So, I want to write about No Kings the latest crew album by Doomtree, a rap collective that I've certainly written about before and probably talked to you about.
I can't stop listening to this album. Seriously. I got my preorder on Friday (the album came out the following Tuesday. Preorders should always work like that.) and, aside from two podcast episodes, it was all I listened to until my parents came for Thanksgiving and we did this week's podcast.
I've tried to figure out why it is that I can't press stop and listen to another album or something when the album ends. It's a number of things:
1. The album closer "Fresh New Trash" doesn't end on a downbeat. It cuts off before that conclusive downbeat would hit and I think that gives me this aching feeling of incompleteness that I just can't STAND!
2. Over the course of the album's 12 songs, Doomtree covers the full range of human emotion. I'm not sure how this is possible, but they do it. I just don't find myself yearning for a missing mood. This album has it all.
3. It's different. The songs are all very different from each other and from anything else that's out there right now. It's like rap music for hardcore punk kids. Raw, tough, but vulnerable and thoughtful.
In addition to struggling to figure out my addiction, I've done a lot of thinking about the structure of this album and these songs. It seems to me that it's all about the contrast between Dessa and Mike Mictlan.
Dessa, who I've definitely talked about before, has this amazing sultry singing voice, and a hypnotic, vocubularily rich rap voice. She's thoughtful and confident and wise.
Mictlan, has a deep, tough voice. He raps fast. He doesn't sing, but his flow has a sing songy quality (sorta like how ODB would rap) and he gets the party going.
There are at least 4 moments on No Kings where Dessa's verse comes right before (and is occasionally overtaken by) Mictlan's. This is the secret album-wide hook. Doomtree is already so diverse, but when you put these two together like that, it's like taking a highlighter and making the diversity Day-Glo.
I want to go on and on about this album. I think I may do a Top 10 albums of the year list, if only so I can talk some more about No Kings!
I just realized that both of the songs I would feel comfortable posting DON'T feature that Dessa/Mictlan pairing.
So I'm going to attempt to link you to the video for "Bolt Cutter", which does.
I would say watch the video, then go to Doomtree's website and listen to "Beacon" and "The Grand Experiment" in the player on the right. Then go to Doomtree's Store (or click the link on the top of the homepage) and by this album. And buy a copy for your friend.
Here's the video: