*a new feature giving you the legends who have been doing there thing for awhile, better than most*
reppin: minneapolis, mn // doomtree records // 2007 - present
sounds like: a rare and hard to find roller coaster theme park misplaced in the flatlands of the midwest
discography: false hopes (2007) // doomtree (2008) // FH:XV (2009) // No Kings (2011) // All Hands (2015)
featuring: P.O.S // Cecil Otter // SIMS // Dessa // Mike Mictlan // Lazerbeak // Paper Tiger
The beautiful, poetic history of hip-hop has taken twists and turns over the decades, sprouting into sub-genres and extending the boundaries of how we take in a beat. Within that, artists from their respective cities are always holding their region close while expanding their minds as they work with others across the globe. With all the members of Doomtree hailing from the land of Minneapolis, I have never come across a group of individuals who can combine their styles, flow and personalities to spit out some of the most unique hip hop your ears will come across. They lay their foundation with the electronic production of Paper Tiger and Lazerbeak, constantly pushing the envelope of creating holistic tracks with so many flavors. While we see most artists in this genre couple off for a song or an album, there is a supremely special asset to what makes these humans go: consistency. Each of their solo careers has allowed them to come together collectively and keep chugging along, working to outdo what they did last.
The story begins in the upper north with a bunch of kids just fucking around in school, not knowing what the future holds. There was talent swirling around the group, a group that favored different genres and clashed in style. Whether it was playing in a punk band, listening to jazz and funk of getting down with blues, rock and soul, they sprinkled a bit of everything in the mix. That didn’t matter to them, they loved it. Once the tracks started coming off the tongues and table tops, they started booking the local shows. The friends showed up at first, then word spread and the live sets got bigger and bigger. How the heck can 7 people continue to make a little cash to keep themselves going? So, they turned their group into a business, churning out merchandise, creating a lifestyle….all out of a mother’s basement. Not only were they pushing Doomtree, they started releasing their own records, to this date over 50 in total. They’ve conquered a DIY attitude, finding the right people to work with and creating something from nothing when needed. While all the Doomtreers are constantly touring and putting out new music, whenever they all come together for shows and tours, they sell that place out with dedicated fans who want to pour their hearts our with them.
THE FIRST BIG MOMENT
After taking some time for the group to settle in on its final members, it did not take long for Doomtree to branch outside of their hometown. That third record, “No Kings” is what really put them on the map in my opinion. With bumping joints like “No Way,” “Team The Best Team,” “Little Mercy,” and their anthem, “Bangarang,” fans knew it wouldn’t be long until the secret got out. Just about every track on that album creates a unique flow with ever changing rhythms and beats that mold to whoever is rapping. And it is not just me. The album received critical acclaim and started appearing on “top lists” as the next best groups to come. We saw some great music come from the members for their solo projects as well, giving further proof to them growing separately and coming together as a group. When they take the stage at whatever venue they are rocking, the crowd goes nuts, sings along and the energy and vibe reaches all time highs. You can tell how much fun they are having on stage and it spreads like a virus across the room.
THE SUSTAINED SUCCESS
Looping back to that word, consistency, with this crew gives me all the confirmation that Doomtree is here to stay. Not only do they have a rap group, but a record label, a press label, international distribution...a foundation that will lead to bigger and better things in the future. They can spit about anything from love, loss and friends to video games and good times, they have lyrics with purpose. They are never pushing to get their tracks on the radio, but separate themselves from the pack and continue to win fans over one at a time. The raddest part...they are so good and true to their fans. If you catch them walking down the street or having a beer, they’ll kick it with you. Never seeing themselves above anyone, the authenticity of not only their sound, but them as humans, is really rare with such talented artists.
It has been a few years since “All Hands,” their latest release in 2015 filled with special treats like “Final Boss,” “Gray Duck,” “Generator,” and “Heavy Rescue.” The fact that they may be awhile off their next release is not a bad thing. The members are pushing along, hitting the road and striving to open up new doors in both opportunities and music exploration. P.O.S will be hitting the entire country this fall and winter while Dessa will be rocking out at Riot Fest. While they all have their solo careers, it is so clear that their individual growth has led to each album topping the last.