The underground hip-hop scene is more prevalent today than ever before, as people are beginning to look for deeper meaning in songs and for music that strikes up conversations about race and politics. This is all thanks to the current political climate surrounding our country, as well as the state of the world overall. With this thought in mind, one rap-visionary stands out: P.O.S.
Stefon Alexander, better known by his stage name P.O.S, is an indie hip-hop artist hailing from Minneapolis, Minnesota and signed to Rhymesayers Entertainment. P.O.S isn’t just a rapper. He’s pretty much a jack of all trades in terms of music. He’s a producer, punk rock vocalist, guitarist, keyboardist and a man with many projects, ranging from his punk band Building Better Bombs to his involvement as a founding member of Doomtree, a hip-hop group with seven different rappers, producers and DJs.
On Jan. 27, P.O.S released his long-awaited fifth studio album, “Chill, dummy.”
“Chill, dummy” is, honestly, exactly what I hoped for it to be. While it is a lot more laid back and chill than his previous 2012 release, “We Don’t Even Live Here,” “Chill, dummy” shows that even after 16 years in the rap game, P.O.S still has it. P.O.S is a rapper that is typically motivated by anger and the passion he has for what he does.
P.O.S doesn’t speak about typical things that mainstream rappers do; instead his words have more meaning. He raps about racism, politics, the state of the world itself and struggles he’s dealt with. One thing that I truly admire about indie hip-hop artists is the fact that their words, more often than not, carry more meaning. They don’t rap about trivial things, but instead try to make a statement with their music and use their words to bring about a change in the world where we often feel as if our voices don’t matter.
A more politically charged track, and my favorite off the album, is “Wearing a Bear.” The lyrics in this track show that P.O.S is ready to fight for what he believes is right and that he’s not going to give up. They show that, even though he’s had some struggles over the past few years with his health, he’s back and ready to speak his mind through song and isn’t going to let anything stop him.
Compared to more mainstream hip-hop, I think the production quality of this album is much higher. Everything is more thought out and isn’t just made to fit the typical structure of a “Top 40” song.
While it isn’t necessarily full of club-bangers, the instrumentals are definitely catchy with lots of bass-y booms and drum beats that are more reminiscent of rock and punk music. P.O.S is an artist that is known for constantly defying genres, and it truly shows throughout this album.
After listening through all of “Chill, dummy,” it seems as if P.O.S has found the inspiration he needs in order to write an album that sounds like some of his older, higher quality work. Without a doubt, “Chill, dummy” is one of P.O.S’s best works, and I’m looking forward to hearing what he’ll put out next.
Credit: C. LUTZ
Caption: “Chill, dummy” is P.O.S’s fifth studio album and is available on iTunes and Spotify.