People Under the Stairs

Carried Away

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With over ten years in the underground rap game, the West Coast duo known as People Under the Stairs have carved out a niche as L.A.'s foremost purveyors of wordy, true-school revivalism. On their seventh full-length release, Carried Away, Thes One and Double K continue to do their thing, marrying clever fast raps with loop-heavy throwback production built on soul, funk, and jazz samples. On high-energy cuts like "Much Too Much," the duo flex rapid-fire flows and comedic rhymes of such as caliber as "They call me Dee Snider, I twist your sister/Send her back home with a little charisma." Elsewhere, PUTS pay tribute to drinking -- as they rework original hip-hop rhymes from the likes of Grandmaster Flash and the Beastie Boys -- and smoking on the consecutive tongue-in-cheek party anthems "Beer" and "Weed." Thes and Double K have a knack for revisiting hip-hop classics, as they turn A Tribe Called Quest's "Check the Rhyme" into their own "Check the Vibe," do their best Sugarhill Gang impression on "Letter to the Old School," and even borrow an obscene phone call routine from the Pharcyde on "Creepshow." As usual with PUTS, Carried Away is a self-contained effort with no guest producers or MC cameos, just entertaining rhymes and straightforward beatwork dotted with well-placed samples meant to delight hip-hop purists everywhere.

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