Immortal Technique: 3rd Eye Vision

Immortal Technique is a revolutionary. That title is heavy load to carry, but the Harlem born MC wears that badge with pride. A consequence of Tech’s insistence on actually walking the walk is that his fans have gone four plus long years since he dropped his last album, the searing Revolutionary, Vol. 2. Though it is not his next proper “album,” read below as to why, on June 24 we will finally get The 3rd World, which features production from Green Lantern and guests including Poison Pen and Crooked I. Before you ask, yes, the Revolutionary Vol. 3 and The Middle Passage albums are on the way. But right now, as always, Tech had some stuff to get off his chest. And please, don’t call him a political rapper.AllHipHop.com: Alright man, five years…Immortal Technique: It’s actually been four.AllHipHop.com: Four years, and change, since the last joint, what’s the hold up?Immortal Technique: [Laughs] I was touring, buying land, caught strep throat for eight months. You wanna name it…people died on me, just life in general but I mean a lot of it was… I did a lot of collaborations during that time. I rebuilt my studio. I definitely persevered a lot of personal tragedies and issues with family.But more than that I wanted to get myself situated in the position where now the music flows a lot easier. I’m much more of a prolific writer now ‘cause I have so many things that I’ve set in place in life to arrange things better. I feel like achievement is one thing but maintenance is a whole other level of this business because people can have a little hit or have some shine but in order to stay relevant and stay connected there’s a lot of work being done.I feel blessed to be one of the type of people that hasn’t put a record out in four years and change, like you said, and then be able to sell out 3,000 person venues in L.A and then do a 2,000 person venue here in New York. I mean really cause New York is like seven cities and L.A is like fifteen cities but I feel like that’s something that relates to the work that I’ve done personally. I’ve recently been working with an organization called Omeid [Omeid International]. I’m working on building an orphanage in Afghanistan and working with some people to raise money for children’s hospitals in Palestine.I worked with defamation league people, the ACLU, just different communities of individuals where I find revolutionary minded people. I worked with G.A.M.E Union, at Kickgame.com, I mean you name it, The Free Mumia Coalition, now I’m doing this thing called the Police State Chronicles. Just because I haven’t been coming out with records or an album I’ve still been doing songs here and there, you know Green Lantern mixtape here or another mixtape there, I release an exclusive joint and throw it out on iTunes. You know, keeping a pulse alive with music alive here and there much more than a full-length release date to keep me relevant, it’s been the fact that I live for revolution not for the raping of the culture like other people, so I’m not going to throw some sub-par project out there you know. I wanted to take my time and work on The Middle Passage and work on the Revolutionary Vol. 3 and then I got caught up in the lab with Green Lantern and Southpaw. Like, we’ve got all these songs and none of these are about Revolutionary Vol. 3 stuff, they all revolve around what’s going on right now with the third world in America and the way that parallels the relationship with the super powers of the record label industry and the underground, which is the third world of Hip-Hop. Immortal Technique f/ Akir & Pharoahe Monch “Apocalypse Remix”AllHipHop.com: So all the work you’ve been putting in that’s what created The 3rd World, this isn’t like outtakes from The Middle Passage?Immortal Technique: No, not at all. This is a whole other independent project, it was like a whole other train of thought; like I was building a house and I got blueprints for another house, I came up with a million different blueprints. That was basically the gist; it wasn’t like I just decided to pull a project out of nowhere.It was something and I talked to Green Lantern for awhile, we had to think about exactly how it was going to be structured, again the album itself is built like a traditional mixtape meaning one cut runs into another, just transitions every time. All the tracks are original, not like I just jacked someone else’s beat to rhyme over it.AllHipHop.com: What’s Green Lantern’s role is he like a executive producer type on the album?Immortal Technique: No, really he just worked on the music side of it, you know, stayed awake ‘til like 5 o’clock in the morning in the studio with some engineers working on the mixes, the arrangement and basically produced about a quarter of it. And on the other end, I had the brother that produced like half of Revolutionary Vol. 2, Southpaw. He produced about a quarter of the tracks as well so between him and Green Lantern it’s a little more than half the records they produced and that’s why it has the same kind of feel like Revolutionary but it’s a much more street type album. Something more like back to the battle routes that I had in the late 90s when I was a teen, but now I’m a grown man. Immortal Technique “The 3rd World”AllHipHop.com: No Doubt. Let me ask you this, Revolutionary Vol. 3, and The Middle Passage just looking ahead for a second are they…I don’t want to say on the backburner but are they still in the grand scheme of things?Immortal Technique: Where do they stand?AllHipHop.com: Yeah.Immortal Technique: Revolutionary Vol. 3 and The Middle Passage, they’re both done literally. Like, they’re half finished, some collabos already secured and recorded, some songs are even mixed down completely, some of them are half-written. Like I said the project is literally half done but I don’t know what it was it was just so relevant these times and I wanted to get this subject matter out there specifically [The 3rd World]. Because we are in a political season, because there’s a lot of things that’s at stake right now and because we have these false ideas then all of a sudden if this happens things are gonna get better. People are telling me on one side, “Oh Obama he’s gonna get elected and America’s gonna be a great place for black people. We’re just gonna have to cut that revolutionary vein in our hearts and integrate into America,” you know s**t like that. And I‘m just like you know all this stuff they’re proposing doesn’t really sound like the end all solution to everything and we don’t want to lose our struggle in conformity.AllHipHop.com: Speaking of the candidates is there a particular one dare I say that you’re endorsing?Immortal Technique: No, I’m not going to endorse nobody because anybody who I endorse on the Democratic side I’m sure the Republicans will use that and be like this revolutionary motherf***er, this n***a running around Africa and the Middle East and Latin America, you got this madman. Never of course [do they] want to deal with the factual efforts of my music. People are gonna dismiss it and there’s so much conspiracy theory and there’s no overwhelming conspiracy theory; I mean [like] DEA agents haven’t actually been caught bringing in drugs to this country, there’s been dictators for years that had worse human rights records than the places we like to criticize like Cuba and China.

“I don’t think that makes me hate America, I love this place but the difference is I love her so much I want to see her be a better person but other people just want to keep tricking her out. That’s a big difference.”

AllHipHop.com: And it’s on the record and documented too.Immortal Technique: Absolutely. I understand how these politics are structured and I really know that political allegiances are going to be used against people in the same way that Reverend Wright’s thing was used against [Obama] even though Reverend Wright just said that the genocidal task of killing Native Americans and the slavery that America was based were eternal stains on the soul of this country and that the country was run by white people; I don’t think any of those things are false. [laughs] I don’t think that makes me hate America, I love this place but the difference is I love her so much I want to see her be a better person but other people just want to keep tricking her out. That’s a big difference.AllHipHop.com: Rapper or activist, which are you first?Immortal Technique: I’m a revolutionary. Before anything else, a revolutionary.

“Political rapper…tell me one rapper’s career that doesn’t have politics introduced to it and I’ll give you a million dollars yo.”

AllHipHop.com: Now how does that affect the music that you put out? Not as far as your concepts or content your involvement in all the initiatives you mentioned earlier must take up a lot time. That has to eat into the time that you have to make your music? Correct me if I’m wrong.Immortal Technique: You’re right, it does. It really does. For a long time I struggled with that. I thought that I had to do one or the other. Like I have to focus on this revolutionary stuff and on the other hand I was like, “Music, I gotta make money, what the hell am I doing running around doing all this.” They don’t have to work against each other; they can work for each other. The people that I help them can help me. They can help those issues I go to those communities, those they can in turn help promote my music and my message, so it has a symbiotic relationship that has assisted a community building effort. In the future I’d really like to address people’s issues in general around the country. And it’s funny because when people look at stuff that I do they’re like, “Oh yeah he rhymes about a lot of political stuff.” A lot of people oversimplify. N****s talk about the hood but I actually talk about what’s going on in the hood because I’m still there. I’m not living in Hollywood or some s**t like that, I don’t have a gigantic mansion in Beverly Hills. I walk around Harlem everyday. When I’m on the way to the A train I can see the gentrification. I see them kicking us out of our own neighborhood and these modern day slaves thinking they was gonna come in and make the ghetto better…’til they started deporting, U-hauling s**t.I don’t think they can’t co-exist it’s just difficult to balance stuff until you realize that these people are working for the same things that you are, you just do it in terms of Hip-Hop. It’s not just quote unquote political or revolutionary because that dude’s a political rapper. No, I just rap about life and you wanna talk about politics, dog the reason why someone who’s reading this and is not signed, if you’re an artist right now and you’re talented and you’re not signed either to an independent distributor or put on, or not at the majors or whatever it’s because of politics. It’s because someone has a better political relationship because there are plenty of people who are mainstream and don’t really have that much talent, that don’t write their own rhymes, everything is ghost produced for them [or] they be stealing other talented people’s work for years. So the fact that you’re not on…and you might be reading this and you might feel a little bit of anger towards me like why the f**k is he saying this—“What do you know about it? —homie you’re not on because of politics, understand that. That’s not me taking a personal shot at you, you f***in idiot, it’s me exposing it for what it is when you go promote your record. It’s like the Obama/Clinton campaign, reach out to super delegates, DJs. “Oh yeah I’ma need your backing for when my album comes out. What do you need from me; I’ll hook you up. I need this or come to my show.” That’s just the exchange. When you show up to places, do the meet and greets, in stores, whatever it may be, it’s like campaigning basically. Other things in the game are political, who’s gonna produce that track of yours? That’s political. Whether or not they’re gonna clear your samples. That’s political. Whether or not they let you go out your contract. That’s political, c’mon man don’t f**k with me n***a, are you out of your f***in mind? Political rapper…tell me one rapper’s career that doesn’t have politics introduced to it and I’ll give you a million dollars yo.

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