P.O.S., one of the co-founders of Minneapolis-based collective Doomtree, is a seasoned lyricist and producer with a penchant for an aggressive hip-hop and punk aesthetic. On his fourth studio album, We Don’t Even Live Here, the rapper offers something for both worlds, while departing from his indie roots, he fully establishes himself in a wider sound.
The album opens with “Bumper,” a drum-heavy banger with electro glitches that addresses his presence in mainstream hip-hop. From the beginning, P.O.S establishes that he lays somewhere between his indie upbringings and his own definition of contemporary music: “I make it better/Ain’t no one touching my future/Ain’t no one fuck with my old shit yet/Ain’t shit inspiring since last we met.” Even if fans haven’t caught on to P.O.S’s music, it’s his radical attitude, which always stands firm. This mentality reappears on “Fuck Your Stuff,” the album’s second single where he expresses his disdain for materialistic possessions. His lyrical prowess flexes on subjects discussing hip-hop’s limitations (“Looking out the window like Malcolm/Just when I thought this culture was open they go and doubt him”), while maintaing his rebellious forte in the chorus.
Then, We Don’t Even Live Here shifts into the album’s standout collaboration “Where We Land,” with Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon. The singer’s echoey vocals complement P.O.S’s lyrics on lost in both love and chaos, creating an unexpected harmony. The title track, “We Don’t Even Live Here (Weird Friends),” is another example as German producer Boys Noize provides a jittering house-infused cut that addresses not sticking to the script. From his songs with Doomtree members Sims (“They Can’t Come”) and Mike Mictlan (“Get Down”), it’s clear that P.O.S can naturally fall back to his crew’s talents. It’s in these songs where Doomtree’s razor sharp delivery and dense lyrics shine.
It’s easy to claim P.O.S hasn’t changed much from his approach to channel unconventional soundscape. This certainly shows in We Don’t Even Live Here—especially records like “Arrow to the Action – Fire in the Hole” and “Piano Hits.” He has found his own lane that continues to push the musical boundaries outside of his hip-hop foundation. It’s P.O.S’s willingness to execute a balancing act of indie and mainstream with little effort. Simply put, this is a step forward for the Rhymesayers veteran. —Eric Diep (@E_Diep)