People Under the Stairs – Sincerely, the P
Piecelock 70 –  2019

In a genre that’s less than fifty years old, the idea of legacy is tenuous. Rap’s fetishization of youth culture and the countless examples of rappers ungracefully aging creates an environment where multi-decade careers are exceedingly rare. In this way, Thes One and Double K, known collectively as People Under The Stairs, have put together one of the more impressive runs in rap history. Since 1998 they’ve dropped a slew of dope releases and become a fixture on the hip-hop / electronic festival circuit— all the while maintaining 100% of their artistic integrity.

PUTS’ new album Sincerely, The P is supposedly their last (rapper and boxer retirements should always be taken with a grain of salt). On this new record, the LA rap duo stays true to form, as heard on the main attraction track, “Sincerely.” The production is well crafted with  sampledelic collages that manage to hypnotize without putting you to sleep (like some the coffee shop low-fi fodder out there). Thematically Sincerely, The P is an unapologetic nostalgia record. I’m not the biggest fan of rearview gazing rap records but I appreciate that they are not making craven attempts to sound young or hip. Thankfully there are no forced trap drum patterns or autotuned vocals to be found. Stand out cuts include the trunk rattling “Hard,” the feel-good anthemic “Reach Out,” and the uptempo ditty “The Red Onion Wrap.”

At its best Sincerely, The P is all the good vibes that made old heads like myself fall in love with rap. Unfortunately, the record also has a ultra-literal sensibility that feels more than a bit dated (see: The Effects of Climate On Densely Populated Areas). Overall there have been worse swan songs and props are certainly in order—People Under The Stairs is exiting on an unmistakable high note.

by Demone Carter  – 2019