underground hip hop culture , news, and commentary

People Under The Stairs – 12 Step Program

People Under The Stairs - 12 step program
People Under The Stairs – 12 step program

Back in 2001, this writer was a college radio disc jockey.  Finding “underground” hip-hop was a passion and it was an honor to help promote it.  Back then, college radio pushed music that was independent and free from large corporate labels.  Nowadays, the music world this writer knows has changed… no longer are musicians forced to hope that a sample of theirs will be heard by a music executive so that it will be heard by the masses.  All it takes is passion, perseverance, the Internet, and a good sound to get recognized.

There was a band called People Under The Stairs back in 2000 that was considered underground back then.  Our college radio station played their music on our indie radio hip-hop shows and it was always well received.  The group and their sound was originally influenced by hip-hop artists such as DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince (now the actor known as Will Smith of course), Eazy E, The Pharcyde, and Jurassic 5, among others.

People Under The Stairs is no longer underground because they tour the world, but they still consider themselves independent.  They recently made an album worth your $9.99 and they believe that you still think music is valuable. Do yourself a favor, take a minute and buy their new album presale.  It’s called 12 Step Program and can be purchased on a phone or computer through itunes.  Help them out and purchase today here –  Also like them on Facebook –

Tribal Seeds at Omaha’s The Waiting Room

There are human beings in this world that share love and music.  This writer was very fortunate to witness a band known as Tribal Seeds put on a display of love and affection through music for a group of people at The Waiting Room in Omaha, Nebraska this past Wednesday, April 9, 2014.  If you enjoy Bob Marley and reggae, you will really love it and have a great time.  The sounds of that night vibrated throughout the room well and I could not help but think… this is a place where Bob Marley would be if he were alive today.  The crowd itself consisted of people from all walks of life and all ages, young and old, and it was just great music.  As a music “critic” there is nothing I can find to say negative about the band, the songs, the performance, or anything else about that recent evening.  It was all positive and just uplifting for the soul.  And that is what life is about.  Also, I really noticed the lyrics of most songs were about peace, love, and understanding for one another, and how awesome is that?  If you enjoy live music and ever have the chance to see Tribal Seeds in concert, no matter where it is, do yourself a favor, buy tickets and go.  Also, like them on Facebook.  Tribal Seeds – Omaha Waiting Room

Atmosphere: Kanye West Single, Release Parties & Dates with Damian Marley

Slug and Ant of Atmosphere are back at it again.  They just released a second song called “Kanye West” from their upcoming album Southsiders, which will be released on May 6th, 2014 on Rhymesayers Entertainment.  This song should be a concert favorite, especially with a chorus that goes, “Put your hands in the air like you really do care, oh yeah.”

Have a listen on soundcloud right now:

Lastly, release parties for the album will be had in New York City at Highline Ballroom on Tuesday, May 6th and in Los Angeles at The Roxy Theatre on Thursday, May 8th.  Tickets for these events go on sale this Thursday, April 10, 2014.

Atmosphere - Kanye West

Grieves Interview for Omaha show


Grieves gave an interview with us today before heading to Europe on tour.  He will be at the Waiting Room again on Tuesday, May 27th.  This show should sell out, so do yourself a favor and buy your tickets today at

How do you balance your music with other obligations, if you have any?
Grieves: That’s the struggle for every artist.  It’s not just about yourself or other people… it’s about friends, love, and family.  And that’s the struggle… this job takes you away at times from birthdays and celebrations, but as long you stay true to yourself everything else should fall into place.

Who are your favorite music artists and why?
Grieves: I’m a big neo-soul fan… like blues, B.B. King.  Also, folk singer Carol King.  I’ve never heard of anyone like them except Bob Dylan, but Bob Dylan was tough to get to understand as a kid.  I feel like Carol King wrote it to you as a person.  As I started getting older I started getting into punk and rock.  F***ing love Metallica… and NOFX.  J. Cole too. What I realized is that hip-hop and music in general doesn’t have to be confined.

How do you come up with your lyrics?  Are they about your own personal experiences, or someone else’s?
Grieves:  Everything I write is true and they are about my own personal experiences.

What do you think of Omaha?
Grieves:  I really like Omaha.  I grew up in Colorado and Omaha has that Midwest feel to it.  The Waiting Room gets better and better every time I go back.

