Of all the artists that the fan-approved, critically underrated Rhymesayers label has discovered in recent years, Stefon Leron "P.O.S." Alexander may be the most intriguing. A black punk-rocker from Minneapolis who leads his city's up-and-coming Doomtree hip-hop collective, P.O.S. (which stands for "Product of Society," "Pissed-Off Stef" and many other acronyms) blends together hard rock and hip-hop in--holy shit--an organic, uncontrived fashion. Many people believe that he's going to be an underground star, and the title of his second album, Audition, coyly feeds that perception, even as he tries to organize his ideas into digestible songs. Some of the best include "Safety in Speed (Heavy Metal)," which features a spoken-word contribution from Craig Finn of the Hold Steady; "Yeah Right (Science Science)," a freestyle set over thrashing guitar; and "Half Cooked Concepts," a singsong track where he says, "No one will ever be/Like me" with po-faced humility.
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Mosi Reeves