Hip Hop

Double K Of People Under The Stairs Is Dead At 43

The hip hop community is currently mourning the loss of yet another icon, as Double K of the rap duo People Under The Stairs dies at the age of 43 on Sunday, January 31.

Christopher Portugal, a.k.a Thes One, completed the other half of the duo that began back in 1997. The name of the LA-based underground crew was seemingly fashioned off the 1991 comedic/horror The People Under the Stairs, which further added to their mystique and explorative sounds while still staying true to hip hop. The cause of Double K’s death still remains a mystery, but that has not stopped fans from showing their love for the rapper’s legacy as a true pioneer of West Coast hip hop.

The group would go on to release their debut album, The Next Step, a year after their official formation. The majority of the work on that project, including sampling, MCing, DJing, and producing, would be handled by the two-man team; a trend continued on other projects. They followed their debut release with Question in the Form of an Answer (2000); American Men Vol. 1 (compilation) (2000); O.S.T. (2002), …Or Stay Tuned (2003); Stepfather (2006); The Om Years (compilation) (2008); Fun DMC (2008); Carried Away (2009); Highlighter (2011); 12 Step Program (2014); American Men Vol. 2 (compilation) (2015); The Gettin’ Off Stage, Step 1 (2015); The Gettin’ Off Stage, Step 2 (2016); and their final project Sincerely, the P (2019).

The group disbanded in 2019, shortly after the release of their final project.

People Under the Stairs has never quite shrugged the title of being an underground act, even with collaborations with hip hop veterans such as Jurassic 5, Hieroglyphics, and singer George Clinton tucked away in their arsenal. Nonetheless, their work has proved influential to other acts, most notably deceased rapper Mac Miller, who released his track “People Under the Stairs” as a part of his I Love Life, Thank You mixtape.