Best Hip-Hop Artist - 2011
Doomtree's recent run of envelope-pushing hip hop has been so consistently impressive that by now it should be nearly impossible for any of its members to truly surprise us. And yet Andrew Sims has. After waiting patiently in the wings for six long years since his last solo album, the youngest member of the crew came out swinging with last winter's Bad Time Zoo, expertly harnessing Lazerbeak's bruising beats and wielding his razor-sharp flow like a weapon of mass destruction. Demonstrating a fire-breathing aggression so often lacking among Minnesota rappers, Sims's simultaneously political and personal raps are unsparing to all who fall into his crosshairs, including the "one-dimensional men" who form the core of his audience, and even himself. Whether he's headlining the Fine Line, crashing a party at the Sound Gallery, or steamrolling SXSW, Sims throws down, no holds barred, convinced the world hinges on every moment that he takes the mic. Anyone listening has no choice but to feel the same.