This week I’m going to see Dessa. This will be the third time in the space of less than a year that I’ll be seeing a member of the Doomtree collective. In the past year, I’ve certainly written a fair amount about them. I’ve actually not been familiar with Doomtree all that long, but I really went all in when I discovered them for myself. I heard a live in-studio session on KEXP with P.O.S. back in January of last year, and I was convinced enough to include a track in the playlist. A friend commented on it saying that I should look into P.O.S.’ earlier albums and Doomtree. I jumped in with both feet, and listened to everything.
For those who aren’t familiar, Doomtree are a hip-hop collective from Minneapolis, MN. The group consists of rappers P.O.S., Cecil Otter, Sims, Dessa, Mike Mictlan and DJs Paper Tiger, and Lazerbeak. Each member has their own solo projects as well as various side projects. They own and operate their own label, and do nearly everything themselves. For their earliest releases, there was something of a DIY work-in-progress feel, and it seems they have learned and improved with every record they make. You can hear it in this playlist as it takes one song from each record chronologically. I’ve included some of their side projects and special appearances as well to get a better feel for what they’ve done.
Last fall, P.O.S.’ Chill, Dummy tour hit, and I saw him at the Wild Buffalo in Bellingham, WA. At that point, I was already well familiarized with all of his material, and the show was an absolute blast. I got to meet him briefly afterward, and he was really cool and down-to-earth. By November, the Shredders album, Dangerous Jumps, came out, and there was another tour on the way. This time, Sims and P.O.S. handle all the rhymes, and Lazerbeak and Paper Tiger teamed up for some of their best work to date. In January of this year, I saw them at Chop Suey in Seattle. I’ve given some attention in the fortnightly playlist to Dessa’s new record, Chime, and I’m excited about seeing her at the Neptune in Seattle this Friday.
If you’re wondering where to start with this big of a catalog, then the best place is No Kings. This is really the cohesive full-collective album. From there, whichever member grabs you attention most is the place to go. For me that was P.O.S., Sims, Dessa and Paper Tiger.