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Stream Tree Trap Genius

Chicago’s new hip-hop wave has put the city back on the rap map, and one of the unsung heroes of that movement is Tree, a grizzled, introspective rapper who prefigures what will probably be a subgenre of its own — “soul trap.” Continuing with his established blues-and-trap theme, Tree’s latest tape is called Trap Genius,… More »

By: Caitlin White / February 24, 2015 - 6:09 pm

The 5 Best Videos Of The Week

Why did everyone release their darkest and most fucked vidoes this week? Is it just too cold for some fun, sunny music videos? Are we experiencing a collective dark night of the soul? Or is it just fun to put blood in videos? Our especially grim picks for the week are below. More »

By: Tom Breihan / February 7, 2014 - 2:13 pm

Tree – “Like Whoa” Video

Chicago is a truly great city, but it’s currently deep into a winter that sounds incomprehensibly hellish, and the town could probably use some reason to feel good about itself. So I give you the raspy-voiced Chicago rapper/producer Tree’s video for “Like Whoa.” Tree’s The MCTreeG EP earned Mixtape Of The Week last week, and… More »

By: Tom Breihan / February 5, 2014 - 3:47 pm

Mixtape Of The Week: Tree The MCTreeG EP

How old is Tree? Do we even know? He certainly looks like a young man, but the Chicago rapper/producer has a voice like a gnarled, twisted, tougher-than-iron tree limb. He sounds like an 80-year-old Korean War vet who somehow taught himself to rap really well. He sounds like life has been chipping away at hi… More »

By: Tom Breihan / January 29, 2014 - 4:25 pm

Download Tree @MCTreeG EP

Last year, the Chicago rapper-producer Tree — who’s given his hard, gnarled, singular sound the distinctive genre name soul-trap — gave us his messy but often brilliant mixtape Sunday School II: When Church Lets Out. Today, he releases his shorter, more focused follow-up, the Scion-sponsored @MCTreeG EP. We’ve already posted the weird, awesome opening track… More »

By: Tom Breihan / January 21, 2014 - 1:36 pm

The 5 Best Songs Of The Week

This week, 2014 kicked into top gear, musically speaking, leaving us with way more than five great songs competing for space in our list of the week’s best. We had to leave out truly excellent cuts from Protomartyr, Woods Of Desolation, and Primitive Parts, as well as long-awaited new tracks from longtime favorites like JennyMore »

By: Michael Nelson / January 17, 2014 - 2:42 pm

Tree – “Probably Nu It”

Last year, the Chicago rapper/producer Tree earned a spot in the Mixtape Of The Week column for Sunday School II: When Church Lets Out, a raw and soulful example of how weird and personal traditional rap can still get. He’ll follow that one up later this month with The @MCTREEG EP, a free Scion-sponsored release. More »

By: Tom Breihan / January 13, 2014 - 5:29 pm

The 40 Best Rap Albums Of 2013

Last year, there was one album — Kendrick Lamar’s Good Kid, m.A.A.d. City — that united virtually the entire rap-listening public in adoration. This year, no such luck. Many heard my #1 pick of the year (and you can probably already guess what it is) as the work of a sonic visionary, and plenty more… More »

By: Tom Breihan / December 16, 2013 - 8:35 am

Tree – “Busters” Video

One of the strongest rap mixtapes of the year thus far is Sunday School: When Church Lets Out, the latest from the tough and gnarled Chicago rapper/producer Tree. Tree just shared his video for the honking, soul-thundering mixtape track “Busters” this morning, but he must’ve taped it months ago, when Chicago was still frozen tundra. More »

By: Tom Breihan / June 19, 2013 - 1:10 pm

Mixtape Of The Week: Tree Sunday School II: When Church Lets Out

The Chicago rapper/producer Tree calls his style “soul-trap,” and that’s a better genre descriptor than a critic nerd like me could come up with. Seen from a certain angle, Tree is an inheritor to his city’s Common/early Kanye conscious-rap throne. His music can be placid and thoughtful, full of doomed narrative and poverty-contemplation and emotional… More »

By: Tom Breihan / May 22, 2013 - 2:15 pm