He’s back, but he’s been better.
“I’m still a work in progress,” said Twin Cities rap hero P.O.S., who has been sidelined since December, awaiting a kidney transplant. His new kidney is still on hold, but he’s not waiting any longer to return to the stage.
The Doomtree crew member doubly known as Stef Alexander gave his first P.O.S. performance in five months last week as part of St. Paul’s “Love Is the Law” concert celebrating the legalization of same-sex marriage. (“I was very, very proud to be a part of it,” he said.) He performed about 25 minutes, and he might go a little longer at his two festival gigs this weekend, starting with Soundset on Sunday. From there, he flies to Seattle for a set Monday at Sasquatch!, playing before the Postal Service and Alt-J.
It was at last year’s Soundset when the seemingly invulnerable P.O.S. started to feel the effect of his damaged kidney, first discovered in his teens.
“I performed less than 45 minutes, and it took me over two hours to recover,” he recounted. By the time he got to the second of Doomtree’s three Blowout concerts at First Avenue in December, he had to be taken to the hospital instead of the stage, although he pointed out, “That mostly had to do with the medicine I was taking then.”
Since then, Alexander and his doctors have vetted six matching donors, but each has fallen through for various reasons (one guy’s kidney was an inch too small for his body). Thus, he announced, “I’m going to start soliciting donors.” He’s looking for males with any O-type blood for the procedure. In the meantime, Alexander’s body finally started to react better to home dialysis.
“I’ve been feeling pretty good for about two months now,” he said. This has enabled him to start making music again. He is all over the wild array of releases this month by Marijuana Deathsquads in conjunction with their residency at Icehouse in Minneapolis (which concludes May 31). He also took part in the Deathsquads’ upcoming remix edition of last year’s P.O.S. album, “We Don’t Even Live Here,” and he has been working on beats for a new album — but not lyrics, he said.
“I don’t want to make an album all about being sick,” he said, putting a positive spin on his ordeal. “I’ve been watching a lot of Netflix and hanging out a lot with my [14-month-old] baby. There are worse things that could’ve happened to me than spending so much time at home, feeling well-grounded.”
But, he added, “I’m definitely eager to start performing again.”