By September 19, 2011

“It’s all about the lyrics,” my brother’s roommate said in reference to Immortal Technique.

This was five years ago. Roomie was a nice guy, but stereotypical rap fan — even had 2pac and Scarface posters on his wall. So, I assumed Immortal Technique was just another gangster rapper.

Boy, was I wrong.

A few weeks ago, my brother’s new roommate introduced me to Immortal Technique. I finally listened and was blown away.

“Dance With the Devil” was what sold me. It’s a hyper-realistic tale of a young thug moving up ranks, from selling drugs to committing truly evil acts to live the “glamorous” life.
The final M. Night Shyamalan twist caught me off guard and honestly freaked me out. I can’t remember a song ever affecting me so deeply.

“It’s just shock rap,” my brother said. But like me years ago, he hasn’t given it chance.

Felipe Andres Coronel, 33, aka Immortal Technique, was born in Peru, of Afro-Peruvian descent, and raised in Harlem. His lyrics focus primarily on class struggle, poverty, religion, government and institutional racism.

Like my favorite, West Coast independent rap crew Living Legends, Immortal Technique
retains control over his productions, stating, “Record companies, not artists themselves, profit the most from mass production and marketing of music.”

Newbies to rap probably aren’t ready for Immortal Technique. While he uses extremely intelligent wordplay, he has a tendency to go far out, into surreal territory, that’s shocking, and just plain weird.

But he also gets deeply personal, and will hit you in the gut with a line like-

“My mother told me that placing my faith in God was the answer,
But then I hated God cause he gave my mother cancer.”

I’ve learned the error of my ways, and am working on my misconceived notions. Not just in music and the arts, but with people and in life.

The confrontational, socialist, vegan rap duo, Dead Prez, was recently seen eating at The Sugar Plum Cafe in Sacramento (both the group and restaurant I highly recommend!) I respect Dead Prez for promoting a healthy lifestyle and being real.

I’ll leave you with their words, from my all-time favorite rap song, “Hip-Hop”-

“In the real world
It’s bigger than all these fake ass records
where po-po got the millions
and my woman’s disrespected”

“My word of advice to you is just relax
Just do what you got to do
If that don’t work than kick the facts.”

“If you a fighter, rider, lighter, flame igniter, crowd exciter, Or wanna just get high
Then just say it.”

“But then if you a liar-liar, pants on fire
Wolf Cry agent with a wire
I’m going to know it when I play it.”

“It’s bigger than Hip-hop.”

Landon Christensen

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