Revaler Strasse 99
P.O.S. doesn’t care about your bucks. And he doesn’t want your stuff. His is the true pursuit of happiness. And with We Don’t Even Live Here, he’s found it.
Out October 22 on Rhymesayers Entertainment, We Don’t Even Live Here is the fourth solo album from Doomtree co-founder, punk philosopher and lyrical bomb-thrower Stefon Alexander, aka P.O.S. It’s a tight, bombastic record that builds on the Minneapolis-bred rapper and producer’s penchant for grinding beats and radical lyrics. But at the same time, WDELH marks a change — in sound and in attitude.
Known for welding hip-hop with guitar squalls and screamed vocals, on WDELH P.O.S. steps away from his noisy past in favor of futuristic beats fit for a Berlin nightclub. Though his hip-hop foundation is firm on tracks like the fiery “Fuck Your Stuff” and the funky “Wanted/Wasted,” the album brings banging new sounds from dance-oriented collaborators like German DJs Boyz Noise & Housemeister, Gayngs’ Ryan Olson, and Innerpartysystem’s Patric Russel
Also along for the ride are Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon (who lends his shapeshifting vocals to the heartfelt bear-hug of an anthem “Where We Land”) and P.O.S.’ trusted Doomtree co-conspirators Lazerbeak, Cecil Otter, Mike Mictlan, and Sims. Bringing it all into focus is all-star producer and mix engineer Andrew Dawson (P.O.S.’s former high school classmate), who has worked on platinum releases from the likes of Kanye West, Jay-Z, Beyonce, Rick Ross, Lil Wayne and Fun.
Thematically, WDELH is a natural progression from the anti-establishment fury of previous releases Ipecac Neat (2004), Audition (2006) and Never Better (2009). But it marks a new stage in the evolution of the unchained artist once known as Pissed Off Stef.
“I was pissed off when I was 14. I’ve been pissed off all along,” says the 30-year-old P.O.S. “But after you’ve been pissed off for a while, you start to go do things.”
After playing a furious 200-show tour in support of Never Better, P.O.S. found himself with a new outlook. Tired of raging against the rickety, uninspiring machine of American political discourse, P.O.S. decided it was time to step away. Time to strike out and carve a new reality and own it. You know — do things.
The strategy worked. On We Don’t Even Live Here. P.O.S. and his Doomtree crew sound like they’ve never had more fun. It begins with the staccato kick-drum onslaught of “Bumper,” on which P.O.S. chants calmly, matter-of-factly: They on some nonsense / We on some nonstop. And you know they’ve arrived. Next, on the anti-capitalist “Fuck Your Stuff” – over an expansive, bumping Lazerbeak beat – P.O.S. becomes the first rapper to rhyme discussing Christopher Hitchens with how to make bombs from shit found in your kitchen.
Throughout WDELH, P.O.S. raises the roof while razing the temple. Stefon Alexander is no longer a young punk with an itchy middle finger. Has he grown up? Not exactly. Is he at peace? Hell no.
One thing’s sure: P.O.S. is comfortable in his own skin — even as the world burns around him.