Restless and passionate but with an unflinching realism at his core, Sims has seen enough of life to know there are no easy answers. His second full-length release, Bad Time Zoo, out February 15th on Doomtree Records, reflects this rapper’s ongoing quest for solid understanding in a society on the brink of dystopia. For Sims, it’s been a long road.

Andrew Sims grew up in the working-class Minneapolis suburb of Hopkins, Minnesota. His parents were both musicians with problems of their own, and Sims often had to look out for himself and his younger brother. “I was super short-fused,” he remembers. “I got in fights almost every day until I was about 13.”

He found solace in rap and R&B music, nurturing a love for mainstream hits as well as then-underground artists such as the Wu-Tang Clan. His parents didn’t approve of his new love, however, so he built a secret stash of cassette mixtapes that he traded to kids at school. He soon found a gift for rhyme and begin channeling his aggression into feisty, kinetic wordplay.

His rap habit quickly grew from playground cyphers to recorded projects. In high school, he met a local producer and rapper named P.O.S. who would sell him beats for $30 a pop and let him record at his house for free. Eventually, their home-recording experiment blossomed into a full-on musical enterprise that would pull in other aspiring artists and help put Minneapolis hip-hop on the map.

Enter Doomtree. Hailing from the same untamed Minneapolis indie music scene that spawned both punk legends the Replacements and, 20 years later, hip-hop powerhouse Rhymesayers, Doomtree has become one of the most trusted and influential names in grassroots hip-hop.

Since its birth in 2002, Doomtree has grown from a CD-R-slinging, fast-food-fueled DIY collective into a tightly knit, business-savvy operation. In addition to Sims and P.O.S., Doomtree’s roster includes some of the most daring artists working in hip-hop today: Lazerbeak, Dessa, Mike Mictlan, Paper Tiger, and Cecil Otter.

In a genre that all too often rewards imitation over innovation, Doomtree’s artists strive for originality without sacrificing mass appeal. As a result, fans of Doomtree have come to expect uncommon hip-hop delivered in clever, club-rocking doses, and Bad Time Zoo will not disappoint.

Setting himself as spokesman for a generation fraught by vapid commercialism, political cynicism, and the paradoxical power of technology to both connect us and drive us apart, Sims seeks a path out of the disappointment that plagues modern life. The time of plenty, inbox full / So why do I feel so goddamn empty? he demands on opening track “Future Shock.”

But while he casts himself as an alienated prophet, make no mistake: Sims’ message is of empowerment, hope, and badass beats. The results are epically infectious.

Over the pulse and sway of Lazerbeak’s urgent, expansive production, Sims raises 50-story verses and swings wrecking-ball choruses. With scenes straight from Darwin’s nightmares – people as animals gorging in the streets (“The Veldt”) – Bad Time Zoo is not so much a hip-hop album as a teeming, beat-driven urban wilderness.

On the horn-sample-driven first single, “Burn It Down,” Sims raps like a red-eyed city planner who just downed his eighth Red Bull and Adderall cocktail and is on the street corner calling for destruction before renewal. Or take the thumping, wickedly funny “One Dimensional Man,” an indictment of complacent liberals: You did your part, you gave your hundred bucks to NPR / You joined a co-op now, bought the hybrid car. (For the record, Sims votes Democrat and drives a hybrid.)

But lest you think you need an advanced degree and a machete to enter Bad Time Zoo, Sims keeps his narratives grounded and real, and Lazerbeak’s musical compositions would sound just as good on a club PA as headphones. Just spin “Love My Girl,” a pop confection that juxtaposes dark observations on the dating life with a surprisingly sweet candy center.

A pop-culture omnivore, Sims cites influences that range from the sci-fi of Ray Bradbury, to the films of David Lynch, to the 1940s graphic novels of Will Eisner. But most of all, Sims listens to the world around him.

“I draw a lot more from human interaction than I do from music,” he says. “I listen and try to understand how people function.”

Like all good writers, Sims has an ear for what makes us human.

“What are your soft spots? When are you at your most defensive, your most unabashedly happy or proud?” he elaborates. “Or when I see someone try to cobble a defense together when they’re hurting. Those moments are noteworthy to me. I try to pay attention to them.”

Pay attention to Sims, and you’ll be better for it.


False Hopes 4 (out of print)
Lights Out Paris
False Hopes 14
Burn It Down 12″
Bad Time Zoo (produced by Lazerbeak)
Wildlife – EP
Field Notes

Sims's Blog


Posted on February 12, 2011

I try to imagine what Spud Webb was thinking about flying towards the rim in the 1986 Slam Dunk contest.  The electricity in the Reunion Center must’ve have been staggering as his undersized 5’7” frame was mid flight. Time seems drastically slow down in a transitional state like that, ample time to think. Was he worried that he might brick the dunk or worse completely miss the rim?  At some point did he wonder exactly how he came to be in this moment, in way over his head competing with the likes of Dominique Wilkins?  Or did he fall into a Zen state and become one with the air or something, nothingness or whatever? He must’ve felt some pressure, but then again nobody expected him to win so in some regards all bets are off being in his position.

