Indie rappers P.O.S and Astronautalis make grime-and-groove bangers as Four Fists | Concert Preview | Chicago Reader

Indie rappers P.O.S and Astronautalis make grime-and-groove bangers as Four Fists 

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Four Fists

Four Fists

Graham Tolbert

Astronautalis (Andy Bothwell) and P.O.S (Stefon Alexander) are both esteemed rapper-producers in the indie hip-hop underground. In 2013 they debuted the collaborative project Four Fists releasing a two-song seven-inch that infused posthardcore attitude into an electro-leaning, stylistically diverse batch of beats, rhymes, and hooks. Five years later, the two are back with their first full-length, 6666 (released via Alexander’s Doomtree collective/label), which is much more hard-hitting than its predecessor. Many of the duo's early indie-rap elements—including electric bass, string samples, and clean singing as well as their chill vibe—have been replaced by trap beats and synths that oscillate between ominous and poppy. For every track such as “Dork Court,” which puts melodic synth scales and grooves front and center, there’s a jarring counterpart such as “Annihilation,” which features combative beats, sociopolitically informed lyrics, and distorted keyboards and vocal refrains. 6666 is marked by a pervasive fuck-off attitude, perhaps best embodied by Astronautalis in opening track “Nobody’s Biz”: “Some people look at me cross-eyed when I tell ’em I own guns / You should see how their jaw drop when I tell ’em I want more / I ain’t talkin’ a sawed-off to keep thieves from my front door / I want a Glock and an auto ’cause I don’t trust the cops, y’all.” Four Fists ratchet up the cut's rawness even further with a get-down outro, closing with a dance beat and arpeggiated synth lines. This dichotomy is one of Four Fists’ greatest strengths, and their stop at the Bottle should be a grimy good time.   v

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