Written By: Fletcher Bonin
P.O.S, the stage name of Minneapolis based rapper Stefon Alexander, recently dropped a truly intense hip-hop album entitled Chill, Dummy. All twelve tracks are imbued with the angry punk intensity that he likely brings to his associated rock acts Marijuana Deathsquads and Building Better Bombs. Chill, Dummy is comprised of dystopian lyrical themes and harsh, mechanical beats. He distorts his vocals to sound even more haunting and even evil, ratcheting up the intensity of this music. His rap style reminds me of other Minneapolis based artists such as Atmosphere and the Rhymesayers. But even these groups pale in comparison to P.O.S in terms of intensity and unmatched rage.
I’ll be honest, this music is certainly not for everyone, nor for every occasion. But there is a time and place for rage filled angry rap, and perhaps given the political and cultural climate of 2017, there is indeed no time like the present. P.O.S is communicating raw emotion on every track of Chill, Dummy. This is not easy listening music. Rather, turn this stuff up when your parents ground you or as the soundtrack to the end of a bad day. When nobody gets it, it might not hurt to see if P.O.S can provide some clarity.
Is this my favorite kind of music? No, not necessarily. However much I enjoy rap, P.O.S is providing us with an alternative take on the genre. Given the pop-rap so often blaring on radio stations, I see Chill, Dummy as a refreshingly honest, albeit hardcore, challenge to the game. He holds nothing, and I mean nothing back. The first track ‘Born a Snake’ sets the tone with loud static backbeat and distorted yelling. This track belongs less on a purported hip-hop album and more on stage at Warped Tour.
Meanwhile, the two tracks ‘Wearing a Bear’ and ‘Faded’ featuring Lady Midnight broke into the mainstream with their offbeat, almost crude sound. P.O.S’s lyrics are rugged and angry, speaking from a long latent frustration. However, my favorite track off of an album that I can’t say I especially enjoy is ‘Gravedigger’ featuring Angelenah. It is slower and smooth, and I suppose its calibrated intensity is what appeals to me amidst an album that allows the intensity to fly off the leash for the most part. While perhaps P.O.S is not my cup of tea, I can respect anyone challenging a genre that has become saturated with unrecognizably similar rappers. If nothing else, Chill, Dummy is purely original and unapologetic, which I think we can all respect.