R.I.P. Double K, People Under the Stairs Rapper Dead at 43

Double K, the rapper best known for his work as one half of the Los Angeles hip-hop duo People Under the Stairs, has died at the age of 43. On Sunday morning, close friends and collaborators confirmed he passed away, though no cause of death has been revealed.

Double K, who was born under the name Michael Turner, grew up sampling music in his free time to create “beat tapes” that he would use while DJing local events. In high school, he went on to join the Log Cabin Crew, a hip-hop collective that included several members of Living Legends, where he further honed his skills as an artist.

As a teenager, Double K met his soon-to-be bandmate Christopher “Thes One” Portugal while searching for sample material in the now-defunct record store Martin’s. The two decided to spin their beat tapes for one another in Thes One’s car and, impressed by each other’s work, quickly formed a close-knit friendship. They founded People Under the Stairs that same year, in 1997, to explore what type of music they could create in a joint effort.

People Under the Stairs released their debut album The Next Step in 1998. Since then, they released a new record roughly every two to three years, resulting in a whopping 15 albums total. After dropping Sincerely, the P in 2019, the two decided to officially disband on good terms.

Although they never formally brought another member into the fold, People Under the Stairs did work with a wide range of musicians over the course of their career, including George Clinton, Jurassic 5, and Hieroglyphics. As a staple of the Los Angeles underground hip-hop scene, they also went on to inspire a whole new generation of rappers, including a young Mac Miller.

Since learning of his passing, friends and fellow musicians have been eulogizing the late rapper on social media. Read some of their tributes to Double K below.


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