Doomtree No Kings, 2011
Sometimes you're lucky enough to be following a group early enough that you get to witness them achieve master status. That was the case with No Kings and Doomtree.
In their respective posts for this series, told the story about discovering P.O.S and I think I told the story about finding Dessa a little bit later. Man, I hope I did. So, anyways, I'd seen the whole Doomtree crew in concert and followed them on Twitter and all of that when they announced that they had a release date for their next crew album and that they were heading up to a cabin to record it.
This was a bold move. What if something had gone wrong? What if they hadn't like what they came up with at the cabin? Most of the group spoke/tweeted about how much pressure it added to select a release date before anything had been recorded. It was like Babe Ruth calling his shot.
And then they knocked it out of the park.
This is the first album that I've ever felt addicted to. An album that, as it ended, for the longest time, I found myself thinking, "Well, it's not like I'm NOT going to listen to this again right now." Part of it has to do, I believe, with the way the last track, "Fresh New Track" (arguably the best song on the album) ends without a concluding downbeat.
But it's also the fact that this album is expertly sequenced. I'm talking from track to track on the album as a whole, but also from rapper to rapper on individual songs. The way that the emotional weight shifts when you move from a Dessa verse to a Mictlan verse? Amazing. The way Cecil Otter's verse on "Team the Best Team" hits the ground running? Exhilarating. The entirety of "Little Mercy"? Breathtaking.
The whole thing is captivating from start to finish and it's my hope that everyone who has been reading these posts will take a moment to at least listen to the tracks below. You won't regret it.
This is one of the rare albums that we can actually go to the AFD archives and look at my original review. So let's do that and then we can watch the video and listen to the songs. Setting the Wayback Machine for November 2011....
Doomtree - Little Mercy
Doomtree - The Grand Experiment
You can buy No Kings at Amazon, Amazon MP3, iTunes, the Doomtree Web Store, and the Doomtree Bandcamp page