What to do downtown after work
Don’t worry, “Chill, dummy”
The past few years haven’t always been kind to Doomtree rapper P.O.S., who is set to release his next solo album this month, four years after “We Don’t Even Live Here.” P.O.S., or Stefon Alexander, made headlines in 2012 when he had to cancel touring on the album due to complications with chronic kidney disease and then again for successfully crowdfunding a new organ. And now, with a new album dubbed “Chill, dummy” under his belt, the veteran rapper is ready to make up for lost time.
Over the past year, the Minneapolis-based rapper has released several singles from the album, chief among them the rapper’s triumphant return to music with the nearly nine-minute “sleepdrone/superposition.” The track feels impossibly huge, like a miniature album on its own, with an array of voices, including Alexander’s son Hard_r, Kathleen Hanna, Lizzo, Allan Kingdom, Astronautalis, Eric Mayson, Lydia Liza and Nicholas L. Perez. On the song P.O.S. finds willpower despite witnessing and experiencing sickness, inhumanity and institutionalized racism. “I be clutching my stomach/But this, this here is nothing,” he raps.
In less than two minutes on “Lanes,” another track from the album, P.O.S. brings together his punk-influenced singing with rapping over an infectious beat with static and ambience. On “Wearing A Bear,” in which P.O.S. draws inspiration from Leonardo DiCaprio’s character from “The Revenant,” the rapper name checks the guy whose kidney is now inside him, his favorite podcasters and his sons. It’s clear from these singles that “Chill, dummy” will begin an exciting chapter in the Minneapolis rapper’s discography.
P.O.S. will release the album on Friday, Jan. 27, the same day of his album release show at First Avenue at 8 p.m. Locals Lady Midnight, J. Plaza, Dwynell Roland and Ander Other are also set to perform.
Not just rabbit food
Red Cow now has a sister in the North Loop’s Red Rabbit, and it offers one happy hour that’s not to be missed. While it’s quite a change from the American menu at Red Cow, restaurateur Luke Shrimp’s Italian menu of pizza and pasta is a welcome addition to the neighborhood. The happy hours, both from 3 p.m.–6 p.m. and from 10 p.m.–close, offer a decent discount on appetizers, including a number of shareable grilled toasts and several scratch pizzas. The winner for me was the burrata, which is served with tomatoes, broccoli pesto and lemon-infused greens and is a great pairing for the pizza. And the pizza is good, not to mention plenty affordable on the happy hour menu. Chili honey and ricotta cheese elevate the spicy salami pizza, which has a thin yet crunchy crust. For dessert, Red Rabbit has several options, even three affogatos, which traditionally combine ice cream and espresso. At this restaurant there are other options, including one served with house limoncello and another with amaro or house pineapplecello. There’s also a lot to be said about the restaurant’s bar program. One trip doesn’t scratch the surface of Red Rabbit’s 44-page book of cocktails, but I’d recommend not glossing over the aperitif menu if you’re in the mood for something light.
A weekend escape
Nestled above the former Ling & Louie’s space is a game for families, coworkers or even strangers. Escape the Room offers groups several different puzzle-laden rooms to, well, escape from. Similar to the puzzle rooms gaining popularity nationwide, the game begins with being locked in one of three themed rooms, including The Dig, said to combine Indiana Jones movies with “The Da Vinci Code,” the James Bond-esque Agency and The Apartment, which looks like a typical Minneapolis home. You and your group have one hour to escape, which will entail finding and solving puzzles, digging through the set and getting clues from staff. I got try out The Apartment recently and was pleasantly surprised how fun escaping the room was. If you’re new to this kind of game, some can be really difficult, but this version was just hard enough for us to make it out of the room with just 20 seconds left. While reservations aren’t required, it’s best to get together a group and then book the entire room instead of playing with a mix of strangers.