Minneapolis rapper P.O.S. is known best as an MC in the Doomtree crew, but he keeps hardcore punk in his heart with active membership in the Twin Cities punk band Building Better Bombs. Each of his three solo rap albums has moved toward a progressively greater synthesis of his musical personalities, and Never Better has moments that are straight-up discordant, angry punk, particularly the screamed choruses on "Drumroll (We're All Thirsty)" and "Optimist (We Are Not For Them)." He deals with that seeming dichotomy on the autobiographical "Out Of Category," explaining that when he heard first heard punk rock, "the way they didn't need to fit in, he found his kin." It's not so much that he's out to deliberately create a cross-genre album, but more a reflection of his vision that punk and rap share plenty of common ground. Either way, it's a great synthesis, merging verbally dexterous, rapid-fire syllable-spitting and a nimble sense of rhythm with lyrics that are clever, self-reflective, and full of sharp-edged political statements.
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