POLIÇA: 30 Days in Chicago, Day 5 presented by Red Bull Sound Select

reppin: minneapolis, mn // mom + pop music // 2011 - present

sounds like: up in the clouds in a protective happy bubble with the dark and stormy surrounding you

poliça | house of vans, chicago | 30 days in chicago | 11.5.17 | @thefaakehipster 

poliça | house of vans, chicago | 30 days in chicago | 11.5.17 | @thefaakehipster 

last album drop: untitled crushers (march 2016)

poliça | house of vans, chicago | 30 days in chicago | 11.5.17 | @thefaakehipster

poliça | house of vans, chicago | 30 days in chicago | 11.5.17 | @thefaakehipster

featuring: channy // chris // ben // drew // ryan

As the cold really set in this past weekend, a lucky crowd was provided a warm environment both in temperature and feels in the brand spanking new House of Vans. Opening earlier this year, I’ve been fortunate enough to attend a few shows, but things really came full circle as Poliça took the stage. Prior to their dreamy and dark performance, record lovers were shuffling through the record fair and enjoying all the beers Goose Island could feed you. A skatepark by day, the place transforms into a “southern vibes” Austin-like venue. A big warehouse, tall ceiling, a clear view to the stage forming a truly intimate setting. After Ohmee got some music in us, the synth-pop act, Poliça, hailing from the true midwest in minneapolis, made you smile while giving you goosebumps at the same time.

Poliça features the soft voiced Channy along with two drummers, a bassist and a producer that creates a balanced dream like pop and a deep dark synth vibe. The band has worked with the likes of Bon Iver and Doomtree through their existence, most likely contributing to the wide range of sounds and feels they’ll spill into your system. Off the bat, you can get a feel for Channy’s luscious and soft vocals, often adding effects to add depth to each tune. One song is uplifting, putting you in a more imaginative, uplifting sort of mood while the next may put a dark dagger into your spine and lift the arm hairs on you. There is pretty much no choice but to put your attention forward and let them pull you into their world. I love how they move from song to song, often with little chit chat, so you can become fully engulfed in the show.

poliça | house of vans, chicago | 30 days in chicago | 11.5.17 | @thefaakehipster

poliça | house of vans, chicago | 30 days in chicago | 11.5.17 | @thefaakehipster

The balance of synth, R&B and electronic sounds is pretty mesmerizing, and put me in a slow groovy kind of mood. The lyrics are powerful as well, balancing between being pretty straightforward, yet metaphorical. “Flic flac, you’re a habit to me” is one of my favorite’s from their track, “lime habit” off their latest release. Songs like that inject you with the dark side of life, but more of an uplifing beat at the same time. The constant pull in each direction makes them such a unique act overall and one you should definitely check out when you have the time. Next up: Mitski and Hazel English tomorrow.

suggested listening experience: getting cozy during a cold, dark night // making sweet, sweet love // twisting one up

listens: lime habit // lately // lay your cards out // amongster // dark star // wandering star

poliça // fb // spotify // ig // twitter // sc

wtfaylttg (Why The Fuck Aren't You Listening To These Guys): DOOMTREE

*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

doomtree | photo cred: kelly loverud

doomtree | photo cred: kelly loverud

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 OVERVIEW

doomtree | chicago | 2.20.15 | @thefaakehipster

doomtree | chicago | 2.20.15 | @thefaakehipster

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 HISTORY

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.

doomtree | chicago | 2.20.15 | @thefaakehipster

doomtree | chicago | 2.20.15 | @thefaakehipster

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

doomtree | photo cred: ben lafond

doomtree | photo cred: ben lafond

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.

WHAT'S NEXT

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.

suggested listening experience: cruising in your ride // party time // getting hot and heavy

listens: bangarang // slow burn // final boss // team the best team // no way // bolt cutter // spill me up // gray duck // heavy rescue // little mercy

dt // spotfiy // ig // twitter // fb // sc

new music: deM atlaS

reppin: minneapolis, mn by way of akron, oh // rhymesayers entertainment // 2010 - present

sounds like: wearing your flannel and baggy jeans with boots to a rad party - not outta style and standing out in today’s age

dem atlas @ 7th St. Entry | photo cred: citypages.com

dem atlas @ 7th St. Entry | photo cred: citypages.com

lastest album drop: DWNR (oct, 2014)

