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Immortal Technique
April 12, 2012 7:03 PM   Subscribe

Immortal Technique is an American rapper of Afro-Peruvian descent as well as an urban activist. Most of his lyrics focus on controversial issues in global politics. The views expressed in his lyrics are largely commentary on issues such as class struggle, poverty, religion, government and institutional racism.
posted by Trurl (24 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite

 
Poverty of Philosophy, a spoken word track, is pretty great.
posted by phrontist at 7:11 PM on April 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


He's also a 9/11 truther.
posted by weinbot at 7:20 PM on April 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


weinbot: bah.
posted by phrontist at 7:24 PM on April 12, 2012


He's also a 9/11 truther.

And a homophobe and a misogynist. He's got flow but it's 2012 and there's no excuse for "conscious" rappers to get a pass on being paranoid and hateful. Sorry.
posted by regicide is good for you at 7:39 PM on April 12, 2012 [13 favorites]


[Folks: we have Metatalk]
posted by jessamyn at 7:42 PM on April 12, 2012


I don't know too much about Immortal Technique outside of liking a couple of his tracks that I've heard over the years. That being said, a quick google shows that there is a documentary about him and his travels to places like Afghanistan. It looks like an interesting portrait of a polarizing voice in music. Trailer.
posted by sendai sleep master at 7:46 PM on April 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


a friend of mine has an eternal grudge against him because his goons took my friend's camera that he was using to record part of an IT show. the communist shit is a fucking gimmick.
posted by p3on at 7:56 PM on April 12, 2012


Bin Laden Didn't Blow Up the Projects: Annotated lyrics with links to sources
posted by BinGregory at 8:05 PM on April 12, 2012


I was watching the Towers, and though I wasn't the closest
I saw them crumble to the Earth like they was full of explosives
And they thought nobody noticed the news report that they did
About the bombs planted on the George Washington bridge
Four Non-Arabs arrested during the emergency
And then it disappeared from the news permanently
They dubbed a tape of Osama, and they said it was proof
"Jealous of our freedom," I can't believe you bought that excuse


I do not exactly see this man as a luminary.
posted by weinbot at 8:48 PM on April 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


If there is going to be a Technique thread, this interview has to be linked. He may be skeptical about 9-11, ok. But watch that interview. Aside from being a great rapper, the guy has a great knowledge of and ability to converse about political systems, regimes and structures.

I like when he talks about how the language of those in power, is money (not justice, not democracy, etc). I like how he analyzes Obama's nobel peace prize as a tool of the European left, and the effects of that. I love how he talks about the Byzantine empire, and talks about how he went and researched things in the past, to properly understand the present.

And he's independent (which he also touches on toward the end). His label is Viper Records. If he ever gets really popular, he'll be dead not long after. Because you know the government has a dossier on this guy.
posted by cashman at 8:50 PM on April 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


I don't think he's "skeptical" about 9/11. In fact, he seems to have no doubt whatsoever.
posted by weinbot at 8:59 PM on April 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


Y'know, cashman, if I was trying to make someone seem like a thoughtful political interlocutor I probably wouldn't link to an interview they did with RT.com.

Because you know the government has a dossier on this guy.

Yeah, but only because they have a dossier on everyone. Dudes with a fondness for half-baked Maoism (but no ability to check their own ignorant macho shit) are a buck a dozen.
posted by regicide is good for you at 9:06 PM on April 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


Well at the time of the video, he talked about it, and specifically says he's not one to be a conspiracy theorist, but. Again, even given that, the guy is awesome in multiple ways, if flawed in multiple ways. Here's another interview with him at OWS.
posted by cashman at 9:06 PM on April 12, 2012


If there is going to be a Technique thread, this interview has to be linked.

Here's another interview with him at OWS.


...both from R[ussia]T[oday], the Kremlin's even-more-batshit Fox News equivalent.

No thanks.
posted by Sys Rq at 9:23 PM on April 12, 2012


Say what you will about RT, but some of their correspondents did really great reporting at the height of OWS stuff last fall. Of course, very little of it made the RT airwaves...

I don't much care for IT, really. He's a goon and a cornball. His whole style and sound is--and has been--really tired. Plus he talks hella tough until some dude from the internet shows up and throws him down the stairs at Fat Beats (this actually happened! Not to laugh at assault, but a gun-talking rapper that looks like Mario getting tossed by a little dude from the internet has a sort of sweet ironic justice to it...).
posted by broadway bill at 11:56 PM on April 12, 2012


A rapper exaggerated his toughness in his lyrics?

