5 emcees.
4 producers.
1 house. (give or take)
15 false hopes.

It’s got the makings of a reality television show. And that’s what’s behind the Doomtree collective out of the Twin Cities. While the one house may be a stretch, False Hopes 15 definitively debuted with Blowout V; the all-out annual showcase at First Avenue highlighting a good chunk of that TC talent. They have come a long way, and those City of Lakes waves are breaking the surface with P.O.S. performing at the MTVu Woodies and Dessa about to drop her highly anticipated debut full length, January 22nd. (Pre-order nowfor an exclusive live broadcast of rehearsels, signed copy and more.)

Variety is the keystone to FH:XV. Producer only cuts? Paper Tiger pulls the trigger, establishing a very basic beat as the collective’s foundation. Nothing lavish, but this proves that simplicity can be more than just basic. He sets the mood, passing to Lazerbeak‘s Mystic Lakes casino whirl with Sims & Stef (P.O.S.) on “Coup for the Kings.” This and the ensuing “Profit & Loss” peek into the lighter side of the group’s style before it absconds with shadows and heaviness in a wake over Cecil Otters‘ “A Rickety Bridge”…

This isn’t the normal darkness, it’s that pitch black moonless night. The heaviest track goes to none other than Dessa’s “Scuffle”, pushing her versatility far from “Sadie Hawkins” territory thanks to P.O.S.’s hardcore punk production. The rhymes, delivered smooth as suede, comes accompanied by cutting condemnations. Like I said, January’s around the corner and this emcee will grab your attention, whether you expect it or not.

Stef sounds matured, road-weary on “Do Not Stay” (he recently spent summer in Europe, quenching a thirsty growing fanbase) while Mike Mictlan makes good, giving us a studio version of “OMG!” When he’s paced, I can really get into Mike. Being a rhyming raconteur, as if dolling out wisdom, makes this a standout in his anthology. This proved, along with “Scuffle”, to be the reasons to buy the fifteenth installment. False Hopes 15 calls it a wrap much like False Hopes 13, bookended by an instrumental care of Cecil Otter.

Rating: 8.5/10

Founder, Editor, Writer, Photographer. (Austin, Texas)

Post a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *