Enter “Doomtree Forest” this weekend

The local rap legends will explore new territory with Friday’s festival

The music group Doomtree.

Image by Prentice Danner

The music group Doomtree.

by Samir Ferdowsi

Waking from hibernation after a year filled with solo projects, beloved Minnesota rap crew Doomtree is getting back together this Friday, Sept. 7. for Doomtree Forest, a night of everything local — from the food trucks to the Familia Skateshop HQ venue to, of course, the music.

“The idea behind Doomtree Forest felt like a celebration of the family tree, hence the forest,” Doomtree CEO Lazerbeak said. “I love getting the crew together at least once a year. It’s a celebration of what we’ve all been up to.”

With a set from almighty queen of the north Dessa and more, the lineup is a delish hot dish of tunes. Its main ingredient? Solo and collab acts from Doomtree members.

“We’re getting back to the individuals of the crew and what they have going on at this very moment in time,” Lazerbeak said. “We’re celebrating that and giving them a platform.”

Paper Tiger will debut a new project, the age-old duo of P.O.S. and Astronautalis will get down and Shredders will … well, shred. 

The event will end with the rarest animal of them all: a full-member, 45-minute long Doomtree collective rager.

“A full-crew performance is so rare because it will actually be the only time the seven of us are on stage together this year,” Lazerbeak said. “So it’s kind of a big deal.”

The collective continues to push and redefine their “stage.” The last two crew-concerts exhibited something far from the burned-out, hydraulic and pyrotechnical platforms most rappers tour with nowadays.

“Music will be the forefront, but we’re transforming Familia into something nothing like a music venue,” Lazerbeak said. ”We’re creating an alternate dimension … that sounds really high, but we’re just mixing things up.”

As is the trend in underground hip-hop culture recently, Doomtree opted out of a hype train for the concert. 

“We wanted to go back to basics with this one,” Lazerbeak said. “We loved the idea of throwing as much of a pop-up as you can on this scale. Like, we didn’t even announce it until a couple weeks beforehand.”

With this hint of grassroots mentality and the rap crew-skate park spore, the Forest encompasses what “Minnesota hip-hop” has become — with Doomtree leading the charge.

Doomtree has put together other, semi-similar events in the past. In 2015 there was “Doomtree Zoo,” and the group is obviously no stranger to group performances. This year’s concert plans to grow, with hopes of blossoming into an entirely new experience for attendees.

“It’s just dope, the whole place felt like a mini festival put on for each one of us there,” said Ian Boyles, high school senior and Doomtree Zoo attendee. “The community vibes were insane.”

The Forest will be hosted by Red Bull Sound Select, a promoter known for bringing under-the-radar MC’s to the 612.

“Visually and artistically, it’s a different vibe for us,” said Sims, a Doomtree member. “Red Bull national was like, ‘are you sure you all can do this?’ The fact that we sold out in hours showed them that Minneapolis is a market where people do wild things and support.”

Sims predicts this sort of backing will give wings to more acts and give the promoter confidence in sending other artists Minneapolis’s way.

“This was nationwide. The gratitude we feel towards the Twin Cities for this kind of support is amazing.”

What: Doomtree Forest

When: Friday Sept. 7, 7:30 p.m.

Where: Familia HQ, 835 E. Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis

How much:  $15 – $20, 18+