio show dedicated to Hip Hop with interviews and freestyles on the legendary WHPK 88.5fm. A TV show, “Barbershop Hip Hop”— Pugs has interviewed everyone from American Gym Class heroes to Kurtis Blow, and his partner Slim the barber would even shoot videos for the locals to boost the content.
2006 he released a compilation with Raptivism Records titled “Pugs Atomz presents CTA Radio - Chi City Hip Hop”. A definite must to anybody digging the Chicago sound (Common, Lupe Fiasco, Rhymefest etc..), this was the year he started designing clothing and hats for Original Afro wear and American Needle. Since then, he's finished his fourth album “Conversations with a Chamelion” featuring production From DJ Hi-Tek and Colin Response, guest vocals from Capital D (All natural), Dave Ghetto, Deuce Eclipse and toured the US and internationally for years.
His mother used to have an organization that did art programming for youth in Englewood, which was a foundational starting point for Gallery 37, a precursor for what is now known as After School Matters in Chicago.
Now, Pugs is the Creative Director/digital designer for Iridium clothing brand, with two Chicago brick-and-mortar locations and a digital/cultural following worldwide. He's helped to develop the clothing brand in a direction that's attracted celebrities (Usher, Justin Bieber, Gucci Mane, Chris Brown, Kid Ink, Bennie Man, Marvin Jones, the Westbrook Sisters, Toni Romitti and more).
Click below for social media