P.O.S. is a rapper almost made for Louder Than War readers. For starters he grew up listening to Minor Threat & lets face it, huge props to anyone who did that yo? He’s also an ideologically sound, politically clued up dude who has a penchant for collaborating & probably, most pertinently, he’s a brilliant musician. Chris Hearn’s a huge fan of his latest album, to see why read on.
Iâm not a huge hip-hop listener, but I do quite like what Rhymesayers Entertainment puts out, especially Atmosphere who I saw a long time ago and was blown away by. I also like that politically charged Brother Ali guy, even if I donât necessarily agree with all of his ideas. Rougher, rawer and more political is how I like the hip-hop I do listen to, and it doesnât get much better than what the bespectacled P.O.S (Stefon Alexander) creates, let me tell you. His bio describes him as âMinneapolis-bred rapper, producer, hardcore musician, punk philosopher and co-founder of the hip hop collective Doomtreeâ. Thatâs a whole lot of hats! And, according to âFuck Your Stuffâ he is so raw he âhasnât seen a mirror in a monthâ while blasting bling covered fakes in a pretty decent, somewhat anti-capitalist themed, thoroughly pissed off song. I LOVE it!
Yes, yes, yes, I love it, absolutely love it, when hip-hop and rock crash together. P.O.S has, in the past, done a brilliant job of mixing guitar feedback, down-tuned bass, bashed drums and rebel yells with his political and social rap. This album turns away from that a bit and adopts more âtraditionalâ electronic beats, bleeps, blips and scratches, but he still manages to sneak in some pretty deadly drum work in the incredible âBumperâ.
âWhere We Landâ finds P.O.S. collaborating with … Justin Vernon? Of Bon Iver?? Well, whatever, it works. Next collaboration (of several) is âWanted / Wastedâ with Astronautalis which is another great ârevolutionâ against âthe systemâ kind of song, challenging the over materialistic and overdone nationalism of the US (at least this is how I interpret it). This theme seems to pop up repeatedly through the album. I dig it!
According to the Rhymesayers website, âthe album brings banging new sounds from dance-oriented collaborators like German DJs Boyz Noise & Housemeister, Gayngsâ Ryan Olson, and Innerpartysystemâs Patric Russelâ So, this guy seems to be willing to work with almost anyone from anywhere to make some interesting music, which is something I respect and enjoy. For lack of a better way of describing it, he is the real deal, as he portrays himself as being. He writes good stuff, delivers it well, has attitude, but brains as well.
So yes, in case you havenât figured it out, to say the least I love this album. Itâs a complex and multi-layered to keep a listener busy for quite a while. Raw, heavy (at times), angry, challenging and cerebral (again, for lack of a better word) is how I would describe this. Itâs the perfect antidote for the âbitches and blingâ crap that often defines hip-hop in the mainstream. This could even be described as a damn good punk album, for that matter. Rap punk? Urban punk? Urban Hardcore? Something like that? Anyway, heâs had a history of being in punk and hard-core bands (which is evident by his previous P.O.S. stuff), and listening to Minor Threat as a kid; the pedigree is there. So, go ahead punk, listen to this album (sorry for leaving this review on such a cheezy note, but I just couldnât help it).
All words by Chris Hearn. More articles by Chris can be found here.