Concert Review: People Under The Stairs Is Hip Hop At Its Best

People Under The Stairs (PUTS)  is one of the best Hip Hop Acts of All Time! Yes, I said it!. Moreover, they prove the power of the fan. They are a duo that thrives and strides from the pure love and admiration of their fans, which could be felt at the Highline Ballroom. Their pure, potent energy has rightfully given them the longevity most artists crave.

Despite little radio play, which is a travesty, People Under The Stairs has 14 albums , and has been in the rap game since the late 90’s.  I remember listening to their track, Acid Raindrops, and mentally exclaiming, “This Is Music!”. No one can really explain what “real music” is because it is spiritual and emotional. You just know, in your intuitive guts, that you have heard something that embodies and exclaims the essence of life. Whether it is through the joys, bores, or disasters of life, PUTS lyrically dominates the essence of an individual’s journey. Therefore, when you see them perform you know “This is a performance!”.  You inexplicably feel like, there is a core goodness in sound and sentiment they have tapped into through clear vigor.

1 Up Til The Sun Up

PUTS is an unbelievable force of energy that approach the stage like, dynamite. They bulldoze through any mental anxiety or emotional baggage you carried with you into the club  to assure that you do not just hear their music: You LISTEN! Yes, they want you to have the time of your life, but there is underlying thoughtfulness to their performance. Inherently, their words rise to target your social perceptions. I would definitely categorize People Under The Stairs as socially conscious/ commenting rappers that use fantastical rhymes and heavy baseline to drop lyrical ideas: not just words. When they rap you feel the like the earth is quaking at being so revealed.They want you to feel, think, and ultimately, have a complete spiritual/sensory experience. Thus, their big personas are perfect and rightful in giving their concert a magnified atmosphere.

You feel big when you are in People Under The Stairs’ presence. Despite being huge in energy and personality, you still feel a level of equality with them. For however, incendiary this duo is as a force, you feel included by them. They want you to be apart of their act through both atmosphere and open dynamics. Many artists, including fellow Hip- Hop acts, struggle between feeling above and beneath their fans. There is never a sentiment of we are together in music. Yet, when you see Christopher Portugal (Thes One) and Michael Turner (Double K) bounce off each other, you feel like it really is all about the music, which is exactly the sentiment a performance should give. Music is about being apart of something greater; not exclusivity. PUTS only wants to offer themselves to their fans, which explains the simple stage set. It is just two men with the sheer confidence to believe in their talent, and have no visual distractions, gimmicks, or “ego-trips”. “Hence. People Under The Stairs is there to have a good, altering time, where you laugh and learn. I believe their innate capacity to mark lyrical excellency and their cult following stems from these grounded mentalities.

I saw People Under The Stairs on June 30 at the Highline Ballroom, and I would see them a thousand times again. Moreover, they are one of the few acts I have seen, where I felt I would love to meet and discuss life with them, like an OWN episode (lol!). Check out their official website Here ,where you can delve into and listen to their three part masterpiece, Gettin Off The Stage.