At the forefront of the second wave of Minneapolis indie rap, P.O.S. a.k.a Stef Alexander is an artist to be reckoned with these days, having just returned to Minneapolis after wrapping up the longest tour of his life promoting Never Better. Call most rappers an "artist" and you'll raise more than a few cynical eyebrows, but from the jump as the leader of the Doomtree pack to his work with hardcore band Building Better Bombs, that's simply the way Stef and his music come across.
The most memorable part was probably going to London and Helsinki. There were 15 people at the Helsinki show and like eight of those 15 people knew every word to every song. The sun never went down because we were there at the beginning of the summer. The show ended at like 1 a.m. and you go outside and it looks like it's 11 in the afternoon. So you go to a club or something afterward because the sun is still up and it feels like you should still be awake, and you finally go to bed at 4 or 5 in the morning and the sun is still just --- out. It was crazy.
I do see myself as an optimist - I always have. Of course it's depressing when there's negative things going on the world and negative things going on in my lyrics, but the overall feel and overarching theme to both my life and the music is pulling out of it and making it work. The tattoo came about because my roommate, Jon Grider, who is a known stencil artist around -- well, actually the world these days -- said he thought "optimist" was the toughest thing you could get tattooed on your knuckles. I totally agreed. He picked the word, I picked the typeface. And then we both went out and got 'em.
Oh, you know. Seeing the people that you wanna hug all the time.
With the Plain Ole Bill, Slapping Purses, Prof and St Paul Slim, Moonstoone, All ages. $10/$12, 6 p.m., First Avenue, 701 N 1st Ave., Minneapolis; 612.338.8388