Review Summary: Stefan Alexander bursts onto the scene with a raw and fiery debut album
Doomtree has carved out their own niche with underground hip-hop, with a stable of distinct personalities backed by the Rhymesayers hype machine. P.O.S. serves as the face and voice of Doomtree and for good reason, as his releases Audition
and Never Better
showed an MC with a clear voice and an unwillingness to back off his messages. His affinity for experimenting with his sound and production has helped cement his place as a force in the hip-hop world. His love of punk and hardcore has shown through all his releases, none more so than his debut, Ipecac Neat
, which displays a young Stefan Alexander raging against everything around him, to varying degrees of success.
Rawness is a huge selling point on Ipecac Neat
. P.O.S. lays out vitriolic lines over intriguing and brash beats throughout, making it clear early on that this is an airing of grievances. Whether his aim is at the former President of the United States (“Math-Head Vs. McNugget”), the scene that didn’t accept him (“Kicking Knowledge In The Face”), or his own broken relationships (“That One”). At times his constant hatred being spewed in every direction gets tedious, and P.O.S. has a tendency to collapse his own message through overblown hyperbole. His punk rock past plays a presumed role in this, as that genre’s “do or die” attitude has a long history of lyrical overstatement. These moments of overstatement work better in his more personal songs, such as the aforementioned “That One” (with such moments as ” I'm kind of in the mood to get shot I'm sort of kind of in the mood for suicide by cop”
). When P.O.S. is at his most personal is when he is at his strongest. He is not afraid to lay himself bare for the sake of his art.
The beats in many cases serve to offset the straightforwardness of P.O.S. Take for instance “The Kidney Thief,” which has a bouncy bassline and the occasional spacey moments while P.O.S. is hitting fast and hard. It is a pleasant vibe, which is a welcome feeling with the constant barrage of hate coming from the microphone. The beats alternate between moments of intrigue and slight irritation, as it feels not enough chances were taken by the producers (Doomtree mainstays Lazerbeak, MK Larada, and P.O.S. himself.) There is a lot of live instrumentals throughout, with the album occasionally leaning too much in its direction, causing a feeling of monotony to creep in as the album goes on.
P.O.S. proves he is an artist to watch with his debut Ipecac Neat
. Despite a few stumbling points, the highs of the album largely make up for it. P.O.S. is a man who want to share his disgust towards the world with the listener, and his conviction is what largely carries Ipecac Neat
. P.O.S. takes hard stances and his lyricism belies the fact that Ipecac Neat
is a debut album by a twenty three year old from Minneapolis. All in all, Ipecac Neat
is a flawed but fascinating debut by a kid with a big future.