Review: People Under The Stairs at The Republik
REVIEW BY KALANI WILHELM / Special to the Star-Advertiser
Los Angeles hip-hop duo People Under The Stairs created a house party vibe fans could appreciate on Thursday night at The Republik. It was apparent they like to give their fans a lot of memories to go home with — and have fun doing so.
Walking on stage with two blue plastic cups in each hand, Thes One and Double K showcased their 16 years of rap game experience with a no-frills show and throw-your-hands-in-the-air mentality.
Before starting their set, the duo spoke about their first show in Honolulu at the the Wave Waikiki in 2001 and praised the hospitality they received before jumping into “1 Up To The Sun Up,” off of their ninth studio album, “12 Step Program,” which was released earlier this month.
The opening song was a tone-setter as Thes One played Nintendo classic video game “Legend of Zelda” on the giant LED screen that serves as a backdrop during shows at The Republik. When he asked if the crowd played the game, a majority of the all-ages crowd raised their hands and offered shouts of approval. “Trippin At the Disco” and “Roundabouts” also helped set the tone early on.
From a venue standpoint, The Republik always does a remarkable job configuring the room to accommodate the anticipated crowd. On Thursday, VIP seating was set up to the left of the stage, which helped push the general admission crowd to the center of the room.
While Thes One resembled an energetic hip-hop cartoon character, busting out his Roger Rabbit dance moves at one point and guzzling a beer (but spilling most of it) on stage. There’s no doubt he loves performing at the highest energy level possible.
In contrast to his energetic partner in rhyme, Double-K possessed a more in-control, laid-back lyrical fury that was enhanced a few notches during his cutting on the turntables and live beat making — no laptops in use here!
Like the seasoned vets they are, the pair fed off each other and always kept the crowd involved, whether it was hamming it up on video shot by a fan in the front row with a cell phone, poking fun at those in the audience who paid more attention to their phones than what was happening on stage, or a short-lived crowdsurfing attempt by another fan.
They also showed their cohesion when Double-K started to beatbox and Thes One hit the crowd with a freestyle that mentioned tiki, surfing, Barack Obama and Bruno Mars. The message was clear — they really enjoy performing in Hawaii. And with lyrics like “party time is anytime” and a song called “Beer,” how can you possibly go wrong?
During “Acid Raindrops,” the MCs jokingly called each other out by their real names. “L.A Song,” signature track “San Francisco Nights” (complete with a “Honolulu Nights” rendition) and “Time To Rock Our S—” got the best response from the crowd.
While party music makes up the bulk of their discography, People Under The Stairs came correct without having to force-feed their style of golden era nostalgia to those at The Republik on Thursday.
PICS: People Under the Stairs at The Republik