Wednesday, February 15, 2012

No Kings

by Doomtree

No Kings is the second full-crew album from the Doomtree collective, and is their most collaborative project yet.

Whereas on their previous, self-titled album, most of the songs followed the usual convention of having a single producer providing the beat for anywhere from one to five emcees, this album blurs the lines between the various roles, giving the entire package an organic feel.

The credits for many of these tracks list three producers, as usual producer Lazerbeak works with Cecil Otter, POS, with Paper Tiger showing up for the awesome closer 'Fresh New Trash'.  Otter has a few solo beats as well, which is nice to see.  There is a much heavier rock influence on this album, but this is still a raw hip-hop beast.

Lyrically, the crew is reaching new heights.  There seems to be a lot of Sims on this album, but the credits are nicely balanced between him, Otter, Mike Mictlan, Dessa, and POS.  This is not a group that has any weak links (how many other rap groups of this size can say the same?  Not even Wu-Tang), but it is Dessa and POS who elevate each track they're on to the next level.

Stand-out tracks include the opener 'No Way', which has an amazing hook, and 'Beacon' (for Dessa).  My drop-dead favourite is the infectious 'Bangarang', which is the partiest track Doomtree has ever released.  This is a terrific album from one of the best, and most slept on, groups in hip-hop today.

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