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As someone who grew up on underground hip hop, has always held a special place in my heart. Throughout my college days, I frequented the website in search of underground hip hop that was too raw for the radio waves. Rejecting the cotton-candy poppy style of auto-tuned hip hop that dominated the early 2010s, I scrolled into online wormholes to dig up thought-provoking, politically-charged, socially-aware counterculture hip hop. Through this site, I was introduced to a wide array of music ranging from La Coka Nostra to Blue Scholars. The website was a one stop shop that showcased the golden age of hip hop with an emphasis on lyricism. I was more than stoked when I heard that was celebrating their 10-year anniversary at Catch One in Los Angeles with Immortal Technique as the headliner. There’s no artist out there that embodies the spirit of underground hip hop more than Immortal Technique. I knew this one was one I had to catch. Let’s hop into the event.

First off, I need to tip my hat to the venue Catch One. The seemingly endlessly modular venue is no stranger to hosting’s events. I had the opportunity to cover their Night Of The Living Dead event at this venue back in 2019. Click HERE for a link to that review featuring Necro and Madchild. One reason I really like this venue is the stage setting is a bit lower to the ground in contrast to other venues with the same capacity This lowered stage works well for this style of gritty music pulling the action closer to the crowd.

Up first, DJ Survive handled the ones and twos all night. Opening the night, he played records that took me way back. Dropping gems from the likes of Non Phixion and Jedi Mind Tricks, UGHHBlog’s resident DJ warmed up the room as fans piled in. Shout out to Pawz One and CThree who hosted the main stage all night in between sets and even gave us a few songs of their own. The small stage in “The Lounge” was active for a good part of the night featuring acts like NVY JONEZ LKR, Indigenous Cat, Organized Krime, AG Cora, Tony Da Kidd, and Gruesome Twosome. The main stage in “The Disco Room” was graced by DJ Survive, Zero Of El Vuh, XP The Marxman, Vel Nine, and finally Immortal Technique. Of all the openers, Vel Nine was the standout performer of the night. The California native shined as she delivered deft bars over sinister boom bap beats. Headlining the night was the one and only Immortal Technique. Assisted by Swave Sevah and others from back home, the Harlem rapper played songs off his Revolutionary Vol. 1 and Revolutionary Vol. 2 like “Harlem Streets” and “Point Of No Return”. He also hit us with a few a cappella verses displaying his verbal prowess. I’ve seen Immortal Technique three times over the years and it’s a fair assessment to say he’s only getting better with time.

Shout out for pulling this one off. It’s been 10 years in the game and this team is still on the forefront of showcasing that true raw hip hop. I’ll admit, over the years, my personal taste of music has strayed away from the purities of conscious underground hip hop but has always held it down. Shout out to them on 10 years and I wish them another awesome 10 years. Peep them at

Kris Kuganathan

Photojournalist - Orange County

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