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PUTS- Buried deep where only the music counts

Author: Chris Wheeldon
Thursday, 4 September 2003
The People Under the Stairs have reemerged once again to release their fourth full length album, 'Or Stay Tuned'. The People Under the Stairs or as fans know them as the PUTS is a duet of Thes One and Double K, two musicians who are the heart of soul an original and pure sound, doing everything from producing, DJing and rhyming.

Thes One and Double K have once again produced a album of fun time beats with timeless rhymes; rhymes that do not attempt to tell you what to do and what to think. Instead they allow you to simply shake your ass while re-living the days of old school hip-hop, where only the music counted.

The PUTS refuse to use any sort of instruments on their albums, instead they do it the old fashioned way of taking a bunch of records and blending them together to make original beats. Thes One and Double K then rhyme over the top, talking about their lives and telling the listeners stories of the old days on the streets of LA.

The two boys of PUTS are not your usually hip hop stereotype. They see themselves removed from the perils of modern hip hop, instead immersing themselves within the sounds of Jazz and funk. They bury themselves in rooms full of records, emerging occasionally to produced memorable albums and in the case of Thes One to start a Musicology PhD. For the PUTS it is not about how much money you can make and what new technology is around to make it easier to produce beats. It is well and truly-although somewhat of a cliche- about the music and where they can take their music in the near and distant future.

With plans to tour Australia in November, Tranzfusion caught up with Thes One.


Tranzfusion: Can you guys give me a run down on your history and background- Something that may not be in the usual biographies-

Thes One: Well, by now everyone probably knows about the record store, etc. We hooked up in 95, released the first album in 1998, then another in 2000, another in 2002, and this one in 2003. So it's been a long road, but pretty consistent.

Something that people may not know about us is that Double K is one of the world's biggest P-Funk fans and I am in the process of applying to several PhD programs in Musicology to exploit my knowledge of old records in an academic context.

Tranzfusion: I'm interested to know what you think about the state of hip-hop at the moment. Both on an underground level and in a commercial Top 40 sense-

Thes One: They are both screwed. Everyone in between is getting reamed by people downloading albums. Independent and commercial hip hop are increasingly becoming primarily racial divisions.

Tranzfusion: Where do you see it going- If it can go any where else that is-

Thes One: It is going the way of Jazz in the late 70's. Tame the wild beast, capture it and put it in a jar on a college shelf. Take it out of the streets, analyze it, exploit it and redefine it in digestible, teachable, downloadable means.

Tranzfusion: As opposed to other groups you share the work load, in the sense that you both rhyme as well as produce the beats. Does this make it easier when in the studio and performing or does it present certain problems that others may not face-

Thes One: No, mostly it makes it a lot easier because less beats get turned down. I consider myself a producer first and foremost, and I know Double K does as well, so it's pretty easy to get the music done. After that, we just have a good time and write about whatever's going on in our lives at the time and that's pretty much how the songs get made. I know it's tougher for Double K to DJ and rap on stage at the same time, but I try to contribute extra by rocking drum machines and staying twice as hype.

Tranzfusion: How was the making of 'Or Stay Tuned'- Was it a smooth road in the studio-

Thes One: Definitely. More than half of the songs were already finished and hadn't made the cut on previous albums. 'Outrun' didn't make OST though it was rec
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