featured REVIEW

85



People Under The Stairs Stepfather Basement/Tres • 2006

Spring is waiting at the front door, the summer is luring. Only to stimulate the uplifting feelings that sunny days forecast, People Under The Stairs are here with a new album. Feel-good music. It’s easy to listen to, but not always easy to explain, let alone to make it. Ever since 'One Step', Thes One and Double K have been able to transport the Pacific atmosphere into the listener’s houses with jazz loops, funky drum rolls and smooth lyrics.

And with every new release they manage to uplift their sound quality, not only in mastering but also in putting it together. 'Stepfather' is a unique journey through a hip-hop wonderland where dreams turn reality and the good life reigns like a 14th century ruler. With a graceful coolness they lace rhymes and complement the solid production. I be the kick-drum beater, the pretty women-greeter, non-funk faker, sushi bar hater', Double K introduces himself in the opening cut 'Step In'. As if any introduction is needed…but still, people who are unaware of this group will be grateful for what they’ve found under the stairs. The main themes that pass the venue are alcohol (in the minimalistic 'Pass The 40', graced with a Chi-Ali sample!), barbecue parties (the superfunky 'Jamboree pt1' – ‘This girl put a spell on me, I would’ve married her there'), food ('Eat Street' – ‘When I’m chillin, I rather be grillin'), and love (in the mesmerizing 'More Than You Know').

As where their earlier sound was mostly jazz, the music has turned funkier and even danceable. In the car cruise-anthem 'Flex Off', dusty old funk breaks are polished and get a new shine on under the Californian sun, 'Tuxedo Rap' has a fat funk break and a Michael Jackson track looped underneath it, while the Godfather of Funk himself, George Clinton speaks in the interlude 'The Doctor and The Kidd'. Yes, hip-hop is celebrated in all its facets, so what would an album such as this be without the old-school dedication 'Letter To The Old School' we ask rhetorically?

A celebration of hip-hop and clearly PUTS’ best album till date, that’s what 'Stepfather' really is. People who listened to hip-hop when Souls Of Mischief and The Pharcyde dropped their first album, will know how today’s audience will feel about this album in ten years time.


POSTED ON 03|06|2006 by cpf

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