Sims released one of the best rap debuts to come out of the Twin Cities six years ago with Lights Out Paris, a record that seemed to surprise even him with its raw candor and fulfilling versatility from start to finish. As many artists do with their first full-lengths, the Doomtree MC poured his soul out on the table and crossed his fingers hoping fans could relate to his struggles with loneliness, family dysfunction and political disgust -- and they did, at least locally.
Several tours, a marriage and a good helping of Doomtree success later and Sims is no longer a wide-eyed 22-year-old hoping rap doesn't just end up a hobby. He's leaned into his swing, so to speak, and is ready to knock another one out of the park with his sophomore effort, Bad Time Zoo.
[jump] In a nutshell, the new album unmistakeably winks in the direction of commercial success but is ultimately non-committal if not conflicted ("I mean how many songs about clubs and bottles / drugs and murders can we take," he raps on "Radio Opaque"). From the first track's jungle sounds on "Future Shock" to the pensive strings on closer "Hey You," Sims and his partner in beats, Lazerbeak, don't let up. They're casting a wider net for new fans on this one (thankfully without the overuse of gueststars), and it makes sense for Sims at this point in his career. The album's planned first single is the lyrically angsty "One Dimensional Man," prodding at liberalism-on-autopilot, something he most certainly gets a taste of in his hometown:
You did your part, you gave your hundred bucks to NPR
You joined a coop now, bought the hybrid car...
You switched it up now you're buying all organic screaming save the planet but you won't even save your neighbor, dammit
We're offering the track here as an exclusive stream. Sims tells us there's a video in the works for this one as well (check the one he made for "Burn It Down").
Sims, "One Dimensional Man"