Review - ... Or Stay Tuned

Artist: People Under the Stairs

The central dilemma with "old-school" rap albums is that they're either blind nostalgia trips or blandly contemporary with obligatory beatboxing or an occasional "Hey, ho." People Under the Stairs avoid that trap, and on their fourth album, this duo casually re-creates the atmosphere of block parties and late-night battles. Much like Jurassic Five presents a progressive allegiance to hip-hop formalism, PUTS ensures that each of these dozen tracks are standing on a solid historical foundation while creating a "new traditionalism." Funky and fun ("Yo" is four minutes of roller-rink heaven) without devolving into stupidity, a retro styling doesn't limit the possibilities.

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