From Minnesota hip-hop collective Doomtree comes new brainchild Shredders, consisting of four of Doomtree’s original seven artists. Last week, P.O.S, Sims, Lazerbeak, and Paper Tiger put out a self-titled Shredders EP.
The story is a grassroots one. Doomtree started as a group of friends just kicking around after school in Minneapolis, united by interests ranging from indie rock to beatboxing. Releasing Doomtree’s first album in 2008, the group worked on carving a path to success—burning CDs for distribution, using one member’s basement as a webstore, and busily marketing themselves—all while producing 50-some banging records with convoluted lyrics and performing them at venues and festivals across the country. Shredders comes off as a fiercely infectious passion project complementing a familiar brand with equally ferocious word-play spits and unorthodox beats.
Over the past year, some members have followed their own routes, focusing on more personal projects. That time off primed the squad to regroup for some new-age positivity, as in the song “Cult 45”: “If it feels good to you, do what you like”—reinforcing the same millennial create-your-own-path mentality that characterized the team’s beginnings. The bouncing beats on Shredders remind me of my long-haired, tie-dye-wearing brother flipping his mane in time to Paper Tiger and Lazerbeak’s drops. (Hip Minnesota kids, rejoice.)
Lazerbeak has made clear in a blog post that this is not the end of Doomtree but rather a chance for members to “bang out some more heaters.” Shredders EP is available on Soundcloud, Spotify, iTunes, and Bandcamp, and the group is scheduled to perform at the Cabooze in September.