• People Under the Stairs

You have to admire LA hip-hop group People Under the Stairs for their perseverance. Active since 1997, the duo of Thes One and Double K came up at a time when underground hip-hop—which, once upon a time, was basically another way to “old-school”—had legs, and they’ve soldiered on even as their preferred sound has drifted to the extreme margins of the genre. As Double K Thes One raps on “Step Off,” the lead track from their seventh and latest album, Carried Away (Om), “It’s been ten years, our peers overrated / All faded, and they hated us most times / This is my last laugh, in the form of a dope rhyme.”