In an interview with The Real Hip-Hop in December 2013, Twista explained that the title his EP "pertains" to him "more than the industry". "Sometimes I'll lose sense of self trying to try so many things. I'm so creative that I'll try different things that's out the box and when I feel like I'm going too far out the box I bring it back in. Right at that time when I was bringing it back in I said I wanted to title my new EP Back to the Basics [because] that's what [I'm going to] get to as far as the Twista sound and doing what I do that I know people like."
The Chicago emcee selected a few songs that he felt was "a good warm-up for people to get reacquainted with Twista" before releasing his upcoming full-length album, titled The Dark Horse, in 2014.
Upon its release, Back to the Basics received generally mixed reviews from music critics. M.T. Richards of XXL gave the album an L, saying "There’s a certainly a shortage of radio fodder on Back to the Basics: the hooks are modest, the beats conservative. Technique is Twista’s weapon of choice and foremost priority. We listen to the Rust Belt legend for stuttery but graceful thickets of rhyme, verses that wind like a labyrinth and smoke like black powder."