The Next Step

The Next Step

Score

Independence is at a premium in any alternative pop movement, and certainly no more so than in the currently burgeoning underground hip-hop scene...

Independence is at a premium in any alternative pop movement, and certainly no more so than in the currently burgeoning underground hip-hop scene. And there are few alt-rappers who could boast putting as much on the line as LA kru The People Under The Stairs.

Named after a bizarrely socio-political [I]Wes Craven[/I] horror movie (erm, [I]The People Under The Stairs[/I]), Thes One and Double K were so confident of their skills as MCs and producers, that they hocked all their equipment down the pawn shop to pay for putting the record out themselves. Luckily for them, and for us, the gamble paid off, and Om Records picked the record up and gave it the rerelease we’re holding here in our hands.

In many ways, ‘The Next Step’ embodies much of what made the initial indie hip-hop explosion so essential; beats borne of turntablism, in direct conflict with the immaculately sequenced squelch of West Coast gangsta rap and the gothic synth-isms of the Wu, while the lyrical flows are pleasingly unpolished, intelligently raw.

Not that People Under The Stairs are yet another bunch of old-skool fetishists. Punching out from a blizzard of samples and scratches, the rhymes box clever and box hard – danceable though it may be, party music ‘The Next Step’ ain’t. But it’s pretty wonderful. I’d stake their decks on it.