Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Preaching Tha Gospel. . . . . of Hip Hop.

I have a little brother, he’s a good church boy. He doesn’t swear (at least not a lot), he doesn’t drink, smoke, or fuck (at least not until he gets married). It's also quite possible he wears jean-shorts in the shower on direct orders from his Bishop, but you would have to ask him that (seriously, hit him up on Twitter). He goes to church every Sunday and does all the other stuff a good Christian boy should. He was a missionary in the Godless streets of East Berlin, Germany for 2 years.

However, when he is not preaching The Gospel, he spends his time preaching THA Gospel – Hip Hop that is. A couple years ago I introduced him to P.O.S. and he spread tha Good News like wildfire. His new favorite modern-day prophets are all part of a collective called DoomTree. I think my bro has single-handedly led many people out of the darkness of mediocre MTV and FM radio music, and brought them into the light of Progressive Hip Hop.“Young soldier on his own, bang a big drum” – that’s a quote from a track called “Lucky” off DoomTree’s album “False Hopes” that reminds me of him. Recently he caught a live show in Salt Lake City with most of the DoomTree crew, minus P.O.S. Unfortunately I don’t have video, but this will give you an idea of what they’re like live.

I asked little bro to write a few words about the show, and he did a great job so here it is word-for-word:

“P.O.S. wasn’t there, but once Cecil Otter, Mike Mictlan, Dessa, and Sims, with Lazerbeak and Paper Tiger manning the tables, got the mics in their hands, nobody was thinking about P.O.S.
They vocalized their wishes to have no two shows alike on the tour and it was clear that there were no set lists or laid out programs. Improv and freestyle ruled the night. It was just a group of friends having fun on the stage and it carried over to everyone.
High Schools can just go ahead and cancel their graduation speakers and bring Sims in for a concert. When he shut down the beat for the last verse of “Like You Mean It”, everyone went silent and I’ll be damned if there was anyone in the room who didn’t silently vow to dedicate themselves to something. Mike Mictlan had the crowd involved like I’ve never seen; when his thumb went in the air, everyone belted out “RAP WON’T SAVE YOU!”, and dutifully waited for the next opportunity to obey his command. His delivery of “LA Raiders Hat” made you feel like you were there with him, dealing with the adversity of growing up as a Mexican in the streets of LA. Dessa had every man in the joint staring and begging for just a split second of eye contact, but it was obvious that she brings way more than sex appeal to the Doomtree table. The highlight of the show had to be when Mike, Dessa, and Sims jumped in and moshed with the crowd; all while Sims finished his verse flawlessly. It was awesome to watch the Doomtree members watch each other. Sims, Mike, and Dessa watched Cecil deliver with grins on their faces and it became clear that they are fans just like the rest of us. They love what they do and they love who they do it with. In the words of Mike, while performing “Prizefight”, “From a phoenix to a dove, til they pull me up above... …I will never give it up, I can never give it up, I will never give this up… …I will never give Doomtree up!” And neither will I. Not after that show.”

Here’s some footage from the “Never Better” tour in Salt Lake:

And ya’ll know I can’t finish this post without this mesmerizing performance by Dessa Darling:


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