3rd Annual Back to Basics Festival: Day 2

After wrapping up a successful first day at our third annual Back To Basics hip hop festival, Sunday afternoon quickly crept up and it was time to do it all over again on day 2 (6/22).

The sold out Back To Basics 3 day 2 line-up presented an eclectic set of artists. In the main room we had Tark, Zenaloa, and Dusty Crates prepping the crowd for Revolutionary Rhythm, Pharoahe Monch, Zion I, Souls Of Mischief Sick Jacken, Raekwon, Aesop Rock, and Immortal Technique.

Meanwhile the Constellation room had a small line-up not to be shun with performances from Always Blessed, Edificador, Bumps the Goosegot 3, Rebellion Warfare, Rebels to The Grain, Propaganda, Mystik Journeymen, & 2Mex.

On day 2 legendary emcee Pharoahe Monch brought his convoluted and intelligent rhymes. He performed tracks off his 1999 solo debut Internal Affairs, Desire, W.A.R., and P.T.S.D. He took a brief moment to express great reverence to the late great Nate Dogg right before jumping into “Oh No”. As expected the entire crowd went crazy when he did “Simon Says”- everybody got the f*** up!
Zion I were amazing as members AmpLive and Zumbi once again allowed MC Deuce Eclipse to rock the stage with them. They always bring forth luminous energy and this time was no different, they had the crowd rocking from beginning to end with their positive and conscious lyricism.

Souls Of Mischief also put on another great performance. We have had them in the building for previous events and they never fall short of being outstanding as they take us back to ’93 each and every time.


Judging by the gas-mask and “f*** love” tees being worn by fans, a large amount of people were in attendance to catch some of that Sickside action. Sick Jacken jumped on stage yelling “What’s up motherf******!?” and reciting “Black Ships”. You already know the psychos in the building showed lots of sickside love. During his set a tall slender man covered in a hoody and a gas-mask stepped on stage as a surprise- the mask came off and it was Planet Asia there to join Sick Jacken for a “Death Frees Every Soul” performance.


Not meaning to knock anyone else’s performance but Raekwon had one of, if not the most, phenomenal sets of day 2 (and I’m not just making such statement because I’m a avid Wu-Tang Clan admirer either)! With DJ Cali holding down the 1’s & 2’s he came on stage dropping ill classics from the almighty clan’s classic Enter the 36 Chambers, as well as doing his own solo material with tracks off Only Built for Cuban Linx among others. Of course, never to be exempted, he performed “Shimmy Shimmy Ya” in commemoration of ODB.


But what made this performance so intriguing was not all the expected Wu glamor but rather that Raek really took us back to basics as he welcomed onto the stage a set of young b-boys and b-girls known as the monster kids. Hip Hop was definitely in the live in the building!

Aesop Rock took to the stage with Rob Sonic and DJ Abilities also setting off the crowd with his superb vocab embedded rhymes. Aesop performed crowd favorites like “Daylight”, “None Shall Pass”, and “No Regrets”. DJ Abilities rocked a little solo set that was beyond amazing!


And then the moment of truth finally came as our day 2 main headliner Immortal Technique took over the stage a little past midnight. The revolutionary hip hop emcee brought a tremendous following to this years back to basics festival. Chino XL, Poisen Pen, and a few others joined on set as surprise guests. Immortal Tech shared his heavy political views and continuously received “Viva La Revolucion!” roars from the crowd all throughout the night. He performed tracks like “obnoxious”, “freedom of speech”, “Peruvian Cocaine”, among other work off his Revolutionary Vol. 1 & 2, and The 3rd World albums.

And in the Out Da House stage in the Constellation room Propoganda brought a very interesting performance influenced by spoken word. Mystik Journeymen, which consists of LuckyIAm and Sunspot Jonz, also put it down dropping classic underground hip hop. 2Mex of the Visionaries rocked the constellation room as well performing fans most favorite like “So Many More Words (Say it Ain’t So)” and he even joined the audience as he performed.

It was such an incredible hip hop weekend for us at Out Da House and we hope that the feeling is mutual among everyone who attended and was involved. We’d like to thank the Observatory OC, the fans, and all the artists for making Back to Basics possible and allowing us to put on for hip hop and the culture with another successful sold out festival. It’s only getting better and better… See y’all next year!

Stace Fresh

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