P.O.S. – We Don’t Even Live Here

5 out of 5

Label: Rhymesayers

Producer: Too many people; listen to P.O.S. shout their names at the beginning of each track they produced

God damn.  Rhymesayers stuff always hints at greatness, but every artist on their roster (that I’ve listened to, anyway) has a sort of crutch to their style.  For Brother Ali, it’s gettin’ preachy about his life experiences, for Atmosphere, it’s being pissed, for Eyedea, it’s being poetic.  And for P.O.S., as awesome as some of his beats and rhymes were, there was always this political edge that crept in to his albums that just made me feel like we weren’t on the same page.  He’s the cool AND smart rapper, and then wants to play it off.  So it gets to be a little too much.

But: While “We Don’t Even…” mentions things like Anonymous, and still name drops random cool things like a, erm, mufuck (am I saying that right), it is, from start to finish, one of the best hip-hop albums I have ever heard, every track memorable and a stand-out in its own right, bundling the right mixture of independence and group hugs, shout-outs and boasting, “fuck you” and “let’s say fuck you together.”  P.O.S. has worked with this mixed crew of producers for a while, and it seems like they really just got each other on this album, no more need to prove himself as rock-n-roll (as on Audition) or as either angry as hell or still sensitive (…Never Better), “We Don’t…” seems to be having fun rhyming about things that are important to P.O.S., but that he’s relaxed enough to talk about without necessarily excluding his audience in the process.

Yeah, he’s still probably too cool for me, but god damn if I don’t feel cool by proxy just listening to this album.

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