| march 22nd, 2002
| interview : tadah
anyone ever tried to smoke that beedie, that came
with the original pressing of the first album
"The Next Step"?
Uhm, yeah. I'm
sure they have dude. For a matter of fact, I saw
someone in Australia buying the CD, taking the
beedie out and smoking it right there.
rolled those? And how many did you do?
They were bought
pre-rolled. I don't remember how much there were.
But there were a lot. We set around with a lot
of beedies for a while.
Let's talk about the album "O.S.T. (Original
Soundtrack)" (on Om Records). It will drop on
June 3rd. So is it already finished? What can
Yeah, it's done.
Done and mastered. Ready to go. It's going to
be twenty tracks and you can expect me and Thes
One at our finest. Doing it in the studio, having
a good time being us.
Naw. You might
hear us stretching out a little bit more on the
tracks, coming up with some more ideas, just doing
a little different stuff, but still keeping it
at the same pace.
it's still the good time vibes and the good time
Yup. All day.
Have you never been tempted to do something
No, I haven't
really been tempted. Sometimes we write serious
rhymes just to express ourselves. But we try to
keep that away from the music that People Under
The Stairs makes. I mean, we are both full living
people, we go through those things too, but we
try and keep that separate from PUTS. We make
it and just put it to the side, you know. We are
recordings solo songs, sometimes just to record
them. And while we don't plan to release that,
we release ourselves through that.
there solo albums planned?
Naw, not planned.
But don't be afraid if you see 'em. Cause we are
definitely always working on stuff. Like Thes
put out a 12" last year. He remixed this Pete
Rock song, along with a solo song on it. [NOTE:
there's going to be a Double K solo song, called
"Livin' A Mean One" on the compilation "On Top
Of The World", coming soon on DayByDay Entertainment
you afraid, that you might be repeating yourself,
since you are following a certain formula?
it's what we make. It's what we started out doing.
We don't repeat ourselves, we are just still making
music that we make. Back in the day, when you
heard a Run-D.M.C. album, it was just like the
last one, but new. You expected the same type
of shit from a Run-D.M.C. album, just like people
are going to expect the same shit, from a People
Under The Stairs album.
Theoretically, as there's no new 'old' music
coming out, the number of samples is limited.
So theoretically, as your music is based on those,
you'll be running out of music to do in some time.
No, that's not
true. Because there's a lot, a lot of records
out there, that we haven't even touched. And as
far as Thes One and myself, we try to stack samples.
So running out of samples, will never be a problem
for us. Not at all man.
you already got samples for the next twenty albums?
(laughs). We got albums, and albums, and albums
of crates sitting around.
guess that's why you are doing twenty tracks on
each album (smile).
There you go. We got a lot of stuff.
But with so many beat diggers out now, where
do you still find records?
Yeah, we gotta
go left. We gotta kinda stay away from those guys.
So that they don't see what we are buying, or
what we are looking for. Cause we are not on the
same shit, that they are on. We are buying stuff,
that we try to make good music out of, and not
something where someone said, that there's a good
scary sound on this or that. We are going totally
you mentioned that you are not using re-releases.
Are you against them in general, or do they hold
a value for being the only way for some people
to hear these classic recordings?
Yeah, we both
understand that value. But when it comes to the
art of beat digging, that's against the rules.
However, me being a DJ, I will buy 'em. Because
I'm always scratching and cutting up records.
So if I have an original copy of something, I
will buy the reissue, so that I can leave the
original at home. But I still try to stay away
from them. Sometimes I get tempted though, because
I really wanna hear it. Thes One however, he definitely
stays away from them.
There's like this 'Strictly Breaks' imprint
that releases double vinyl's of A Tribe Called
Quest samples, or De La Soul samples. Are you
afraid, that there's going to be one of those
with PUTS samples, and it might even send lawyers
I think it'll
take dudes a long time to compile a record like
that of our stuff. Although a lot of stuff on
those Pete Rock compilations, or Tribe compilation,
those were kinda hard to find too. But that's
definitely against the rules. You can't just give
that out, for everybody to see what they used.
