Looking Ahead • P.O.S @ Bottom Lounge (Chill, Dummy Tour)
P.O.S, Stefon Alexander, is a force of nature. The Twin Cities artist always has something to say, utilizing new types of "loud" for each statement. Rapping through buzz saws with a mind that cuts, you can find P.O.S at Bottom Lounge on Saturday as the second stop on his Chill, Dummy Tour. Sure to be a high-octane event, nobody's found the perfect balance between punk and hip-hop quite like P.O.S.
"They're the same thing, talking to the same people. People always separated them for years and years and years because they feel way different, and dramatically different as far as race stuff for the most part, but when you get into what the songs are about at the realest level, when you're talking about bringing social politics into things, you're talking to the urban and suburban version of the same thing."
The parallels remain in vibe and energy, but P.O.S's new Chill, Dummy project takes the content in a slightly different direction. His first new album since a kidney transplant in 2012, Chill, Dummy moshes inward, a personal look at his response to a bad situation and the taxing recovery process that followed.
"It's an atypical record...being super real, this is a record aimed at me getting out of the deep dark hole I was in. I was thinking in the following years, it's really hard to have kidney problems and the only people you can relate to are 65 year old women. It's hard to talk about things with your friends that, not only do they not want to talk about, but maybe don't understand, are scare of or nervous by. That's a real thing."
With an unusual health problem and little to relate it to, P.O.S found himself coping by compartmentalizing. This mental self-defense went too far, taking a toll that's referenced in Chill, Dummy's title and album art.
"The name and the album cover definitely both allude to this. The album cover is me floating in space, being deconstructed, floating too close to the sun. It's how I (pauses)...when I realized I had to get a kidney transplant, I was like, "ok, set it up!". Wasn't thinking about it, wasn't dwelling on it. When the day came, show up, but I'm not gonna really sweat, worry, just roll with the punches as I go. Which I feel like is a great way to go through some parts of life, but for some parts is very isolating".
It's nothing but good times ahead, however. P.O.S is, first and last, a live performer, who dominates the stage while still having a conversation with the audience that's raucus, intimate and illuminating. A damn good time, too. He had to call off his 2012 We Don't Even Live Here Tour, so P.O.S is more than ready to get on stage with his uniquely raw sound, hitting the ground running in 2017
"It's awesome. I love touring, I love playing shows. I'm excited to see if people come to the shows, I'm exited to see what it looks like. It's been a long time since I've done a solo tour but I love doing it, and I'm excited to get out there and have it go well, you know?"
And as far as Chill, Dummy goes, it's one for the fans, and he's leaving the rest open to interpretation.
"I don't know if there's anything that is the takeaway from that record, that I want to tell anybody. I think the best way to do it is listen to it and find...well, people connect with my music or they don't. Some people don't fuck with me at all, some people fuck with me heavy. People who have always fucked with me heavy are going to like this record a lot. People who have really never thought about it might like this record more because it has pretty moments on it. Also, it has super heavy moments on it? I really don't know what to say. Give it a chance, listen four times before you decide you hate it (laughs)."