Minneapolis Minnesota is not usually the first town that comes to mind when thinking of hard hitting hip-hop. But the same town which produced Atmosphere and Brother Ali also brings us P.O.S., whose new album “We Don’t Even Live Here” seamlessly blends underground hip hop with contemporary r&b and indie rock. Two things stand out in this album. One is the super phat beats including plenty of beautiful instrumental samples and electronic fills. The second is keen content, politically charged and smart assed comments on materialism in the unbelievably catchy tune Fuck Your Stuff. In the next track How We Land they feature the famous falsetto of Justin Vernon of Bon Iver, but in a comical (daresay ironic) gesture auto-tune his distinctive vocals beyond recognition. We Don’t Even Live here is definitely an album to give thanks about.
Changing gears from hip hop to metal, we’ve got The Chariot. Hardcore is a tricky genre often plagued by unlistenably pretentious thrashing and screaming. The Chariot’s fifth full length One Wing presents a surprisingly reserved brand of their brutal mathcore which draws heavily on innovations by original mathcorematicians Botch and hardcore punk rockers Refused. Their sound is driving, using a hybrid growl/shriek over progressive movements of foot tappin, face shreddin rock. Dabblers in metal and hardcore, get down.