Any funny or crazy stories from a past tour that you’d like to share?
Grieves: I was in Omaha a while back… and they had a lot of beer for us after the show.  There was this security guard outside our hotel chasing after us cause we were all drunk as hell… and our tour manager was getting head from a girl on one of those statues downtown.  It was hilarious and such a good time.  I’m looking forward to it again for sure.

The State of Current Music

Without a doubt, technology has changed the way we listen to music over time.  There was a time when the only way to listen to prerecorded music was using a phonoautograph, and this was less than 200 years ago.  In the 1970′s there was vinyl, which never died and is still available today.  In the 1980′s there were cassette tapes.  In the 1990′s music was purchased and played by most on Compact Discs, which is still available as well.  And in the late 1990′s and early 2000′s, consumers moved towards downloading their music with the mp3.  When music first moved to the digital process, it was chaos for the large music labels that wanted to make money from their product.  Users would purchase a CD and upload the album to a file sharing website like Napster, and anyone would be able to download the music for free.  After legal troubles with copyright infringement, Napster went bankrupt.  But more importantly, it showed the Internet change the landscape for music and how we listen to it across the world.  Nowadays, the majority of teenagers listen to their music on Youtube.  Most adults however, either listen to FM/AM radio, online streaming radio, or they download it and pay for it.  And paying is the way it should be, because musicians being compensated for their time and their work is the fair thing to do.

Album Review: Grieves – Winter and the Wolves

Seattle based rapper Grieves, born Benjamin Laub, just turned 30 years old, and he’s been rapping for over a decade now.  When a person has that much time to focus on a craft, they learn and grow, and he has done just that.  His recently released album Winter and the Wolves is a bit simple with it’s lyrics, but it is also straight forward and emotional as well, which is actually amazing.  One might suggest that the rapper is trying hard to be appreciated, but he is simply conveying to the world his experiences.  And in this day in age of selfishness amongst rappers and musicians alike, that itself should be admired.  Labels are not always the best thing, but if one enjoys “emo” rap, which is something his counterpart Slug of Atmosphere has been labeled in the past, then this album is right there in that same category.  Grieves will be going on tour throughout the United Kingdom and United States in April, May, and June of 2014.  His album can be purchased at Fifth Element.


Listen to Grieves new song from the album Winter & The Wolves

Grieves is dropping another album, and you should do yourself a favor and pre-order it right now.  It is called Winter & The Wolves, and the release date is just around the corner.  Also, if you pre-order the album, you will be lucky enough to get it autographed by the man himself, and you can also pre-order with exclusive Grieves t-shirts and sweatshirts.  This deal is exclusive only at Fifth Element.  Visit and get on it.  Your future ears will be appreciative.

Lastly, if you’d like to listen in on one song from the album before it drops, click on the link and follow to get it on stream.


Listen in right now

Been bumping some beats using online radio over at soundcloud… all you have to do to listen in is visit  Click on the soundcloud link at the top, and you’ll get the likes of Atmosphere, Brother Ali, Chase Stax, Step Brothers, The Roots and much more for your listening pleasure.  Hit it up.

Atmosphere Announces Southsiders Album

It has been a while since Slug and Ant have put together an album, but they are doing it and you should look forward to it.  Southsiders drops May 6th, 2014 through Rhymesayers Entertainment.  If this album is anything like their past work, it should absolutely be a treat for your listening ears.  Pre-order it today and your future life will get better.

They also premiered a new single from the album called Bitter.  The lyrics feel like a throwback to God Loves Ugly, but less about love and lost and more about self.  Here’s a taste for you from the chorus of the song.

You’re so bitter, you’re cold as a river in the winter
This one is to recognize you, your jealousy needs an anthem too
You’re so bitter, you’re cold as a river in the winter,
This one is to recognize you, and all of these dreams that can’t come true

Listen to the first single Bitter NOW:

Pre-order Southsiders from iTunes NOW, and get the first single, “Bitter” instantly:

Pre-order Southsiders from Fifth Element NOW and automatically get the first single, “Bitter” instantly!

  • BONUS – every pre-order will come autographed with an exclusive Atmosphere Southsiders sticker.
  • PLUS - bundle your pre-order with a Fifth Element exclusive limited-edition Atmosphere t-shirt or crew neck sweatshirt:

Atmosphere Bitter

hiphopanonymous on soundcloud is now on soundcloud.  We will start recording hip-hop radio shows again, promoting good music and mostly independent labels online. Shows will more than likely be monthly, published, and recorded for your listening pleasure later on. Keep updated via the new station on soundcloud here: