Dead Prez Show Brings Forth the Essence of Hip Hop

The Observatory OC welcomed back hip hop duo Dead Prez for an impeccable performance of their acclaimed debut album Let’s Get Free.

For those that may not know, and M-1 together combine talent and bring Dead Prez. Dead Prez is known for their confrontational and social/cultural justice saturated lyricism. With such heavy topics and skills the duo appeals more to the underground/independent hip hop audience. You know, the type that doesn’t tolerate these “fake, FAKE RECORDS!”

The night began off proper with some of our local talent and InDJnous held down the 1’s and 2’s clearly exemplifying what a hip hop deejay is suppose to be all about. He played many old-school classics ranging from the pioneers like Sugar Hill Gang to the still relevant greats like Snoop and Dre. He incorporated his skills on the turntables exquisitely which received great praises that night from the audience and the in-house crew. The atmosphere was really set to perfection for a act such as Dead Prez.

Dead Prez came onto the stage full of energy and everyone welcomed them ecstatically. The classic album Let’s Get Free had many political and social topics relevant to society today, which made the performance all that more felt.

The duo stepped on stage performing “Im A African” right off the jump. The tracks that followed were “Assassination”, “We Want Freedom”, “Police State”, “Propaganda”, “Behind Enemy Lines”, and so on. The unjust police filled lyricism in many of the tracks was eye-opening as to how long we “the people”, have been battling that particular issue which has now heavily resurfaced and is being brought to mainstream attention. “Fuck The Police” the chants grew at a particular moment in the performance.


Dead Prez had the crowd in great enthusiasm when they did the “hits” off the album, which included “Happiness”, “Mind Sex”, and  of course “It’s Bigger than Hip Hop”. “Hip Hop! Hip Hop! Hip Hop!” was the indefinite chant leaving all of our mouths. The energy at that particular moment was amazing.

There’s a even bigger story behind this show though, and I want to tell you all about it.

The duo delayed their performance time for a few minutes before taking the stage and the DJ began to play some funk records which included George Clinton & The Parliament, Earth, Wind, & Fire, and he even got into some King of Pop for a cool minute. I took a look around and usually the crowd begins to boo the deejay at most shows due to the impatient wait for the artist. They seem to get bored and fed up with everything that leads up to show time. Well, not this time!

The crowd was dancing, everyone had smiles on their faces. A jam would come on and people seemed to get nostalgic and begin to vibe. The Out Da House crew took quick notice to that. We got chills just witnessing it. We knew that only with a crowd such as the one on this particular night, such thing was possible. We all agreed that the “real” hip hop heads appreciate what was going on to highest esteem, only because the “real ones” have a deep understanding of the culture behind the music.

I’m going to get into some FRESH 101 teaching for a minute. Hip-Hop started out in the parks in the late 70s and early 80s on the East Coast. People would gather around in the parks and have small basement parties to distract themselves and escape the reality of day to day. Men in these impoverished and crime-filled neighborhoods discovered they could make a little something out of a turntable and some records, the art of scratching was developed, the man behind that skill was the deejay. Then came along someone who started reciting rhymes to what the deejay played, he became the emcee. To not ramble on too long and technical, an entire culture ultimately developed where the graffiti art and the break dancing became an element to what they began calling Hip Hop.

In it’s pure essence, Hip Hop was a creation by “the people” for “the people”. It was a culture, a art, a skill, the music that was initially made to simply create a fun-filled and safe environment for the community and to unify the community as well. This is exactly what was witnessed this night. And it was beautiful.

All praises to Dead Prez and everyone involved in this show. It was an epic night!

Out Da House would like to give a big “Thank You” to all the hip hop enthusiasts who attended. A special “Thanks” to the Observatory OC who keeps on providing an extensive platform for this culture and bringing some of the best shows to Orange County with consistency, building it to become one of the hottest cities to be in when it comes to entertainment.

And I personally, would like to Thank everyone mentioned above. The entire Out Da House team, Carlos, the Raw Kulture fam, and friends like InDJnous posses that knowledge, skill, understanding, love, and appreciation that I too have, and continue to acquire from and for this culture. You all, along with the environment you create, inspire me and have only magnetized the inspiration level within me in the past few months.

I believe this particular show was definitely one for the books, on a much deeper level than any. Hip Hop in it’s essence was present and felt, and if y’all realized what I did that night it is the reassurance that “And it don’t stop!”  Gears all the way up!

It’s bigger than hip hop.

Stace Fresh




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