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People Under the Stairs

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Biography

Known for their focus on traditional hip-hop sampling, beat creation, and rhyming, the West Coast rap duo People Under the Stairs got their start in the late '90s in Los Angeles. Consistent underground favorites, the pair reached sporadic mainstream peaks, issuing chart-climbing albums such as O.S.T. (2002), Stepfather (2006), Fun DMC (2008), and 12 Step Program (2014). After over two decades on the scene, the pair issued Sincerely, The P, their last album before retiring the project. Meeting on the fringe of L.A.'s late-'90s hip-hop underground, the duo -- Mike Turner (Double K) and Chris Portugal (Thes One) -- devoted themselves to jazzy samples, danceable beats, intricate rhyming skills, and laid-back humor. They debuted in 1998 with the acclaimed The Next Step and followed it up in 2000 with Question in the Form of an Answer. Gathering heavy praise and touring with De La Soul, the group took their road experiences and brought it to the studio to record their next album. The final results appeared in the summer of 2002 under the name O.S.T., which marked their first appearance on the U.S. charts, peaking in the Top 50 of the Indie list. Following 2003's ...Or Stay Tuned, the pair issued Stepfather. Their highest-charting effort to date, the set included the singles "Tuxedo Rap" and "Pass the 40" and was promoted with a world tour. Between releases, Turner and Portugal released solo material before returning focus to PUTS in late 2008 for their sixth effort Fun DMC -- which hit number six on the Billboard Heatseekers chart and landed the pair slots at Coachella and Bonnaroo -- and its quick follow-up Carried Away. Still bubbling beneath the radar, they continued into the 2010s with Highlighter and 12 Step Program. In 2015, they announced a new project which would serve as their tenth full-length. Streamed online, The Gettin' Off Stage was split into EPs, the first of which arrived in 2015 and its sequel landing a year later. In 2019, People Under the Stairs released Sincerely, The P, which they announced would be their final album. ~ Neil Z. Yeung & Steve Huey
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