The album “Sincerely, The P” by People Under The Stairs does exactly what it intended and give themselves a proper send-off into retirement. The group announced before the release of the album that this will be their last and when you listen to “Sincerely, P” that feeling really resonates through the entire record. The group started in 1996 and they take the listener to on a trip down memory lane and gives the world a very fond and thankful farewell.
The two-man group People Under The Stairs consists of Thes One (Christopher Portugal) and Double K (Michael Turner) that MC and produce the entire album. The lyrics on the album let people in on where the group has been during their career but also lets the listener in on who they are as people. Tracks like “The Redeemer” and “Here, for a Good Time” among others give a feeling of nostalgia that gives the audience a sense of peace, knowing that the group is retiring and in a good place. Overall the lyrics are a wonderful balance of good-bye and braggadocios about how prolific People Under The Stairs think they are at the craft of making music. When realizing that the group grew up in the Los Angeles hip-hop scene in the early to mid-’90s where acts like The Pharcyde and Jurassic-5 came up the lyrical flow and subject matter make even more sense.
The production of the “Sincerely, P” evokes an even bigger sense of nostalgia when listening to it. People Under The Stairs embrace a backpack style production that thrives on loops and record scratching that is at the heart of early days of hip-hop. The track “Hard” feels like a homage to Eric B and Rakim and gives the audience sentimentality towards not just the art form but the artists’ own lives and careers. Even the loop samples have this pervasive feeling throughout the album as the songs like “Reach Out” samples Andre 3000’s vocal hook from “Ms. Jackson” to the theme from the show “Family Ties” on the song that shares its name. The only real problem with the production of the album, in general, is that too many songs end with extended instrumentals that go on too long. This isn’t to say that the musical production is bad quite the opposite but when in excess of ten minutes of the 56-minute album is instrumental fade out it does get tiresome.
Lovers of “old-school” hip-hop will thoroughly enjoy this record and should definitely give People Under The Stairs a deep dive since “Sincerely, The P” is a wonderful introduction to the group to people that never heard of the group. That is what makes the album kinda genius as long-time fans will feel the group’s good-bye and know that they are in a good place but new listeners get a snapshot of who they are and what they are about. The gift and the curse of being an underground group are that they never had anyone watch over them. People Under The Stairs convey the message of who they are brilliantly but they just need an editor.