Twenty-six years ago on the 4th of July 1996, Tupac Shakur and the Outlawz performed live at The House Of Blues on Sunset Strip in Los Angeles.
Tupac, fresh off the plane from Italy, wasn’t the only performing act that night as the Outlawz accompanied him on stage. Snoop Dogg and Tha Dogg Pound billed as the headliners, while K-Ci & JoJo also made an appearance.
Tupac wore a white tank top, black shirt with white pants and opens up with the Daz produced ‘Ambitionz Az a Ridah.’ He proceeds to perform another seven songs in his set including ‘Troublesome,’ ‘All About You’ and ‘So Many Tears.’ One of the audience favorites from the evening was the menacing ‘Hit ‘Em Up‘ which was energetic and powerful.
Soon after Tupac finished his set, Snoop Dogg and Tha Dogg Pound took the stage. The Long Beach crew performed hits from Tha Dogg Pound’s ‘Dogg Food’ album and Snoop Dogg’s debut album ‘Doggystyle.’ Performing 14 songs in total which included ‘Gin And Juice’, ‘Murder Was The Case’ and ‘Who Am I (What’s My Name)’. After Snoop Dogg’s performance, the stage flooded with the entire Death Row Records roster. After banter and fooling around on stage, Tupac and Snoop Dogg performed their classic ‘2 of Amerikaz Most Wanted.’
Hussein Fatal Banned From House Of Blues Performance
The evening didn’t go without any drama. Hussein Fatal of the Outlawz found to be carrying a gun when searched by The House Of Blues security team. As a result, he wasn’t allowed into the venue and was not able to perform with Tupac and the Outlawz.
Speaking of the incident, Frank Alexander, Tupac’s bodyguard, recalled in his book ‘I got Your Back,’ “About 3 hours after we left the airport, Tupac was supposed to perform at the House of Blues. It was the Fourth of July. We worked outside at the House Of Blues for hours, while Death Row was performing, and the drama wasn’t over yet. We had a major incident that night.”
“One of Tupac’s homies, Hussein Fatal, was trying to get inside and he had a Glock on him. The House Of Blues security is also made up of off-duty officers. When he tried to go in he got searched and they immediately took the gun. Pac asked me to intervene, but it was out of my hands and out of Reggie’s hands. The best I could do was get Fatal out of the bullsh*t. The gun was taken and he was put in a limo and couldn’t come out till the end of the night. They didn’t arrest him and later on the gun was given back to Reggie”.
During an interview before his passing, Hussein Fatal recalled what went down before the House of Blues performance. “I got caught with a gun ’cause that was the 4th of July. That was the first time i was in Cali the 4th of July. Me being young minded and coming from Jersey, I didn’t want to be in California without a gun on me the 4th of July. That’s just the way I was thinking back then.”
“’Pac told us to leave the guns on the table in the living room when we left. I decided to go back to the bathroom and I went back to pick my gun up. When we got to the House Of Blues, I ain’t know they going be checking us. I’m with Tupac and the rest of these big time ni**as. I got to the door and they started checking us and I got the gun on me I wasn’t going to turn around. I thought the motherf**** was going to let me in.”
History Was Captured
The whole show was thankfully recorded and released on DVD in 2005, 9 years after Tupac’s death. The performance was Tupac’s last recorded performance. The DVD also contains five of Tupac’s music videos including ‘California Love’ and ‘Hit ‘Em Up.’ In the liner notes to the DVD, former VIBE Magazine editor Kevin Powell describes Tupac as “Of the people, one of them” and “Giving power to the people, as he prowls the stage.”
Although the show was recorded professionally, a video has emerged filmed by somebody from the audience. This footage shows Tupac and the Outlawz shortly before they perform Troublesome. At the end of So Many Tears, ‘Pac requested the sound man to “go to the next s***!” He then moved into the introduction to Troublesome but they cued the wrong song! As the sound man was skipping through the tracks to find Troublesome, Tupac interacted with the crowd. On the DVD version, they cut this out and you see them perform Troublesome immediately after So Many Tears.
The performance was also featured in the 2017 biopic ‘All Eyez on Me.’ Unlike the Benny Boom directed film, Tupac and the Outlawz did not perform ‘Hail Mary,’ as the hit single was not yet released at the time of the performance.