Especially if people haven't cleared the sample.
That's definitely against the rules; that's some
you clear samples?
No, we haven't,
and we were known for not doing it. But this time
we did do a couple.
So are you digging all day every day?
We are trying
to. We were in Germany yesterday, and we picked
up a few things. And we try to pick up some more
things tomorrow. But right now, we are kinda stuck
here, doing press.
the liner notes of your second album "Questions
In Form Of An Answer", Thes wrote that he'll promise
that your music will always have the feel of 1993.
But do you think that it really has a 1993 sound
Naw, it doesn't
have a '93 sound to it; we are just still doing
the same thing, that the people in '93 were doing.
You know, using old records, just having fun on
the track, and not being political with everything;
just doing hip hop, you know. We are not trying
to make a '93 or '92 album. We are just still
using those elements, in our music.
Do you think it's a coincidence, that all the
retro-soundish groups, like J5, Breakestra, Ugly
Duckling and yourself, are all coming from California?
You know, LA has
always had a good hip hop scene, with a lot of
people that were keeping it 'two turntables and
a microphone and old records'. I think all those
people are just now finally getting their shine.
It's not like a big movement that started over
night, we've all been there. Even when the G-Funk
thing was going on, we were doing our thing. And
if there's nothing like that coming from the East,
then I don't know what the Eastcoast's problem
is (smiles). That's where hip hop started, so
you would think that they'd have a lot of groups
doing this. I mean, there are a lot of good groups
still coming out of the east, I just can't name
'em off the top of the head. But I heard some,
and they were using the old samples and all that
is usually credited as having produced the big
portion on the album and you fill in the gaps.
But you must have had an influence on his beats
Yeah. And on
this album, we kinda split it half and half. I
got some tracks and he got tracks. But it's all
about People Under The Stairs. It's all the same
Speaking of the name: how did that come about?
That was us kinda
putting into words what me and Thes are about.
You know, staying out of the limelight. And so
People Under The Stairs fits us. We just do our
music, and we come up when it's time to represent
and party, and we go back down and keep on doing
it afterwards. Just staying out the lime light.
a movie of the same name. Did this have anything
to do with you picking the name? And have you
Naw, that didn't
have anything to do with it. Recently, during
the last year or so, it was on TV, and I didn't
even know I was watching it, until they said what
it was. It was pretty funny, but also pretty corny.
So maybe one day I will sit down and watch the
whole thing. But you know, we had nothing to do
with that movie at all.
How did you guys come up? Many LA crews come
up in places like the Good Life or Project Blowed,
but you are not mentioned as being part of that.
So where did you come up?
We started up
just doing our thing for ourselves, not really
reliant on any big crews or anyone that was out
there. I mean, we were at the Good Life and Project
Blowed. We used to go all the time and hang out,
we knew people from there. But we just decided
to associate us with us and not rely on no big
crew or whatever.
that also why you don't have too many guest appearances
on your records?
That's one reason.
Another reason is, that we want to make albums
that represent us. And not put all the big emcees
we know on the album, and make it sell because
of that. We want us to sell. And if you buy our
album, you are going to hear us.
You often talk about smoking 'erb. Switzerland
is considering to legalizing it. So you are going
to move to Switzerland? Or at least tour here?
Well, first it
was Amsterdam, and now it might be Switzerland.
I don't know (smile). But yeah I do smoke a lot.
However, we are trying to set up a big tour through
Europe. We do gotta plug this new album and so
hopefully we will be all over there. Whether herb
is legal or not, we gonna be there (smiles).
to wrap this up, any final comments?
the album in June. Listen to it. Play it for your
parents. Play it for your kids, your teachers,
your professors, or whatever. And just support
the real shit coming out.