Expansion Team Soundsystem are SRH Fest's Hip-Hop Kings

This Friday, SRH Clothing brings their annual SRH Fest to the Observatory. Considering SRH's cult following among local bros, the bookings of ex-Kottonmouth King Johnny Richter and suburb-friendly artists like Mickey Avalon and Unwritten Law shouldn't come as any sort of massive surprise. But, there's also a booking that brings something more artistically-stimulating to mind: underground LA hip-hop dons DJ Babu & Rakaa Iriscience's Expansion Team Soundsystem project.

"It's cutting-edge traditionalism; it's hardcore party music," Rakaa Iriscience says of his Expansion Team Soundsystem project. "Expansion Team Soundsystem is more of a party-rockin' thing...we come to have a good time and push the line."

For decades now, Rakaa Taylor has been honing his creative craftsmanship as rapper Rakaa Iriscience, one-third of LA rap heroes Dilated Peoples. Alongside Dilated collaborator and close friend DJ Babu, he has been building a tenure as one-half of the progressive party-rap project Expansion Team Soundsystem.

Originally, Rakaa and Babu's collaboration as a duo happened casually. Both artists had already been close friends and creative partners for a while, and as Babu was receiving an influx of solo show offers, the esteemed DJ realized he wanted to add something supplemental to his performances.

"He was getting a lot of DJ offers and we had some downtime with Dilated so he was inviting me to go out and kind of 'host and toast' with him on his DJ shows as kind of something extra for the crowd and for the shows," Rakaa explains. "As Dilated took some time off and as [Dilated Peoples colleague] Evidence was taking time off to work on his solo project and deal with some family stuff we just really turned up the idea of me just going out with him and really put it together."

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