Doomtree: “The Grand Experiment”[audio:http://alarm-magazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/Doomtree_The_Grand_Experiment.mp3|titles=Doomtree: “The Grand Experiment”]
Moving from a high-school clique to a crew and record label was a natural transition for the Minneapolis-based Doomtree collective. The label’s foundation was built on the wings of impassioned, down-to-earth MCs P.O.S and Sims, hybrid rapper/songstress Dessa, multifaceted instrumentalist Paper Tiger, and nostalgic storyteller Cecil Otter, but the seven-member collective soon demonstrated its cohesiveness as a group.
No Kings is Doomtree’s third studio album, and though it maintains a playful demeanor, it’s the most diverse and mature of the three. From track to track, the different flavors and personalities of each member come through in their own ways. “Bolt Cutter,” the album’s second single, features four MCs and a spate of production values, shifting from a minimalist tom beat and bass line to electro-hop synths to piano and acoustic-guitar melodies — before it all layers together and adds a deep electronic groove.
But no matter its style, the production is on point. And more importantly, No Kings maintains the balance that makes such a large collaboration work, both as a group and as a business.