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Sims, Bad Time
Zoo Doomtree Records, Feb. 15

02/24/11
By Eric Saeger news@hippopress.com



At this writing, the strains of artistic fungi sprouting between the dead timbers of bling-based hip-hop are irresistible to me, the anything-goes sounds of a wild-west underground teeming with quirky emcees and angry, too-long-unsung beatmakers out for revenge. Minneapolis, ever the joker in music’s national deck, is home to Doomtree, a crew of seven (six honkies and black rapper P.O.S.) that includes Lazerbeak (does every white hip-hopper think he’s a Transformer?), whose MPC2000XL was the source of this crazy-wide variety of beats. On his second LP, Sims speed-raps through “Too Much” as though it were a Bone Thugs tryout, but in the main he flows with the disappointed WTF expression of your typical working-class white kid, gazing at the dystopian wreckage around him and wondering when someone’s going to fix it (even dissing his fellow liberals: “You did your part, you gave your hundred bucks to NPR / You joined a co-op, bought the hybrid car”). Like I said, Lazerbeak is all over the place, conjuring a mystical African desert in opener “Future Shock,” gluing tabla drums to basic urban chill for the title track, and generally making beautiful noise-rock (“When It Rolls In”).  A

  —Eric W. Saeger






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