Their music has been called Midwestern hip hop, which can sound like a backhanded compliment. The lyrics go beyond the standard sex and drugs, speaking to a higher calling. This is Doomtree, and they seem oddly determined to defy easy definition.
Fox 9 recently sat down with five of their seven members: P.O.S., Mike Mictlan, Cecil Otter, Lazerbeak and Dessa.
"We've been touring as far as we can get, still have gas money to get home, since the beginning," Mictlan said.
They haven't run out of gas yet. Their third album, "All Hands," drops this week, and was a year in the making. It's less a departure than an evolution of their sound, and they call it some of the best work they've done.
"This album sounds like an ocean floating in space. But that's just me," P.O.S. noted.
Change has been a constant for Doomtree, which isn't really a band in the traditional sense, more of a musical collective. They all have their own independent projects, on the Doomtree label. Dessa, in particular, has become a headliner in her own right in the last few years, but the solo success also means having to constantly deny rumors a breakup is imminent. They fielded questions from all over the country, until they announced a tour schedule.
Doomtree's behind the music story begins 15 years ago, many of the members knew each other from high school. In their words, it was gathering their friends, loving one another, at times, not loving one another, and figuring it out.
They've certainly figured it out now as they prepare to embark on a nationwide tour, and while they may not be selling out arenas yet, they say they don't want to if it means selling out artistically. Despite their success, or maybe because of it, they keep coming home to the Twin Cities, ignoring the call of the coast.
"We've all basically grown up here, and this is a city and state that's been very tied to our story, and it feels right to carry that with us wherever we go," Lazerbeak said.
Despite their success, there is still a kind of humility about Doomtree and still a desire to keep people guessing about their next move. (As though they're still worried they'll have enough gas to make it back home to Minnesota.)