December 18, 2013

Doomtree "No Kings" album review

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Minneapolis hip hop collective Doomtree recently dropped their newest project No Kings this November. Now that I’ve given it a few plays and some time to marinate there’s a few things I would like to say about this independent release. But, this time I would like to do things a bit differently, because to be honest, doing the CAMP album review track by track was quite the pain in the ass. So, let me leave you with the music video for Bolt Cutter, which also happens to be one of my favorite tracks on the project. Then continue reading for my thoughts on the album.
Doomtree “Bolt Cutter” Official Music Video

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Okay, so where to begin. Let me start with saying that this album No Kings is a refreshing change of pace for hip hop which has become increasingly radio friendly, even on the underground scene. No Kings stands as a soundtrack for the common man, with its underlying themes of anti-consumerism, at a time when the people are finally becoming aware of their powerless stance in a world that seems to only move for numbers left of the decimal. Keeping with the punk-rap sound that Doomtree has become known for, this project from lyrics to production is both physically moving and though provoking and should be added to anyones playlist who has ever sympathized with the plight of artist such as; Dead Prez, Immortal Technique, Brother Ali, Jedi Mind Tricks, and so on.

Standout Tracks:
The Grand Experiment
 - Probably one of the best Doomtree songs to date, on it the crew one-by-one plays through the creation of our universe and the rise and the inevitable fall of the human race. Such a brilliant piece of music.
Doomtree – The Grand Experiment

Little Mercy - The themes music for anyone struggling to get by in these tough economic times. This song is all about the breaks, and working hard to better your situation and never giving up, no matter the cost. “Just make a little money, and buy a little mercy..”
Doomtree – Little Mercy

Bolt Cutter - Assuming that you watched the video (above) you’ve probably noticed that this songs a graffiti-artists anthem of sorts, that also drawls attention to the urban decay being experienced by cities nation wide. Most of us know of abandoned buildings that were once heavily used then forgotten. This song is about reclaiming these pieces of history and giving them a paint-job for the present.

These are just 3 out of the 12 songs No Kings has to offer and i definitely recommend this album in entirety to anyone who would like to see change. Change in music, Change in life, Change in government, Change in society.

Report Card:
Production: All original, not the type of beats you hear other rappers use. Every track flows neatly together and stays with the overall theme of the project. [B+]

Lyrics / Content:
 As previously stated, i think this album is exactly what hip hop needs right now. A rap clique that is here to tell you whats real, not to glamorize a lifestyle they know is generally unobtainable by the masses. This project is nothing above and beyond lyrically, but the message is a real one that most of us can relate to and its clear a lot of thought was put into every bar and every verse of every song. [A]

Overall: One of my favorite projects of the year that just barely fell short of my Top 3 Albums of 2011 which i will mostly attribute to being a late release. I’ve heard people complain that the album lacks diversity and doesn’t have this.. and that. blah-blah-blah. But to put it simply, this project doesn’t need any of those frills. No Kings was an independent release, and dealt with no major label interference towards the creative process in the making of this album. This album is a piece of art, not some mere attempt to gain revenu. Appreciate it for what it is, and support the artist that are still out there doing it for the craft and culture. [A]

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