Originally released in April 2008, When Life Gives You Lemons, You Paint That Shit Gold was met with critical acclaim, debuting at No. 5 on Billboard's Top 200 chart. By this time, Atmosphere had already grown into one of the most accomplished MC/producer duos in independent hip-hop, with a half-dozen official full-length albums under their belt, along with a dozen more limited tour albums, EPs, and various side projects. While Ant's ASR-born beats had grown increasingly melodic and musical, Slug's name had become synonymous with introspective raps, and together, they'd galvanized a faithful following. However, the thing that set When Life Gives You Lemons apart from previous releases was that it reflected a pivotal shift in Atmosphere's songwriting processes, where they transitioned from self-reflective to broadly narrative. Rather than expressing stories from their own POV, Lemons... was based entirely on fictional stories and characters, addressing societal issues at large, some of which revolved around themes of parenthood - perhaps foretelling of their future founding of "Dad Rap."