Soundset Festival line up announced

Minnesota’s Soundset Festival announced their line up for 2011 yesterday and it’s a biggun.

Atmosphere take their usual slot as headliners and this year will be ably supported by Big Boi, De La Soul, the entire Doomtree crew, Dilated Peoples, Slaughterhouse, Brother Ali, Edan, Looptroop, Zion I, Blueprint, DJ Abilities, Exile and many more.

It’s been the highlight of the hip hop calendar for the past three years and is no doubt going to be the same this year. We should be there again so keep those eyes peeled for a review. Check out below for Wiz Khalifa killing it last year.

Sims

Sims
Bad Time Zoo
Doomtree Records

Having released his debut album Lights Out Paris in 2005, it took a good while for Sims to bring out the follow-up but it was most definitely worth the wait. Bad Time Zoo is 14 track record full of cutting lyrics which range from the apathy of modern society to the simple fact that the MC loves his girlfried all layered over supremely powerful production from Lava Banger creator Lazerbeak.

Opening up as he means to go on, the Minneapolis rapper claiming that we “dropped the borders but we kept them walls” and being “so close I could almost see your breath / but so far I can’t hear your words” before lamenting the so-called “time of plenty” whilst all the while feeling like something is missing.

It’s a theme that runs through the album but never once falls into the preaching category, which is a testament to the ability of Sims’ lyrics, who despite all the problems we face implores us to “drop that cynicism” on Weight. Listening to these beats, that task doesn’t seem quite so difficult.

Relying more on his own talent than bringing in scores of guests, Sims does relent on Too Much by having P.O.S. giving his take on a near-disasterous road accident. Far from taking away from Sims, it simply goes to show how talent the Doomtree camp are as both mould their flows over the beat in their own inimitable style.

It’s impossible to pick a stand-out track on the record, such is the quality of the output – every time the play button is pressed, a new favourite presents itself. Suffice to say it’s worth multiple plays, so that every layer of the rap patchwork can get its time to shine, something it does brighter than ever.

The production is similarly tight all the way through the album from the horn led melody of Burn It Down to the dub-influenced, piano sampling LMG, the heavy drums of The Veldt and In My Sleep to the scratched vocal samples in Radio Opaque. Lazerbeak has one-upped himself once again, providing the perfect backdrop for his crew mate. The beats fit the rapper and the rapper’s flow fits the production, it’s rare that this happens over such a consistent period of time, yet that’s what you get on Bad Time Zoo.

Whether you’re into rap bangers or introspective backpack tunes, you need to check out this album. Doomtree just get better and better and with this latest release, Sims announces himself as a bonafide king. Absolutely brilliant.

See for yourself by listening [and then supporting great independent music by buying] here.

Abjekt.

Watch: Brand new Sims video

Sims has unleashed a new video to kick 2011 in perfect fashion.

The rapper, part of the Doomtree Crew, will be releasing his new album Bad Time Zoo via Doomtree Records on February 15th. Take it from us, the album is an absolute banger so press play below on Burn It Down and become a Bad Time Zookeeper like the rest of us at Crossfire HQ!

Watch: Doomtree Blowout feat. Abjekt!

Our very own backpacking┬áconnoisseur of independent hip-hop, Abjekt is currently over the pond in Minneapolis rocking with his Doomtree fam. As always, the rap crew’s annual Blowout got pretty wild, and on day three they invited their friends on-stage with them to brock out and get vibesy. Our boy Abjekt was right up there with them, and you can watch it below before he pollutes every social networking site on the planet with it.

Wings and teeth for life.