The problem with collectives is there’s always a weak link. For every RZA and Ghostface Killah there’s a U-God and Masta Killa. But the hip-hop group Doomtree avoids this conundrum: While P.O.S. is the group’s star, nobody dives for the fast-forward when Dessa, Sims, Cecil Otter, or Mike Mictlan steps to the mic. Doomtree’s punk-infused hip-hop peaked on the first track of 2011’s No Kings LP, evoking last year’s Wugazi mash-ups by Otter and Swiss Andy. While the music is eclectic compared to mainstream hip-hop, that approach doesn’t reign: No Kings is actually full of in-the-pocket bangers, and the MCs showcase personal lyrics with an egalitarian sharing of the workload. It’s a true commitment to the collective ideal—which is probably much easier to achieve if you don’t have to cut U-God in on a verse.
Doomtree performs with F. Stokes and Educated Consumers at 8 p.m. at Rock & Roll Hotel, 1353 H St. NE. $15. rockandrollhoteldc.com. 202-388-ROCK.