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EXCLUSIVE: Rapper P.O.S. Freestyles at SPIN

Minneapolis rapper crafts beats and rhymes on the spot in our NYC office.

By: Peter Gaston // May 12, 2010

We’ve invited dozens of performers to join us for stripped down performances over the years, but since “unplugged” doesn’t exactly translate to hip-hop, only a few brave souls have attempted to make it happen. P.O.S. has risen to the challenge — twice. Watch his most recent performance below!

After wow-ing us with an a capella performance at the SPIN/MySpace Loft during SXSW ’09 (with friends creating backing beats with plastic cups on a table behind him), Stef Alexander, aka P.O.S., recently visited SPIN’s NYC office and decided to make up a new song on the spot.

“I’m gonna make a super simple beat,” the Minneapolis-based rapper told the assembled crowd of staffers, “and then I’m gonna read a verse that I just finished writing for you all, SPIN.” And sure enough, he cobbled together a sampled groove on a beat box, pulled out his cellphone (where he typed up his lyrics), and dropped a rhyme for a never-before-heard jam.

Next, Alexander — who battled toe-to-toe for several weeks with hip-hop luminaries like Jay-Z and Kanye West in our 2009 Readers’ Poll — reworked “Low Light Low Life,” off his 2009 album Never Better, and engaged the audience in a call-and-response on the track’s chorus.

Watch P.O.S.’ SPIN Session below — and catch him live May 30 at the Soundset Festival, presented by his own record label, Rhymesayers, in the Minneapolis suburb of Shakopee.