Over a decade after its formation, People Under the Stairs is still in love with the golden-era hip-hop approach its members embraced when they were in their teens. On its seventh album, 2009’s Carried Away, this “true school” Los Angeles duo namedrops Fab 5 Freddy and Ice T, borrows from a Tribe Called Quest, and offers wordy storytelling about summer barbecues over warm soul samples and loops. They purposely use yesteryear phrases like “get busy” and “you don’t stop.” On the tribute cut “Letter to the Old School,” they go back even further with a cadence straight out of Sugarhill Gang. No, rappers Thes One and Double K aren’t breaking new ground with their flow. It’s also true that their beats may not wow kids. But the group still exhibits enough joy and cleverness to guarantee a live show that’s about more than just nostalgia.
PEOPLE UNDER THE STAIRS PERFORMs AT 8 P.M. AT THE ROCK & ROLL HOTEL, 1353 H ST. NE. $15. (202) 388-7625.