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     It’s hard to believe that the People Under The Stairs duo of Thes-One and Double-K have already gotten around to their fifth album with Stepfather, but it’s true, as the duo adds more members to their dedicated fanbase with this latest release. Promo advertising for the album shows checkboxes of what to include and what not to include (jazz loops, the four elements), for making Stepfather a dope album. 

     Stepfather is a heavy meal, at twenty tracks length, but will satisfy longtime fans of the crew, as well as newcomers looking for something different than the same old thing. Tracks like “Pass The 40″ or “Crown Ones”, for instance, shows the PUTS knack for digging up a minimalist loop ? most likely one you haven’t heard elsewhere ? and rocking it with pure simplicity. “Tuxedo Rap” seemingly takes samples from a cover of Michael Jackson’s “Don’t Stop Til You Get Enough”, believe it or not, and spins it into a beautiful old school throwback with danceable, broken beats. While saluting the old-school throughout the duration of the record, the PUTS real knack is buried in the incredibly dope samples they dig up. Mellow head-nodders such as “Days Like These”, “More Than You Know”, and “LA9X” seem all the more genuine when Thes and K put their honest, heartfelt lyrics to the beats. Who can be mad at feel-good BBQ jams such as “Jamboree Part One” ? wouldn’t be nice if all hip-hop party jams could feel this good?

     However with such a hearty plate of goods, there is definitely room for lesser spectacular moments. “Jamboree Part Two”, for instance, while a smart description of the “after-party”, doesn’t feel as carefree as its predecessor.  “Reflections”, featuring the reggae styling of Odell Johnson goes in a totally different direction than much of the rest of the album, and in it’s five minute span, one almost forgets that they are listening to a PUTS album. 

    Minor gripes such as these, not to mention an overall melancholy feel throughout the LP, keep Stepfather from topping other PUTS releases. However one cannot be mad that there are still guys like these digging for new loops you’ve never heard before, and making honest rap music. While Stepfather’s almost overwhelming length may a full course meal too heavy for some to digest, a lot of it still tastes good going down. 

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