For those who emerged themselves into the independent Hip Hop scene in the late 90’s and early 2000’s then People Under The Stairs should sound familiar to you. You’d recognize the name if other acts such as Dilated Peoples, Jurassic 5, Hieroglyphics, Zion I, and Living Legends were a part of your list during that time. I’ve grown into the newer wave of Hip Hop that I write about a lot, but PUTS takes me back some years. It was a time where I truly discovered a sub genre that was almost non-existent in the commercial/radio scene. PUTS had a great run that spanned 2 decades and they have now released what will be their final project, Sincerely, The P.
Consisting of members Thes One and Double K, PUTS first caught my attention when I heard the single “San Francisco Knights” off of their first album The Next Step that dropped in 1998. I heard that joint on a San Francisco based graffiti documentary DVD called Piece by Piece. Despite the title of the track, I found out PUTS were actually from Los Angeles, and I got into their album O.S.T. which was another favorite of mine. So much time has passed and the duo had a great run over the years, blessing a number of stages all over the world. Many of us don’t like using the phrase “underground” Hip Hop, but PUTS definitely have a non commercial, alternative sound and always represented the West Coast to the fullest.
When listening to Sincerly, The P, it certainly has the feel of what is the final curtain call as each member shares highlights of their careers in the Hip Hop industry. You get a sense of reflection, evolution and maturity, as the sound of PUTS has progressed, without over compromising who they are. My favorite tracks from this project are “Streetsweeper”, “We Get Around”, “Letter to My Son”, “Dream Sequence ‘88”, and “The Sound of a Memory”. There’s variety in the soundscapes on this record but I know many longtime fans of the group will appreciate it. While many are saddened to see PUTS go, people in the industry have lives just like us, they have families to spend time with and their health to take care of.
Sincerely, The P is a lot lighter and different compared to a lot of what I have been listening to the past couple of years, but it’s refreshing. I’ve covered a lot of artists ranging from a grittier sound, braggadocio rap, hard body, crime scene getaway music, you name it. But I’ll never forget those days of going to Hiero Day, or hitting up underground Hip Hop shows with a backpack on, wearing brands like Triple 5 Soul, gigantic DJ headphones and Adidas Forums. All of the references PUTS made on this release really had me reminiscing fondly over past memories. Thank you, Thes One and Double K for 21 years of music and while you will be missed, I’m sure everyone is grateful for your last offering as we wish you the best in the next chapter of your lives.
Sincerely, The P is available on all platforms and physical copies in all formats are available on the People Under The Stairs website, along with other merchandise such as hats, hoodies and T-shirts.