Thursday, May 22, 2008

New Doomtree - "I'm Talking"

Stream: Doomtree - "I'm Talking"
Download: Doomtree - "Flex"

After triumphing in the City Pages Best Of, where they won the "Best Concert of The Past 12 Months" Award for their blowout at First Ave, the Minneapolis-based hip-hop collective Doomtree returned the scene of the crime in hopes of giving another award-winning performance. But in order for a group to play, there needs be music that's worthy of a live setting in the first place. This, and other observations, can gleamed from Jon Graef's Big Book of Whoopty-Fucking-Do!, to be released in paperback this Fall by Simon & Schuster.

What's perhaps less of an obvious statement is that Doomtree are a very prolific force in Minneapolis hip-hop, and that they continue to churn out great work. Their newest track, "I'm Talking", was premiered exclusively on the band's MySpace Page two days ago. The song is a mid-tempo track driven by smooth guitar doublestops and keys/strings, a device that the Wu-Tang Clan has used on many am occasion. It's a technique that provides "I'm Talking" with a haunting, mournful, and soulful atmosphere that permeates to the lyrics as well.

But even if things sound dire in camp Doomtree--indeed, the emcee warns the listener that "there ain't no message in that bottle/it's hollow", as apt an visual metaphor for hopelessness as there can be--the collective still manages to come up with a chant that could get the crowd riled up. The fact that the chant is "It goes on/and on/and on" is filled with existential dread about life's future is a particularly ironic stroke of genius.

The titular lyric may be "I'm talking/but no one's listening", but as long as Doomtree continuing to record hip-hop that's as simultaneously thoughtful and thought-provoking as "I'm Talking", the collective all but ensure that they'll be definitely holding the fervent attention of their loyal fans.

Stream "I'm Talking" at the Doomtree MySpace Page.

(Jonathan Graef)

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