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?The sophomore release from L.A.’s People Under The Stairs begins with an intro of shit-talking fans, who seemingly know nothing about the group, simply because they hadn’t heard them on the Wake Up Show or seen their records at Fat Beats. While heads have slept on their first album, (including this one), these People give it another try, even if their moniker brings bad memories of an awful Wes Craven flick starring Ving Rhames.

The philosophy of the crew is to create ’93 style hip-hop, with the funk of ’73 – which basically adds up to a lot of uncleared samples, and a sound that would have fit in perfectly within listening sessions of The Beatnuts Intoxicated Demons and A Tribe Called Quest’s Low End Theroy. With that in mind, the talent of the PUTS is definitely heard within the beats. Their passions for digging are heard loud and clear on tracks like “43 Labels I Like”, on which they list off their favorite rare groove labels. Other tracks like “Code Check”, “Yehaw Partystyles”, “The Cat” and many others, simply show off marvelous discoveries in beatmining, and for the most part, there isn’t a badly produced track on this album.

But while their talents for cratediggin’ definitely catch our attention, their lyrical skills could still use some brushing up on. While one too many corny metaphors pop up, stranger yet is the ill contradiction of blasting artists who use Tribe Vibe compilations to find their loops, but at the same time the PUTS reuse breaks from “Verses Of The Abstract” and “Mr. Incognito”. Their hearts are in the right place, but the constant digger-bragging gets tired. Nevertheless, while People Under the Stars aren’t exactly bringing the Wisdom of Solomon in their lyrics, they are recreating music from a lost time period, and for that they get their props. After all, it’s music before it’s anything else

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