Now I'm starting to wonder if all those competing MCs were such suckers after all.
posted by Trurl at 5:20 AM on April 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


I don't really care for IT. I think half the stuff he says is nonsense that vaguely sounds revolutionary, and so people buy into it. But my real problem with him is his misogyny, his homophobia, (as someone stated before). He is also tremendously violent*; unnecessarily so, in my opinion. He almost seems to glorify it. His whole vibe just doesn't sit sell with me.

*super duper trigger warning. I was stuck in a car when this song came on, and didn't have the nerve to ask to shut it off. It was a terrible experience, to say the least.
posted by FirstMateKate at 5:50 AM on April 13, 2012


He is also tremendously violent*; unnecessarily so, in my opinion.

He definitely does it for effect. I agree with you. You can hear in some of the stuff. I'm trying to think of one of the lines that did the same for me as it did for you - I'm just like wow, that was clearly over the top. But graphic language and images in moves and music aren't new to me, so I'm not sweating it that hard. I still think back to when I heard Assassins by the original members of the Geto Boys, and when I used to count the people Arnie shoots or kills in Commando (something like 112). It is all "entertainment", but kind of sick, right?
posted by cashman at 7:03 AM on April 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


I don't know if I can think of any emcees that pass both all the lefty litmus tests and all the hip-hop ones.
posted by box at 9:13 AM on April 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


I don't know if I can think of any emcees that pass both all the lefty litmus tests and all the hip-hop ones.
posted by box at 9:13 AM on April 13 [1 favorite +] [!]


I don't know if this comment was even partially directed at me, but I'm going to comment on it like it was.

There's two points you're making [at least how I take it] with that statement. The first and most obvious is that IT can't please us "leftys" because he's trying to get cred in the hip hop world. And, yeah, you're right. There are always going to be a lot of subjects in hip hop that won't go over well with everyone. And yes, I'm a bit upset that he graphically, and in detail, narrates the brutal rape of a woman. In that same song, he outlines how there's this constant struggle within hip hop and gangs to prove how "hard" you are. I agree with Cashman's statement that it seems like it's just for effect. Which is even more unsettling. He's super violent for the sake of proving he can be violent. To me, that's unnecessary, and also a bit irritating and juvenile.

That brings us to the second point, which is only sort of implied in your statement. That he has to do one or the other; either please the leftys or act hard for the hip hop scene. Personally, I'd find him much more appealing if he did neither.


Tl;dr: I agree, you can't appease both sides. A lot of what makes his violence so unnecessary isn't that it's too graphic, but the fact that it's for show, and therefore only for the sake of its self. I wasn't asking IT to do a better job of appeasing the leftys, I was more trying to say that I'd like him better if he'd stop doing such an over-the-top job of trying to come off as tough.
posted by FirstMateKate at 10:05 AM on April 13, 2012


I'd like him a whole lot more if it weren't for the misogyny and the homophobia...I don't care that he's a truther. Not many MCs have the integrity to not sell out, and i like that he runs his own label and never tones down his rhetoric as unpleasant as some of it is.
posted by schyler523 at 10:23 AM on April 13, 2012


I don't know if I can think of any emcees that pass both all the lefty litmus tests and all the hip-hop ones.

I know you were kidding. But for those playing along at home, lif is kind of a watered down technique, no? I feel bad saying that because I almost like lif more than I do Immortal Technique.

He's super violent for the sake of proving he can be violent. To me, that's unnecessary, and also a bit irritating and juvenile.

I get what you're saying, and I do think he overuses it for the shock value (or maybe there is some kind of point to it), but this is not uncommon in hip hop. Or the entertainment industry. Anybody want tacos with Ice-T? And then after a while you can head to the office and get some work done. It's entertainment. But kinda sick right?
posted by cashman at 11:35 AM on April 13, 2012


I'm kinda half-kidding. What do they call that, kidding on the square?

Two other things I'm kinda saying: first, both hip-hop and leftist politics have a lot of arbiters of purity, and these folks can set very high standards.

And, second: even though I can't put my finger on what it is, there just might be something in one or both of those sets of high standards that makes them mutually exclusive.
posted by box at 2:14 PM on April 13, 2012


Dude flows like a dry riverbed.
posted by cuban link flooded jesus at 5:47 AM on April 15, 2012


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