“I take my time with it,” Doomtree anti-king P.O.S. relays at the onset of Bumpers, the lead track on We Don’t Even Live Here – his fourth solo album, arriving October 22 with a bright red bullseye on sociopolitical blinders and silly hack-rap trends. With the nonsense distractioneering rhetoric avalanche of the 2012 presidential elections filling every corner and news post, three years off the solo release circuit the Rhymesayers Entertainment wildcard has found a point of precise momentum to return and deliver a downright flabbergastingly fantastic album – a facegrind down the pissed and littered alleyways of America’s cannibal culture through a beast-bounce trip with molotov slingshot surprises blasting across an anarchist’s party playlist.
Produced by all-star engineer and Minneapolis high school acquaintance Andrew Dawson, We Don’t Even Live Here follows 2009’s stellar Never Better with a more aggressive, effects-rich instrumentation surge that dismantles Pfizer-fade bottle-poppin’ culture with a recurring “oh shit, rewind that” barrage of lyrical tyranny over powerfully nuanced, percussively driven backdrops. His Doomtree co-conspirators Lazerbeak, Cecil Otter, Mike Mictlan and Sims all lend support to the flow connoisseur’s strongest effort yet, a punk-rap fist through the display window, dropping verbal grenades befitting the digital-guerilla era we’re locked in.
The razor is laid out indisputably in Homeland Security-baiting fashion on Fuck Your Stuff, which minces few words with even fewer fucks to give: “Or catch me on a mission / Pissin in some convertible tryin’a create some tension / Open a book, discussin’ Christopher Hitchens or how to make bombs with shit you find in your kitchen” – Oh, was that not clear enough for you? Then Occupy this: “I never cared about your bucks, so if I run up with a mask on, prob’ly got a gas can too / And I’m not here to fill ‘er up, no / We came to riot, here to incite – we don’t want any of your stuff.”
Put that on your fucking billboard.
They Can’t Come pulls a tight-orbit gravity like a skatepark rhyme circle under a graffiti-laced bridge, a grit narrative in an airtight flow with Doomtree assistance before a perfect chorus that ignites the mind for days. The anger is palpable on the revealingly autobiographical Toothpicks, Knives, Bricks and Bats, a slow burner rising sound that utilizes the roller-coaster-peaking effect on the between-verse breath pause “…aight” much the same way he did with “…okay..” before his final verse in Doomtree’s Dots and Dashes, among the best tracks on their incredible 2008 self-titled LP.
The rise comes a hell of a lot faster on the explosive Arrow to the Action – Fire in the Hole, a revolution in waiting that brings a wrecking ball to a spitball fight, double-vocal thrusts of direction on taking back the power, under one dirty-cymbal bitch of a beat that shifts to a digital buzz squeal with Get Down, an aptly named pure-fun jam that got the full Doomtree treatment at this year’s Lollapalooza. It passed the live litmus with flying colors, and likewise, if there’s a way to translate All Of It to the stage without compromising the gamer-nightmare character sound, there is no stopping its power.
“I’m probably not welcome at your protest, say I’m outta my damn mind / looking to break glass, not holding a damn sign… Occupy bedsheets, Occupy everything differently”
Through killer couplet wordplay soaked in now culture, We Don’t Even Live Here reveals, in full color, an evolved & highly refined class warfare antagonist amidst a storm of instrumentation and effects. On a Hall & Oates I Can’t Go For That instrumental drip tip, Wanted Wasted delivers a drum machine backhand of hype-checking reality: “Black President – hooray for history / The shit’s still totally pretend, I mean / Fuck sports, team on my back though / Doomtree hooptie, Cadillac flow” before throwing a nod to Anonymous and getting direct on the socioeconomic borders and cultural baiting of Black America: “It’s in a black man’s soul to rock that gold – nah / it’s in a black man’s soul to take the chain off/ it’s in a black man’s soul to roll free/it seems like a black man’s role’s to fold cheap.”
The man they call Stefon has made a perfect soundtrack to now.
Each We Don’t Even Live Here CD and Vinyl pre-order from Fifth Element is autographed by P.O.S and will include an exclusive sticker, full color CrimethInc. poster as well as an instant digital download of album track Bumper and a special live version of “Bumper” not available anywhere else.
Reviews published prior to February 23, 2015 used a 1-5 star rating system.