I don't know why I hadn't heard of Doomtree before, but I am glad they joined T61. One listen and I was hooked. A few repeat listens and I was a believer. Now, two days later, I have been telling everyone I know about them, and am anticipating getting a handful of their discs in the mail.
Released just over a month ago, Doomtree's crew album is rife with tracks that will have your head nodding and your finger reaching to hit repeat. The writeup on T61 and their own site is comprehensive enough, but to summarize, Doomtree is a hip hop collective based out of Minneapolis, and they are all very good, and even better together.
There is currently one track from the crew album available to listen to on T61, while the samples on their official website are all selections from previous releases. Savvy and with a sense of humour, Doomtree also has a YouTube channel which includes clips of the crew "working hard", which is mainly them goofing around. The track for the following music video is also on the crew album. It gives props to fixie bike culture while featuring emcees Cecil Otter, Mictlan, Dessa, P.O.S. and Sims over a sick beat by producer Lazerbeak.
The collective's members got to know each other as teenagers, and most were involved in music already: some were in punk bands, others were rapping. Producer MK Larada said that "we [Doomtree crew] just started putting on shitty little shows and putting out shitty little CDs and then it just got less and less shitty." Now, half of the crew lives together in one house, constantly pushing each other on their separate work, but also collaborating in the true sense of a hip hop crew.
Doomtree members are always performing shows, but every year they get together for the annual Blowout, where the entire crew is together on one stage. In "MPLS", "DTR" has a large enough following that they also held a Blowout Jr. ONLY for people under 20, as the larger show is generally 18+.
Reinforcing their ethos of striving to better their music, Doomtree Records have four CDs all entitled "False Hopes". These EPs feature songs they felt were good, but not the best that they could offer. They claim to have saved the truly great ones for the self-titled crew album released July 29th. Emcees P.O.S., Sims, and Cecil Otter all have full albums available at the Doomtree store, while you can expect a Mictlan disc to drop at the end of this month and Dessa's solo album to be out in late October.
In any case, it's not my place to decide what you think about Doomtree. Take a listen to Dots & Dashes, check the Drumsticks video, and finally the samples on their official site. You might just agree with me that this is some of the most infectious, smart and well produced hip hop you've heard in ages.
As DTR say of their crew album:
"Hate on it. Love on it. We certainly do both, and couldn't be more excited for you to feel feelings with and all over us. Yikes."
Some impressive numbers from their news page:
3 weeks at #1 on the CMJ hip hop charts.
#23 peak on the iTunes rap charts
#7 on Billboard's regional Heatseekers chart
Top 100 peak on Youtube music
Top 100 peak on CMJ, all genres
Top 100 peak Mediaguide's AAA Album charts
Official site: http://www.doomtree.net
DTR YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/DoomtreeRecords