Calling Doomtree Minneapolis's indie-rap analogue to the Wu-Tang Clan might be bordering on cliché at this point—and a somewhat misleading cliché at that. But when you have a huge hip-hop collective cranking out top-notch solo albums at a rate like we've seen over the last couple of years—P.O.S.'s Never Better, Dessa's A Badly Broken Code, Paper Tiger's Made Like Us, and Lazerbeak's Legend Recognize Legend chief amongst them—it's hard not to think of a frozen-North equivalent to the legendary run that came out of Shaolin in '95-'96. Sims's Bad Time Zoo adds on to that impressive streak, with subject matter that touches on the personal-as-political (and vice versa) and the kind of authoritative flow that emphasizes the truth in the familiar. Nobody's safe from his incendiary focus—"less emotion, more emulsion," as he spits in the chorus to "Burn It Down"—and everyone from liberal-lite do-not-enough-gooders ("One Dimensional Man") to pop-chart perpetrators ("Radio Opaque") gets mowed down under a suite of stress-funk Lazerbeak beats and one of the sharpest lyrical blades in Doomtree's Swiss Army knife. Every member of the Doomtree crew is slated to make appearances at tonight's CD-release show, along with local DJ favorite and Bad Time Zoo scratch provider Plain Ole Bill. 18+.
Sat., Feb. 19, 8 p.m., 2011