Up-and-coming twin cities artist SimsThanks to the early pioneers of the Rhymesayers crew, Minnesota's twin cities have long been hailed for their thriving underground hip-hop scenes. And because of the early genre-crossing tendencies of that scene's leading artists like Atmosphere and Eyedea (R.I.P.), the Minneapolis sound has never been orthodox. While the area boasts legions of proper MCs -- wordsmiths who rip up battle cyphers -- these (mostly) guys often run out of the gate as influenced by rock and left-field sounds as boom-bap hip-hop.
One of the latest of these guys poised to break out is Sims
, who grew up in the suburb of Hopkins, Minnesota hiding his Wu-Tang tapes from his parents. Luckily for him, though, there was someone to encourage his hip-hop habit, at least indirectly. That was the now-lauded producer P.O.S., with whom Sims went to high school, and who would sell him beats for $30 a pop.
Eventually, Sims hooked up with Doomtree
, a Minneapolis label focused on the most independent of hip-hop. It's for this imprint that he released his second full-length album, Bad Time Zoo, this past February. For production duties this time he hooked up with Lazerbeak, who's provided him a suitably cut-and-paste blend of sounds that morphs as Sims' nimble wordplay demands. "Burn it Down" is a bubbling slice of funk-rock whose apocalyptic brass adds to Sims' frenzied call for general action. Meanwhile, "One-Dimensional Man" is a more straightforward, laid-back stoner-rap groove over which Sims skewers hybrid-driving, organic-eating hypocrites.
Sims plays Propaganda this Saturday, March 12, opening for Seattle-based "Astronautalis," who's been described by the Onion's AV Club as an "indie-country-electro rapper." Whoa. More about him later. We're talking about Sims here, so check out this free download of "Burn it Down."
Sims, with Astronautalis and Alexander. 9 p.m. Saturday, March 12. Propaganda, 6 S. J. St., Lake Worth. Tickets cost $10 for those 21 and up, $15 for those 18 to 20. 561-546-7273; propagandalw.com