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P.O.S. - conducted by Alex Goldberg  


February 2006

These are the transcripts from an interview conducted with P.O.S. during his tour to Toronto, P.O.S. is an up and coming MC on Rhymesayers. There is an article that is based on these transcripts titled, P.O.S.sibly a hope for Hip Hop.

MVRemix: Who are you? Who is the man behind P.O.S? Tell me about yourself.

P.O.S.: I'm stef. I rap a bunch. I'm from MPLS, MN and I love it there even when its cold. I enjoy listening to, and writing songs more than everything but my son and mother. My friends are the best friends in the world.

MVRemix: There are rumors that hip hop has died. That all is said and done, and we are living in the last days of dead language. How do you feel about these rumors? How can hip hop survive the next ten years? What will your contribution be to resurrect hip hop?

P.O.S.: How could hip hop be dead? That's ridiculous. Its in a slump, but that's how music works. Its really good, then its really bad, and while its really bad the fringe does something fresh. Then its alive and kicking again. Altered, but the roots are there. Its the same with all music I think. The people who love it, love it for there reasons, and then a new batch of kids fall in love for a bunch of new reasons and reasons and ruin it for everyone. Ha. That's the way it seems anyway, I don't think I mind. I try not to worry about my contribution. I'm just enjoying making songs.

MVRemix: Let's talk about punk rock. How would you describe your punk rock past? Do you find that the hip hop you make is punk rock with turntables, that the message is the same, the sound is different?

P.O.S.: I think I make pretty straight up hip hop. I like to write songs that feel like the songs I grew up loving. The songs I grew up on for the most part were punk songs. I'm not sure why, but it grabbed me more than anything else. So when I write what I feel like is a pretty straight up rap song, it turns out kinda scattery and loud? Punk and hip hop in spirit are the same I think. At there root, you don't really need anything to make them. To rap you need a pen, to start a punk band you need only the slightest idea of music and shit to bash on. Anybody can do them so anybody who wants to be a part of it can. Its honest music. I'm not sure if I answered that right.

MVRemix: Were there a lot of black punks where you grew up? Did you find it hard to adapt to a predominantly white music scene?

P.O.S.: I met three other black punks before I turned 18, after that a could get into more shows so I met a few more. Adapting to the scene was just like school, you stick with your friends you're good. Its wierd the rest of the time. A lot of people didn't know how to deal with me. People so aware of race and class issues clearly not knowing how to act normal around a black guy; awkward. Or maybe it was just some akward kids. I loved being out and at good shows so that always came first anyway.

MVRemix: Tell me about the band Om.

P.O.S.: That was my first real band. Me and Marshall from Doomtree and our friend chuck. Fast, sloppy pop punk, I played guitar and sang. we started the summer before ninth grade when I was 14. Fun as fuck. We did a little tour, made a tape and a cd. Best band ever. By the time we broke up Marshall was already making beats.

MVRemix: Would you say diversity and openness characterize your music? Would you say music has influenced your lifestyle, or your lifestyle has been complimented by the music you listen to? In other words, were you punk before you heard punk rock? Were you hip hop before you heard hip hop music?

P.O.S.: I think my songs are kinda diverse, and I'm open to whatever most of the time. So I guess that would reflect in my songs. I'm pretty sure I fell in love with punk because it matched me. I heard it and it made perfect sense. I'm not really the type to go and be something. It has to fit and feel right. So um?

MVRemix: What do you hope to gain from making music? Is it just to pass the time, make some money, or do you have more abstract goals, like, understanding life, blah blah..etc?

P.O.S.: Nothing too fluffy, nothing too heavy. I just really love to make music, and meet people who feel like me and like the same shit as me. I've been doing this my whole life. Its what I know how to do I think. My goal is to be able to do this and pay all my bills and provide for my family and not worry until its not fun. That's a huge goal, but I've got a realistic set of standards.

MVRemix: In your opinion, how important is image in rock or hip hop? When you walk on stage, how conscious are you of how you appear to your audience? How important is presentation when performing? In punk, for instance, there is a whole grouping of styles that characterize the subculture, Mohawks, etc. So really, how important is image to you?

P.O.S: Image is wierd. I don't go out of my way to look good ever, so there's that. I do think about what idea of me I'm putting out there, and I don't want to have to prove anything, so I just go as me. I've got no problem with the flashy punk rock stuff. I think a lot of punk kids do that for a long time growing up, and then it gets to be more work then its worth. I think I grew out of that as soon as I realized that I don't have to show everybody what I'm into. An 18 year old black male gets enough attention without a big red bi-hawk.

MVRemix: Do you feel journalists are killing hip hop? Do you hate to be asked questions? How has the publicity been for your latest album?

P.O.S.: Jounalists kill everything. Haha. I think a lot of journalists want to be the ones to decide what's good instead of writing about what makes them feel good, but it whatever. People listen to what they like, not what people say they should, I hope so anyway. I don't mind being asked questions, its kind of one of those things I'm enjoying. I made a record, of course I wanna talk about it. Who knows if anybodys gonna want to ask me shit next year, so as of right now, I'm into it. The press has been really exciting. Nobody know what to do with me. Its kinda funny.

MVRemix: Tell me about your latest album.

P.O.S.: I worked my ass of to make what I would consider a very well rounded hip hop record. I knew this would be well distributed and handled well, so I wanted to try as much as I could get away with, so if I'm lucky enough to make another record, people know what there getting into. Lots of raw raps, kinda loud, bit of screaming, some singing, everything I wanted to do I tried. I'm very proud of it.

MVRemix: What do you think is the worst music genre out there today?

P.O.S.: Rock-rap, rap-rock, yo-metal, whatever you wanna call it. I'm clearly not the only one to have a distaste for this music, but since my record came out, a lot of writers don't know how to explain what I do without bringing it up. I'm a rapper. And country. I don't like much of that either.

MVRemix: Do prefer to party sober? Or perform sober? How important is intoxication for you in influencing your music?

P.O.S.: I will have a drink. But never before a show. I write, record and perform stone sober.

MVRemix: What separates you from other MCs? Why do you think people should listen to your music?

P.O.S.: I don't know. They might really enjoy it. They might have something new to hate. Its totally win, win.

MVRemix: When you step onto stage, doing a hip hop concert, are you Sid Viscious or are you LL. Cool J?

P.O.S.: A kid in Boston told me I was Johnny from The Blood Brothers mixed with a pre crack DMX. I hate junkies and Kangols look like shit on me so, Im a go with that.

MVRemix: Canada is so cold and miserable, why tour up here? Do you find Canadians are good listeners?

P.O.S.: I'm from Minneapolis man. I'm very comfortable with cold and miserable. I like Canada. Everyone loves they're country. I wish I could say that about most of the people I know. We pretend were Canadian so people won't hate us.

MVRemix: Do you get along with everyone on Rhymesayers? Are you all golfing buddies by this point?

P.O.S.: Yes. We golf on Sunday afternoons. Except Slug, he hosts the poker games Sunday nights. I get along pretty well with everyone I've met so far.

MVRemix: Any last comments. You can take this time to promote your album or your tour, or tell Canada how much love you got for them, etc. It's up to you.

P.O.S.: Come to my shows. You will have a good time even if you don't like music. um. Buy my record if you want a new rap record to listen to. My favorite food is camel lights and I have an x-ray collection, hit me up if you have x-rays to add. Take very good care. Goodbye.

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"A lot of people didn't know how to deal with me. People so aware of race and class issues clearly not knowing how to act normal around a black guy; awkward."