Last night I had the opportunity of seeing ten years of time, energy, wings, and teeth culminate into an incredible Blowout VII celebration. The city has been buzzing wildly leading up to this event, and for good reason. No Kings, the collective’s newest project, has been earning some heavy critical acclaim from all over the nation (its about fuckin’ time). Because of this, rather than spouting my own opinions on the record, I have rounded up some snippets from my favorite reviews, including: Pitchfork, CMJ, A.V. Club, and Reviler. I also included a couple photos from their show last night in the Mainroom, a video of their in-studio Current performance of Bangarang, and some coverage from the creative innovators over at MPLS.TV & North Shore Sessions.
Oh and if you want my opinion? I think the record is much more than rap. I see No Kings as a declaration. And that declaration of independence and brother(& sister)hood is something that the listeners need in these times of heavy confusion and unrest. Peace to Doomtree for their vision and peace to these blogs for understand that vision. Cop the album here and check their tour schedule here. No Kings, All Kings.
The dense weight of verbiage on No Kings actually welcomes uninitiated listeners, rather than siphoning them out for not being advanced enough on some impenetrable ultra-battler shit. And for the scattered talk of 10-year tenures and the occasional fuck-these-other-rappers declaration, the album’s tone of flag-planting resistance builds off something deeper and more universal than political beef, star status or personal style. [Read the Rest]
-Nate Patrin (Pitchfork)
When all five MCs are locked in give-and-take communion, as on the standout “The Grand Experiment,” No Kings explodes with the fiery collaborative energy of five unique voices united in the singular intent of making hip-hop that snarls and soars. [Read the Rest]
-Genevieve Koski [A.V. Club]
Ultimately, No Kings is the rap album you want to root for in the ring: an affable, intelligent piece of work bursting with vigor and creativity but devoid of any pretentiousness or falsehoods. It’s got it all—punk sneers, rock snares, electronica, hip-hop. With no foreseeable end to the seemingly infinite expanse of mindless, phoned-in party rap, No Kings provides a kind of artistic oasis, a glimpse into how great hip-hop can be when placed in talented hands. [Read the Rest]
-Zoe Camp [CMJ]
The collective has (to me anyways) always been more the thinking person’s answer to swaggering “in your face” rap. However in songs like the grittily produced “Punch Out” they sound genuinely dangerous. Swear words! Violence! It’s like Doomtree got punched in the nose and suddenly they just start freaking out and fucking shit up. [Read the Rest]
-Jon [Reviler]av club, be scene mpls, blowout, cmj, doomtree, minneapolis, mpls.tv, no kings, no static, pitchfork, reviler, tour