People Under The Stairs - O.S.T.      
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written by Low Key    
Double K and Thes One do not want to be your underground heroes. They do not want to be labeled as underground music and do not want to be some sort of hidden gem for underground heads to marvel about. Double K and Thes One otherwise known as People Under The Stairs just want to be recognized as real Hip Hop. This is made very clear straight from the start as Thes One writes a riveting forward inside the album booklet to all those Hip Hop fans out there. While some may take this forward as an angry siting towards Hip-Hop's negative aspects, one shouldn't. What Thes One is giving you is a perfectly clear picture of what P.U.T.S. want to be and how they want to be perceived as. As Thes One says "Somewhere along the way it seems most critics decided that just making Hip Hop was not good enough, and praises were hailed upon those who were experimental and progressive. Yet while everyone spun out towards the fringe, a void created in the center; a timeless origin where dope beats and rhymes are simply good enough…underground Hip Hop became a symbol of suburban rebellion across the Internet. Our hip hop became sterile, timid and tired, weird, conscious, light, sassy, scientific, vegetarian, teenage angst ridden, or whatever- pick your cliché". It's views like this that make People Under The Stairs one of the few Hip Hop groups that stay true to the culture and aren't afraid to take a stance, no matter the difference in opinions.

With "O.S.T." you won't get out of this world concept's, you won't get played out anthems of women, drugs and ice, and you definitely wont get any abstract topics and lyricism. With "O.S.T." you get "the original soundtrack of two b-boys who won't let go, who wont accept or conform to this new hip hop…an album that is made up of old records and personal experiences. An album that is simply what is: Hip-Hop".

Thes One and Double K definitely want those out there to realize their stance on Hip-Hop however "O.S.T." is hardly filled with such an attempt. What P.U.T.S. portray with "O.S.T." is Hip-Hop in its purest form. Not diluted, not twisted into fiction, just real life images and experiences. You have a variety of songs on the album that captures this essence of real life. "The Dig" is exactly what it sounds like, a dedication to the art of digging in the crates. Both Double K and Thes One are magnificent producers who take great pride in digging. The production on "O.S.T." is simply magnificent, as both Double K and Thes One are two of the most underrated producers in the underground scene. Both are avid collectors and put in a lot of hours to making sure the production aspect holds its own. Never will you find any over used or gimmicky samples, digging is an art and People Under The Stairs epitomize this to the fullest.

As mentioned what makes "O.S.T." a great album is its simplicity and ability for everybody to relate to. Double K and Thes One are just your average people and their life stories come alive on tracks like "The Suite For Beaver Pt. 1 & 2". Where we find the duo in the club trying to get their party on only to be interrupted by wannabe thugs in the back drop. Or everybody's favorite topic mary jane, on "Acid Raindrops". Which features one of the finest Thes One produced tracks. The song is vintage California living; calm and relaxed with a dab of soul all bundled up into one. It is this type of sound that P.U.T.S. portrays best. Tracks such as "Empty Bottles Of Water" and "The Outrage" just give you that feeling of chilling with your boys out on the porch, living it up. Simple but can anybody really say it's not easy to relate to or it's something we all haven't experienced? Too many times as listeners, the unknown attracts us. So when an emcee comes along with shock factor or depiction's of the gritty urban street life, we tend to flock to it out of interest. And too many times groups like P.U.T.S. get labeled as "boring" or "generic" because there bread of Hip Hop is that of the truest essence, not of any gimmicks or shock factor.

While many critics have labeled P.U.T.S. as such, Thes One and Double K attempt to break down such barriers with tracks such as "The Joyride", "The Breakdown" and "Jappy Jap". Or take the sounds of "The Hang Loose" for example. Double K and Thes One put forth an amazing old school homage, with their best renditions of that classic early 80's sound. Both of which sound very similar to a Kurtis Blow type of vibe, now that's paying homage. Those quick to label P.U.T.S. as soft, these tracks are for you, as the group proves they can bring it hard just like the rest of them. But in the end its the groups ability to stay real to the culture and themselves that makes "O.S.T." one of the better underground releases of 2002. And as they say themselves, "it's nice to know some things never change, this music and its culture, our culture". This statement exemplifies everything the duo from Cali is about, consistency. Their style hasn't changed since their debut album, and just like the first two albums, "O.S.T." isn't "old school or mid school or underground or breakbeat or true school". It's just "good old Hip Hop"!









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