How did rapper Double K die? Fans mourn one-half of People Under the Stairs: ‘Mid-City lost a central angel’
Double K of People Under The Stairs dies at 43. People Under the Stairs was an American hip hop duo from Los Angeles, California, formed in 1997 and disbanded in 2019
Rapper Double K — also known as Michael Turner — who is best known for being a member of People Under the Stairs and also appeared on the opening montage of The Simpsons 20th Anniversary Special – 'In 3-D! On Ice!' has died under unknown circumstances. The news first dropped early on Sunday, January 31 and fans paid tribute to the late rapper and singer. He was 43.
One-half of the hip hop duo People Under The Stairs, Double K started his career as rappers and deejays with Thes One after their paths crossed at a Los Angeles record store in 1996 when they were 16 years old. A shared passion for vinyl records brought them closer. “Vinyl is without doubt a wife or maybe more like a harem,” critic James Poletti commented online at dotmusic.
“Hip-hop taught me how to love old records and it taught me how to appreciate old music,” Thes One said in an interview located online at Spinemagazine. Also popular as “the P” and “PUTS,” the duo once clarified that they did not get their moniker from the 1991 Wes Craven horror film of the same name. In fact, the two said they hadn't even heard of the movie.
The two never used keyboards and synthesizers but kept it simple with two turntables, a mixing board, and an eight-track recording system. “It’s professional underground,” Double K said in their Om Records bio. “No matter what we use, we’re never more than a step away from two turntables and a microphone. It’s homemade funk.”
Who was rapper Double K?
Born on August 1, 1977, Double K, whose real name was Mike Turner, produced and DJ'ed for 'People Under The Stairs', 'Kidd Lexus', and 'Blvme'. Interestingly, he is the first cousin of celebrated Los Angeles producer, Computer Jay. He produced the very first solo song by Murs called 'Red Dots' in 1996. In the garage of his own home, Double K recorded 'George Clinton of Parliament' for his appearance on 'People Under The Stairs' 'Stepfather' LP.
“Where I grew up, there was the negative, and I had the positive, which was my music,” Double K said in an interview with LA Times. “I was surrounded by the negativity, the things going on in the streets, the stuff that I thought that I wanted to be a part of. I decided that this was more important. I just holed up in my room, listening to music, and then I met this dude and I had somebody else to listen to music with.” He confessed, “I think a lot of the people who grew up with us, they still want us to rap about partying.”
Last-ever show at London’s Jazz Cafe
Although the two shared all responsibilities, Double K did most of the rapping and Thes One handled the production. Did you know Mac Miller once brought them on as tour openers in 2011? Double K has also recorded an album with legendary breakbeat pioneer, Dooley O called the “Double-O Project” that was never released. He was a die-hard Parliament-Funkadelic fan (Historian) and also an official member of George Clinton's Funk Mob.
Turner aka Double K once said, “I think a lot of the people who grew up with us, they still want us to rap about partying, road trips and buying records, and we’re just like, ‘Man, how many times can I say it?’” Back in October 2019, the hip-hop duo already played their last-ever show at London’s Jazz Cafe. Sadly, they didn’t tell anyone it was the last until tickets sold out. LA Times reported, “There will be no farewell tour or official goodbye Los Angeles performance.”
‘Thank you for the music’
The source of the news of his demise is still not clear. But as soon as fans got to know the news, they paid tribute to the late 43-year-old rapper on social media platforms. One Internet user said, “Man... Rest peacefully Double K blasting People Under the Stairs all day tomorrow. Thank you for the music.”
Another one said, “Rest In Peace to #DoubleK from #PeopleUnderTheStairs. Just saw the sad news that homie has transitioned. Thank you for your service, King. Yet another reminder of how precious life is. Please show appreciation & give roses to your peoples while they’re still here to enjoy them.”
Man... Rest peacefully Double K 🙏 blasting People Under the Stairs all day tomorrow. Thank you for the music pic.twitter.com/LSOLChKsEn— Def Goldbloom (@DefGoldbloom) January 31, 2021
Rest In Peace to #DoubleK from #PeopleUnderTheStairs. Just saw the sad news that homie has transitioned. Thank you for your service King 👑. Yet another reminder at how precious life is. Please show appreciation & give roses to your peoples while they’re still here to enjoy them. pic.twitter.com/3VIuCADT40— DJ Wicked (@djwicked) January 31, 2021
‘One of my top favorite’
The news reached Reddit seven hours before it first broke on Twitter. “I just got word that Double K of People Under The Stairs has passed away," the thread read, adding, "One of my favorite LA Groups from the early 2000s. He will be missed.”
Journalist Dana Scott tweeted a picture and said, “I first met Double K in 2003 on the CaliComm Tour in Boston, same night JMJ died. He and Thes One were really cool cats to chill with and had them on my Musenomix @wmbr show in 2011. Here’s a @HipHopDX piece I did on PUTS career history in 2016. RIP Mike.” With lots of crying emojis, another fan tweeted, “RIP Double K another sad weekend for hip hop culture one of my top favorite. I can't believe this is true. #PUTS #doublek.”
I first met Double K in 2003 on the CaliComm Tour in Boston, same night JMJ died. He and Thes One were really cool cats to chill with and had them on my Musenomix @wmbr show in 2011. Here’s a @HipHopDX piece I did on PUTS career history in 2016. RIP Mike. https://t.co/mNNOuNlMDP— Dana Scott (@iam_DanaScott) January 31, 2021
‘Got to meet him in 2005 at a house party rooftop show’
One said, “Hella sad to hear about #DoubleK from #PUTS! I got to meet him in 2005 at a house party rooftop show in SF! Always thought reaching out for a feature would be tight." Another one wrote: "RIP Double K of People Under The Stairs. One of my favorite hip hop groups of all time. Saw them once and never forgot that show since. Hands down one of the best hip hop shows I have seen. Was really bummed out I never got to see them again. His passing is really sad to hear.”
And another one remembered him by sharing a video, and wrote, “Rest In Power, Double K. Mid-City lost a central angel.”
RIP Double K of People Under The Stairs. One of my favorite hip hop groups of all time. Saw them once and never forgot that show since. Hands down one of the best hip hop shows I have seen. Was really bummed out I never got to see them again. His passing is really sad to hear.— Eighty (@ocho_cero_) January 31, 2021
Rest In Power, Double K. Mid-City lost a central angel.https://t.co/xM75a3YvkB— FrederricoFellini (@SaborenSonido) January 31, 2021
The rapper is survived by his wife, whom he often called his best friend. “Finally able to CELEBRATE 4 years of marriage...18 years of putting up with each others madness!!!!” he once wrote in an old Instagram post.
While the exact net worth or the cause of his death is not known, the rich gallery of music that the duo created and the worth of it speaking from the musical point of view, cannot be measured through numbers, experts believe.