Audition – P.O.S.
I’ve never been a big fan of hip-hop, but P.O.S. aka Stefon Alexander has two things that set him apart. Firstly, his brand of hip-hop is highly influenced by punk music, a genre I have more of a connection with. Secondly, Minneapolis based hip-hop is better than any other hip-hop out there, period. When you listen to Audition you immediately realize this is not what’s being played on the radio, mtv or in the clubs. Alexander’s music takes hip-hop and redefines it. Audition has the beats and the rhymes, but then adds so much more. The punk influence can be heard in the use of distorted guitars and live drums. There are also samples from punk legends Bouncing Souls and from the hardcore outfit Underoath. The song “Safety In Speed (Heavy Metal)” features guest vocals from Craig Finn of the Hold Steady. In addition, Alexander has a knack for writing honest thought provoking lyrics. He challenges the status quo on political issues, race and poverty. P.O.S. is a fresh breath of air in a genre where pretentiousness is valued over creativity.