Radio K presents NEVER BETTER TOUR featuring P.O.S.
Minneapolis-bred rapper, producer, hardcore musician, punk philosopher, lyrical bomb-thrower and co-founder of the hip hop collective Doomtree, P.O.S (aka Stefon Alexander) is gearing up to release his latest solo full length, We Don’t Even Live Here, on Rhymesayers October 23, 2012. The LP, which comes three years after his well received LP, Never Better, finds the rapper with one foot still firmly planted in his punk heritage (he grew up listening to Minor Threat and Refused and has been in punk and hardcore bands since the late ‘90s) and another boldly striding into unconventional songmanship.
Known for welding hip-hop with guitar squalls and screamed vocals, on We Don’t Even Live Here is influenced by P.O.S’s work with Gayngs and Marijuana Death Squad as well as musings into enlightened anarchist ideology. The album is literally and metaphorically centered on doing things differently. It’s a tight, bombastic record that builds on P.O.S’s penchant for grinding beats and radical-leaning lyrics while incorporating futuristic synth that wouldn’t sound out of place in a Berlin nightclub. Fueled by anti-establishment fury, which has always been part of P.O.S’s outlook, the release acknowledges that the boat for social change has already set sail and this is the music for those already having fun aboard.
P.O.S. has tapped collaborators including German DJ’s Boyz Noise & Housemeister, Gayngs’ Ryan Olson, Innerpartysystem’s Patric Russe, 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. The raw vigor and resistance to categorization of this album positions itself to make a great impact on artists and listeners across genre lines and stand as a landmark recording for the future. POS raises the roof while razing the temple.
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, released February 15, 2011 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.
Mike Mictlan is a native to Southern California and a current proud resident of South Minneapolis. His style has roots in both scenes. In his delivery, he’s a rapper’s rapper and a technician. He can stick fast stuccato runs, flip a pattern, and freestyle long after everyone else has gone to bed. But he’s also a writer who doesn’t shy from big themes and personal narrative. Mike met the founding members of Doomtree during his junior year in high school. In response to his deliquent streak, Mike’s parents had sent him from their L.A.
Lazerbeak is a thug. Do not be deceived by the nice-guy introductions backstage. Beak is responsible for some of the hardest lavabangers in hip hop, period. Catchy, rib-crushing, filthy. In his basement workshop, Beak works mostly with a MPC2000XL. He layers propulsive, hard-hitting drums with driving guitar and keyboard melodies. He paces after the addition of each element, ducking to avoid the overhead pipes, playing air drums, and calculating his next layer. Beak’s sequencing is a large part of his sound.