Random Rules: P.O.S

The shuffler: Stef Alexander, a.k.a. P.O.S of the Minneapolis hip-hop collective Doomtree. Currently on tour opening for Gym Class Heroes, P.O.S has a busy 2007 planned, with an all-crew Doomtree album and his own third solo disc in the works.

Cage, "Too Heavy For Cherubs"

P.O.S: I like this a lot. Cage was one of those MCs who, three years ago, you'd hear his records or a new song he had on whatever compilation, and he always had a really dope verse, but it was never stuff I could relate to, or really agree with, necessarily. Until this new record [Hell's Winter], where it seemed like he had some huge stuff happen in his life that made him want to talk about some relatable shit. Whatever it was that did it, it was a good move, 'cause this new record's the best one he's ever made, as far as I'm concerned.

The Pharcyde, "Soul Flower (Remix)"

POS: It's a pretty good song. It's not my favorite, by any means. I think a weed song's got to be a really good weed song, if you're going to have a weed song.

The A.V. Club: What makes a good weed song?

POS: Songs about getting high aren't typically the best songs. Sometimes they can be fun, but they're never going to make or break a record for me, [unless] there's too many of them. A good weed song isn't necessarily so much about smoking weed, as it is about your day, or about what makes you want to smoke weed, you know? I don't necessarily cater so often to sad songs, but I like the idea of… I mean, it might seem stupid to say, but… My mom can deal with swearing, and I've always been really honest with her, so I like having songs where I can play it for my mom and she can understand what the point is. And if I've got a song that's like "We smoke weed every day, 'cause we crazy high! We love smoking weed and love gettin' high!"—she's not really going to be into it, you know? [Laughs.]. But if the song is put together like, "I've been working my ass off all day long. What am I looking forward to tonight? Nothing! My girl broke up with me, what am I going to do? I'm going to smoke this joint and relax…" That kind of weed song makes more sense to me. I do love The Pharcyde, though.

Tool, "Forty Six And 2"

POS: That's from the record Ænima. I've always thought of Tool as metal for smart kids. [Laughs.]

AVC: It's the first rock song that's come up so far. What's the split between rock and hip-hop on your iPod?

POS: It's probably close to 60/40, leaning more toward rock and hardcore. Especially these days, I don't really listen to much hip-hop outside of Doomtree. We're always listening [to the songs in progress] to make sure we're not making awful stuff. So, anyway, Tool. I've been a fan of Tool since I was a little kid, and I saw their drummer play that gigantic drum set. I like singing along with songs. I don't know if there's much else to say. If you're a Tool fan, you're a Tool fan.

The Locust, "How to Build A Pessimistic Lie Detector"

POS: I love The Locust. One of those San Diego screamy basement hardcore bands. Most of the songs are in the minute, minute-and-a-half range, if that. It's pretty awesome [live]. One of those robo-drummers who plays so mind-blisteringly fast that you can't help but be really impressed. Things to look for in The Locust that are great… just the sheer brashness of it, you know? The energy. It's so much noise and guitars and drums and screaming all at once that it doesn't really come off like a song until you give it a real listen.

Pearl Jam, "State Of Love And Trust (Unplugged)"

POS: Kind of embarrassing, but to this day, it's still my favorite Pearl Jam song. When Ten came out, I was maybe 12, 13. I was little. So I liked Pearl Jam a lot. I'm a big fan of guitar solos, so that fell right in. Another thing to sing along to as well. This is one of my favorite songs. It was on the Singles soundtrack—kind of one of the only reasons to either listen to the Singles soundtrack or watch the movie. I used to go over to [Doomtree member] M.K. Larada's house and make him let me listen to this song, until I got an iPod and found it on LimeWire. [Laughs.]