featuring: joshua evan turner // 24 years old

dem atlas | photo cred: dematlas.bandcamp.com

dem atlas | photo cred: dematlas.bandcamp.com

Maybe it’s my midwest vibe, but I have a big, big heart for the hip hop from here in Chicago to Minneapolis. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll take east and west coast mixed with some ATL, but the midwest chill and vibe just relates to me. It’s this combination of throwback sound mixed with the future evolving sound we here today. Intro Dem Atlas, the young, little known kid who signed to Rhymesayers a few years ago, 2014 to be exact. This is a label full of legends and dedicated fans, so get those eyes and ears on here.He is actually still a member of the group Sifu Hoffman consisting of rapper Guante, producer Rube among himself. DA came across my radar when he released his Charlie Brown EP, that has a total old school 90s vibe that can’t be messed with. The flow, slight pauses and ability to keep the lyrics flowing over a simple and classy beat is very impressive. Move onto a track like Lucile, and it’s like he was cut out of those 90s days! Again, while the hip hop era from a time ago is looser with simpler beats, it allows rapper like Dem to let his flow and lyrics shine (why do you think that sound is still popular these days). From a fan and business perspective, sustaining that style in today’s hip hop world can be difficult, but from a creative artist point of view, it is just the start.

dem atlas | photo cred: youtube.com

dem atlas | photo cred: youtube.com

The growth of DA is quite apparent on his latest album and newest single, DWNR & “in the mud” respectively. It is like he has been planning for these days to rise to stardom. Once in a rock band (listen to “down in the low” and tell me you don’t think of nirvana), on a speech team, a painter...a path that is summed up by Dem: “I think all those things gave me a different vision and more balanced qualifications to do what I’m doing now” (Star Tribune, 2014). This path, his childhood, his mother coming out as a lesbian among other things has given his lyrics a deeper meaning. You can hear the soul in his voice and music and the wide range of vocal depth he can reach. It has been some time since his last full length, so we are all excited to see what is next for this talented dude.

suggested listening experience: twist and puff and pass // sleepy morning transit tunes // chillin with the friends anywhere

listens: all we got // charlie brown // lucile // drive north // in the mud (released Jan 6!) // i don’t care // down in the low // wanna be a kid again

da // twitter // fb // spotify // ig // sc

new music: PROF

reppin: minneapolis, mn // rhymesayers entertainment

sounds like: literally every type of hip hop wrapped into one - Cali to ATL to NYC and back to the midwest

prof | photo cred: noisey.vice.com

prof | photo cred: noisey.vice.com

latest album drop: liability (sept 2015 // rhymesayers debut)

Let’s just get this out of the way: damn i love minneapolis hip hop! There is such a wide array of styles, yet they are all of balanced and continuous flow... Atmosphere to Doomtree...Brother Ali, Grieves, Astronautalis (soon to be blogged about). Jason Anderson aka Prof, got his start back in the early 2000s, so yea, kinda bent my rules. But they are my rules and I’m an adult so deal with it. Speaking of flow, go through the recommended songs and you’ll immediately notice how he incorporates sounds and styles of hip hop from regions.

Digging a bit deeper, I am blown away by his ability to blend this old school sound, but at the same time there is a mixture of beats and vocals that sound so fresh and new. And bonus: the dude can sing (see “gasoline”). Like, he really can sing. There is a quick appreciation and respect for the energy he brings to each song and the love he gives the crows during his concerts. He is well regarded locally, always engaging his audience and bringing that little extra in the live setting. And finally, his songs spread genre lines, giving him a balanced sound and wider audience. You do not find too many rappers on Warped Tour, but that is what he is currently repping at the moment. Go catch him this summer!

suggested listening experience: any point from the pregame to party timeline // when you need help crushing some work early on a monday // when your friend doesn't know anyone outside of kanye and drake

listens: bar breaker (see music video) // gasoline // farout // the season

prof // twitter // fb // ig // sc // spotify

from the vault: ATMOSPHERE

reppin: minneapolis, usa // rhymesayers entertainment

atmosphere | photo cred: youtellconcerts.com

atmosphere | photo cred: youtellconcerts.com

years active: 1989 - present

featuring: ant & slug

and then some: will be rocking out at mamby on the beach in chicago this saturday and will totally be there. These two are legends in the hip hop world and flipped the hip hop script with sounds, beats and more before anyone knew how to flip it.

tune: "national disgrace" // from the album "seven's travels (2003) // amazing music video

bonus track: "the arrival" // lead track off of "you can't imagine how much fun we're having" (2005)