“Annihilate anarchist / Mindset reddening / Me, you / Fuck meds / All dead everything / I just wanna get down”, P.O.S spits at us through the speakers. No prizes for guessing that Stefan Alexander has serious anger management issues. The moniker is an abbreviation for various names including ‘Pissed Off Stefon’ ‘Product of Society’ and ‘Piece Of Shit’. On this, his fourth album, the Minneapolis punk-rapper, who began his career in many punk bands and is still a member of hip-hop collective Doomtree, takes his confrontational, abrasive rhyming style to intense new realms of frustration. The music is uncomfortable, exhilarating, and God forbid, even accessible for the most part.
Much like the lyrics, the tracks themselves do not conform to the usual conventions of the genre. P.O.S’ game of sonic hop scotch skips between classic gangsta sounds, with a growling underbelly of electric guitar on the defiant ‘Fuck Your Stuff’ to the unrest of the building riot synth, ‘All Of It’. ‘How We Land’, featuring Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon, is one the album’s rare forays into melodic vocal territory.
However, We Don’t Even Live Here is not the uncontrolled ranting of a anti-establishment rebel without a cause, there is a genuine dissatisfaction and a pain conveyed within the well constructed, lucid, venomous rhymes. Among the chaos there is a sense of clarity and restrained purpose. On ‘Wanted Wasted’ P.O.S says “we don’t own that home, we just keep that seat warm for our friends at the bank”. Although the content is at times such a bitter pill to swallow and you feel like choking on it, solace comes from being reminded that we are not alone. The album’s impact is rooted in the fact that it expresses that we are universally screwed but at least we are all in it together. Civil upheaval is on P.O.S’ agenda and there’s no stopping him. This is not for the faint hearted. Baseball bats at the ready, hip-hop has a new anti-Christ superstar.