Hip-hop collective Doomtree on getting seven artists in one room

January 27, 2015

Have you ever tried to organize a reunion for some of your old school friends? Everybody's scattered to various parts of the world, busy with their own lives; it makes you wonder if it's all worth it. The seven solo artists who sometimes get together as Doomtree can relate.

Doomtree started putting Minneapolis on the hip-hop map 15 years ago. Its newest album, All Hands, comes out Tuesday — and to make it, the group went as far as renting a cabin without cell reception in order to get away from the constant interruptions of their lives.

Rappers Dessa and P.O.S. spoke with NPR's Arun Rath and say that one big positive of getting everyone together is the friendly competition it inspires, as it did for Dessa on the song "Cabin Killer."

"I heard the way that Mike Mictlan rapped on that, and a little dam broke inside my chest — of inspiration, or competition, or something — and I really wanted to claim my 16 bars on that track," she says. "There's not any one-upsmanship, but there's very much a drive to show and prove and come out as hard as all the other members of the crew are."

Hear more of Rath's conversation with the members of Doomtree at the audio link.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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