Sep 7, 2008 - 9:55 PM
Minneapolis, Minnesota was thrust into the spotlight when the phenomenon known as Prince grabbed the music scene by its naughty bits in the 80s and exposed the world to the “Minneapolis sound.” Hip-hop collective Doomtree is flipping that signature sound, adding rhyme slaying to the Midwestern city’s arsenal with their self-titled debut.
The Doom crew breaks the listener in early with a rowdy chest-thumping intro that leads into “Drumsticks.” It features verses from all five emcees (Cecil Otter, Dessa, Mike Mictlan, POS and Sims) and is an all out assault on the eardrums. The energy shifts substantially with the somber “The Wren,” on which Dessa and Sims trade lines about the devastation of love loss. The Lazerbeak produced track has an eerie trip-hop vibe with squealing trumpets that sound like they were plucked from some warped jazz band. Dessa also lends her vocal and lyrical talents to “Dots and Dashes” with former punk-turned-rapper, POS. The Spanish guitar hooks provide a cushy foundation for the two to float their airy verses over.
The instrumentation on the album is just as eclectic as the collective’s members. The syncopation of “Game Over (Go Big or Go Home Boy)” is baffling. Some beats are stressed in unlikely spots, but the track is much more interesting because of it. The song kicks into turbo speed with fast rhymes and even faster beats.
Rounding out this behemoth of a roster are producers Paper Tiger, MK Larada, and Turbo Nemesis. With names like those, the crew sounds more like a clan of assassins rather than a hip-hop act. In fact, this small militia packs quite the wallop, functioning both as a record label and rap crew. While the Doomtree artists have put out various EPs, this is the first release featuring the entire nine-member crew.
Although Doomtree may not be able to fill the purple one’s tight rhinestone pants, they are sure to entertain you nonetheless.
Kimberly Turner is Oh Dang! Magazine's resident music critic and pastry fiend. And No, she's not fat.