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SXSW ’09 Pick: P.O.S.


Minneapolis rap sensation P.O.S.’ rhymes are perfectly polished, making him a must-see artist at this month’s South by Southwest music conference. But his just-released music video for “Optimist,” off just-released Never Better (Rhymesayers/Doomtree), rocks an innovative animated look that Michel Gondry would be proud of.

Hear that hollow, clapping beat at the beginning of the video? That’s P.O.S. (aka Stefon Alexander) crafting a beat for “Optimist” by shuffling around a few plastic cups. Throw in some toy cars with cardboard cutout drivers and scratchy animation mixed with live action, and you’ve got a video that makes Solo cups look a lot cooler than this video ever could.

That cup-based beat isn’t the only childhood throwback P.O.S. enjoys in “Optimist.” The rapper says that composing the tune was one of the most stress-free parts of the recording process. “This was one of the last songs I wrote for the record and I was just not feeling any pressure,” he says. “That’s where the inspiration came for this song, I think. Doing my own thing and expecting the same from everyone else. That’s where the refrain comes from: ‘We make our own and if they don’t feel it, then we are not for them.'”

Watch the video: