Music, etc.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Immortal Technique

Who is my favorite rapper out there? A few weeks ago I would have said Ghostface, the most consistantly good rapper maybe of all time. With yet another cd coming out this week (I'm so excited), Ghostface has been delevering an album every two years ever since I can remember (and two in this year alone).

A few weeks ago, however, while in a complete rap phase, I began downloading some rap cds and give artists a try when one artist, who I had only been familiar with through the absolutly haunting song "Dance with the Devil" really stood out. The artist, as most of you probably have at least heard of, is Immortal Technique. Ever since that fateful day of hearing Revolutionary Vol. 2 in its entirity, my experiences with music have greatly changed.

A lot of people generalize about rap and say it is made by no-talent hacks looking to make a quick buck. This is mainly due to the fact that most main-stream rap is just awful. Hearing bands like Creed though don't make me say that all Rock is awful, so I wish people would look at it from a different perspective and quit being so ignorant. If more people were to pick up an Immortal Technique song--or just a lyric sheet--they would not be able to deny its lyrical brillance. As far as lyrics go for me, Immortal is the best rap writer of all time. With only two full albums and a few mix-tape tracks under his belt, things can only get better for him.

Nothing is safe when Immortal gets a hold of it: religious groups, the government and even his own neighbors get a tatse of Tech's venom when the beat is playing. His best work though, comes from his extensivly researched governmental bashes including personal favorite "The 4th Branch" in which Tech spits:

Embedded correspondents don't tell the source of the tension
And they refuse to even mention, European intervention

Or the massacres in Jenin, the innocent screams
U.S. manufactured missles, and M-16's
Weapon contracts and corrupted American dreams

Media censorship, blocking out the video screens
A continent of oil kingdoms, bought for a bargain

Democracy is just a word, when the people are starvin'

At the end of the song, Tech sends a message to his people on the streets, people of all ages and races, by asking them to stop watching the news, stop watching these lies, and pick up a book and read. Don't depend on the talking television heads for information, read and find it out for yourself.

Corperations are another thing that he just can't understand. This is once again a point that he is dead on with. His words are not something that would come out of a cd with a major lable on the cover. I'm glad he has not sold out, only to produce records that are only half of his true potetential like other rappers. In stead Tech "cuts out the middle man" by releasing the records on the company to which he is the president, Viper Records. In the song "Freedom of Speech" explains his success just by distributing himself:

Fuck a middle man, I won't pay anyone else
I'll bootleg it and sell it to the streets myself
I'd rather be that than signed and stuck on a shelf

And because of this executives try to diss me
Racism frozen in time like Walt Disney

And now they say they wanna get me signed to the majors
If I switch up my politics and change my behavior

Try to tell me what to rhyme about over the beat
Bitch niggas that never spent a day in the street

Thats another thing about Technique, he could have easily been corupted by the inner city life, but Tech speaks for a different perspective. Sure, he's been in gangs, spent time in jail and has definatly "sent some people to heaven" but to quote Pac, "that's just the way it is." Who am I to say he is a bad man for doing anything in his life, when all I've had thoughout life is the suburban lifestyle. I am a "Bitch nigga who has never spent a day in the street" so why turn around and get angry with him for decisions he has made?

On one concert that I got my hands on, Tech explains to the crowd that he isn't trying to portray a shetto you see in the movies or on TV, where the good times flow just like the cocaine; he wants to show the ghetto where your whole family can die in one night and you could get raped walking home from work. Tech is at least giving a brutal, real-life version of the place he has lived for the majority of his life. The media down-plays the struggles that go on everyday by instead glamorizing a horrific world; they don't even offer a way to fix it.

That leads to another point that is apparent is Tech's raps: classism. "I don't want to escape the plantation I want to come back, free all my people, hang the Mother-Fucker that kept me there and burn the house to the god damn ground. I want to take over the encomienda and give it back to the people who work the land," is found in the non-rapping track, "The poverty of philosophy." It seems as though that the people living in inner cities, who are working their asses off day by day just to get by, are not in the slightest way represtented. Even when someone rises from thses conditions to make money, most of that money goes to getting the latest car or the biggest house. This is the reason Immortal doesn't rap about material objects, it also helps to be intelligent, somthing to which he can definatly say.

Listen to some intelligent rap from one of the most insightful guys out there. And dont worry about downloading it with lyrics like, "Burn it off the internet and bump it outside," I'm sure he won't mind. But if your going to listen, pull some ideas out of it instead of just some fo the great beats. So, by all means, bump this shit outside:


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