should make the list
best rap album I've heard this year
but more than rap, has some of many styles
trade off of vocals between/within tracks keeps it interesting
from the album - Bolt Cutter
released Nov 22nd, 2011
Album Review - from la music blog
They’ve been developing their art for about ten years now, producing mind-blowing beats and whipping up jaw-
dropping lyrics. They’ve put out albums together–three previous records by the names of False Hopes, FH:XV (False
Hopes 15), and a self-titled Doomtree, to be exact. They’ve released individual works as well, such as Sims’
Wildlife EP and P.O.S.’ Never Better. This self-described “Midwest hip hop collective” includes members Dessa,
Paper Tiger, Cecil Otter, Mike Mictlan, Lazerbeak, and P.O.S., and they drop their new album No Kings on this very
day. I am speaking, of course, of the ingenious hip-hop force from Minneapolis: boys and girls, this is Doomtree.
Let me make this quite simple. No Kings is nothing short of an unsettling masterpiece, one of those albums where
every single track is better than the last. Don’t try to resist it because, I assure you, you can’t. Your efforts
will soon prove to be futile, and you’ll be stuck listening to every song at least twice before finally letting go
and checking out what else is on the album. Let me make it even simpler. Production? Immaculate! Lyrical substance?
Expert! Entire listening experience as a whole? Instant adrenaline rush!
I know it may sound as if I’m exaggerating a bit. Hell, if you’ve never heard of Doomtree, you’re probably
wondering how all those people in a group just don’t end up creating something overwhelming and chaotic. Well, I’m
here to extinguish your fires of doubt. Not every single member is featured on every single track. That’s the
beauty of Doomtree; nothing is forced!
No Kings is HEAVY in the most honest sense of the word. It’s loaded with instruments, rapping, and singing. The
track “No Way” gets your blood pumping with its quick-paced guitar strumming intro. “Bolt Cutter” follows suit,
only this time with a quick-paced drum rhythm. On these first two tracks alone, we hear more than half of the
members of Doomtree lay their piece down. In “Bolt Cutter,” we hear Sims shout out, “Look what we’ve built with a
single grain of sand.” So if you weren’t already before, pay close attention now.
Doomtree’s impressive lyrical ability never ceases to stupefy me. Several well-crafted lines stood out to me while
listening to this album. Actually, they more accurately jumped out at me while waving a burning red flag, nearly
impossible to miss. On track “Bangarang,” P.O.S. flows that “All the rappers sound the same, beats sound the same,
raps sound the same. Ten years in our lane, Doomtree Bangarang.” The soulful intro on “Little Mercy” is only
enhanced by its purposeful lyrics, sung and rapped to us by Dessa and Cecil Otter. Something along the poetic lines
of “When our work is done, we’ll call ourselves worthy. We’re so hungry, we’re so thirsty, I’m going to hunt until
it hurts me.”
The subtle horn arrangement on the song “Team the Best Team” gives the track a victorious vibe. “Fresh New Trash”
is the last song on the album, which sums up the whole experience for me. Almost every Doomtree member is featured
on the track, and the emcees reveal bits and pieces of their ten year journey to us. Mike Mictlan closes the album
out by saying, “Let them know who said it first, then put it on your favorite shirt. Rap won’t save you, sell them
absolution in a verse.”
Like I said, don’t try to resist it. Do yourself a favor, and LISTEN to it!
1. No Way
2. Bolt Cutter
6. Little Mercy
7. The Grand Experiment
8. String Theory
9. Team the Best Team
10. Gimme the Go
11. Own Yours
12. Fresh New Trash