People Under the Stairs

With Time Machine, Gym Class Heroes, and Psalm One. Friday, May 12, at the Grog Shop.

People Under the Stairs
It sounds like the sweet sunshine of a backyard barbecue. Grab a cold beverage, pass the Philly blunt, and cue a set of laid-back, old-school rap overtures -- that's the mad aesthetic of People Under the Stairs. Rest assured that Double K and Thes One aren't horror-film misfits. These West Coast cravens are low-fi kings of L.A.'s hip-hop underworld, creating slices of old-fashioned rapper's delight in their secret basement labs, forging garage grooves as bright and fun as De La Soul or Kurtis Blow.

True to form, PUTS' fourth full-length long player, Stepfather, ebbs and flows with that same sunny purple haze. It sounds like a sweet herbal blend of the duo's favorite old-school rap crews, from A Tribe Called Quest ("Jamboree, Pt. 1") to the Fat Boys ("Eat Street"). But the twin powers' true skills -- especially live -- are their pass-the-mic verbal interplay. Their rhymes rain down as effectively as those of any master mixer, regaling listeners with tales of family, hip-hop culture, and good times in the ghetto.

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