I spend a lot of time feeling like I’m hurling through the air, and find it difficult to shape my thoughts mid-air. I don’t want to disappoint the people that help launch me into mid air, the people that support me, the people that cheer me on towards the rim. I know that’s fear talking and I do my best to ignore it, but it is loud.  We’re all afraid of failure. When I find myself afraid I think of Spud, try my best to take the pressure off and just hurl myself toward the goal. I know that sometimes I will completely brick my dunks but the ones I make will be incredible.  When my fingertips touched the rim last night at the end of this long promo cycle I looked up and saw a community cheering in support of the underdogs. I feel like Spud Webb winning the Slam Dunk contest right now because of you.

Spud’s dunks were not technically the best dunk of the evening. But the collective excitement of people seeing the undersized, underpowered man reaching the rim made them the most spectacular.  He won because of the people’s support for the underdog. I think he and I both owe them a huge thank you.

so this week

Posted on January 23, 2011

Here’s a quick update of what I’ve been up to for the last week or so, tons of photos and minimal description fit for 2011.

I shot another video with Isaac Gale, here’s a couple teaser shots, more of these soon. You will probably be really confused by these shots, but that’s cool, I am too.


Tuesdays With Sims

Posted on December 14, 2010

Tuesdays with Sims

I’m hijacking this edition of Tuesdays with Lazerbeak; bang, you got took Beak. I’m not a big blogger so Imma do my best to keep this thing concise and interesting.


It snowed a bit this weekend. I’m sure you’ve seen this by now:

(more after the jump, click the top)



Posted on April 19, 2010

Robot FlyerI’ll be in Denver on Saturday this week. Here’s a link for tickets:

New Song

Posted on April 02, 2010

So Beak and I are working like crazy. Been that way, and we’re not gonna stop. So here’s a little manifesto track for you, just a little snack until we serve up our record. You might recognize the beat.


Albums I purchased more than 3 times

Posted on February 24, 2010

I was unpacking some of my stuff earlier from the move (yes I know its been over 3 months since I moved but I’m busy procrastinating) and I found some records I had, albums that I have purchased more than 3 copies of because I could not stand life without them.  They were either lost or stolen but certainly replaced. I love all of these albums although you may think my taste is a little questionable with a couple of these,  but I love them regardless. Some of them I didn’t know that I had done that with until I found all 3 copies in my cd piles, like this one:

Click for more



Posted on February 03, 2010


Instrumental Saturday

Posted on October 17, 2009

fh14 cover

Despite the fact that I didn’t make these beats Imma post ‘em up on here so y’all can peep ‘em.  Figured I could let you know a little about my process in writing. I don’t know maybe we’ll do some remix contest or something in the future.  MK made this beat a year or two ago and sent it to me with some other ones. I sort of forgot about it until I was trying to piece together FH14.  So I found it and made one of those really quick songs. The kind that you start and finish within an hour. That rarely happens to me. Soon as I finished and called him. He didn’t have the beat anymore. His computer had crashed and the only surviving version of the beat was an MP3 on my iTunes. Dang. Thinking that we weren’t going to be able to use the song I sent him the file anyway. He was able to add a few things on top of it and we made the damn thing happen.

Like You Mean It

And The Winner Is……

Posted on October 09, 2009

For some reason I have been trying to keep our website politics free, which has proven difficult with the ongoing HealthCare “debate”, that has become an orgy of media dictatorship and an embarrassingly ugly and childish discourse but this was just too much today. President Obama received the Nobel Peace Prize to this reaction:

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Wow.  These people are so conflicted. I really believe they are the most hypocritical, confused and generally lost group in politics…. possibly in the world.  See those people high-five-ing? I can’t see a more clear cut example of their bullshit.  You can read these reactions from US and World leaders that the mediocre at best Washington Post  published here… positive and congratulatory from the rest of the world, here… not so much. Shit, dude. I hope Glenn Beck and the Tea-Baggers choke.

This article is good too.

More at Huffington Post

If you feel like taking a little bit of action visit and email FOX NEWS here:

Alright that’s it for today…back to NASA bombing the moon.

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Posted on October 05, 2009

The Vikings let them back in the game towards the end. Aaron Rogers is for real but the Packers O-line is as weak as it gets. Jared Allen 4.5 sack 1 forced fumble and 1 safety. Favre still has it, 24-32 for 271 yards 3 TD’s. Adrian Peterson 55 yards on 22 carries. Sims 14 clapping/screaming outbursts on couch alone, 3 panicked hands to head moves. Lazerbeak held to a single tear of joy. VIKES WIN!