Hip Hop hot bed Minnesota and the mighty Rhymesayers crew continue to churn out music of the highest quality. The latest project of said excellence comes from a relative newcomer in P.O.S. Representing the Doomtree crew (Sims, Dessa, Cecil Otter), P.O.S. has been grinding it out in the mid west for a couple years now, turning some heads with his debut Ipecac Neat. After touring with Atmosphere and heightening his RSE affiliation, Audition comes at a perfect time.

Far from being your traditional hip-hop, P.O.S. has quite a bit of indy rock influence to go with his indy rap as he dabbles in a fair amount of live instruments. But after the high voltage opener in “Half Cocked Concepts,” he keeps it as real as can be with “De La Souls,” an autobiography in the vein of the groups classic cut “I Am I Be.” Just check how he flips it; “I am P.O.S., I am the new generation of slaves/here to make paps off this land corporations rape/from that life I’m tryin to separate/but I guess I’m livin dreams cause my rents always a month late/product of an East German black who kisses the neck of a pretty woman named Grace/but he left the nest just a little too soon, didn’t see me catch the Doomtree fame/as we goes a little something like this/look ma, no protection now I gotta baby boy by the name of Jake.” That, along with Just Blaze‘ish “Stand Up” and his pair of ill collabs with Slug (“Bush League Pysche Out Stuff,” “Bleeding Hearts Club”), are as “Hip Hop” as it gets.

Songs like the firey “Paul Kersey To Jack Kimball” are much more telling of the kind of music P.O.S. makes; witty, politically charged ranting with his ever changing flow. Truthful and never preachy, he hits the nail on the head with his chorus; “See we don’t throw our hands up like we don’t care anymore, we throw our hands up like ‘we don’t care anymore,’ cause we don’t.” In a song reminiscent of Slug’sScapegoat,” “P.O.S. is Ruining My Life” points out society’s tendency to blame everything on anything but itself. Just as gripping is the vicious “The Kill In Me” and the scathing diatribe against “Hollywood, DC” called “Safety In Speed.”

As he claims on the closer “Ipecac Mantra” (which is just all types of dope), “I’m not like every other motherfuck with a mic.” He couldn’t be more correct. You won’t hear another emcee or artist quite like P, and Audition proves that in a hurry. It may only be the end of February, but this is the best LP to come out in 2006 so far.