There’s still time to nominate local icons for Best of D.C.
Minnesota-based hip-hop collective Doomtree began in 2001 as a group of friends burning CDs to distribute to other acquaintances. The group’s seven members (producers Lazerbeak and Paper Tiger; MCs P.O.S., Sims, Mike Mictlan, Dessa, and Cecil Otter) have since gone on to build a record label and a publishing house, mix beats, and write press releases for each other’s solo albums in a one-stop independent shop. As they put it in lyrics, “we rock a DIY ethic.” This fierce sense of collective self-reliance, born from necessity, has something in common with Minnesota’s broader underground hip-hop scene, following the pioneering build-it-and-they-will-come model of the foundational label Rhymesayers, home to heavyweights Atmosphere and Brother Ali. The Doomtree members, each accomplished artists in their own rights, synthesize their styles into a punk-and-poetry-tinged brand of hip-hop. From this, they’ve forged a sound marked by a revelatory energy and rappers tag-teaming to execute lyrical plunges into philosophy and history and back around to politics and pop culture. Peppered with stories of where they’ve been and how far they’ve come, the group’s new album, All Hands, is equal parts hip-hop’s signature braggadocio and defiant collective affirmation. Doomtree performs with Speedy Ortiz and Serengeti at 8 p.m. at Rock & Roll Hotel, 1353 H St. NE. $20. (202) 388-7625. rockandrollhoteldc.com.