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 Techs 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: Its actually been four.AllHipHop.com: Four years, and change, since the last joint, whats 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. Im much more of a prolific writer now cause I have so many things that Ive 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 theres a lot of work being done.I feel blessed to be one of the type of people that hasnt 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 thats something that relates to the work that Ive done personally. Ive recently been working with an organization called Omeid [Omeid International]. Im working on building an orphanage in Afghanistan and working with some people to raise money for childrens 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 Im doing this thing called the Police State Chronicles. Just because I havent been coming out with records or an album Ive 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, its been the fact that I live for revolution not for the raping of the culture like other people, so Im 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, weve got all these songs and none of these are about Revolutionary Vol. 3 stuff, they all revolve around whats 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 youve been putting in thats what created The 3rd World, this isnt 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 wasnt 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 elses beat to rhyme over it.AllHipHop.com: Whats Green Lanterns 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 oclock 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 its a little more than half the records they produced and thats why it has the same kind of feel like Revolutionary but its 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 Im 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 dont 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, theyre both done literally. Like, theyre 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 dont 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 theres a lot of things thats 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 hes gonna get elected and Americas gonna be a great place for black people. Were just gonna have to cut that revolutionary vein in our hearts and integrate into America, you know s**t like that. And Im just like you know all this stuff theyre proposing doesnt really sound like the end all solution to everything and we dont want to lose our struggle in conformity.AllHipHop.com: Speaking of the candidates is there a particular one dare I say that youre endorsing?Immortal Technique: No, Im not going to endorse nobody because anybody who I endorse on the Democratic side Im 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 theres so much conspiracy theory and theres no overwhelming conspiracy theory; I mean [like] DEA agents havent actually been caught bringing in drugs to this country, theres been dictators for years that had worse human rights records than the places we like to criticize like Cuba and China.
I dont 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. Thats a big difference.
AllHipHop.com: And its 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 Wrights 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 dont think any of those things are false. [laughs] I dont 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. Thats a big difference.AllHipHop.com: Rapper or activist, which are you first?Immortal Technique: Im a revolutionary. Before anything else, a revolutionary.
Political rapper tell me one rappers career that doesnt have politics introduced to it and Ill 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 Im wrong.Immortal Technique: Youre 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 dont 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 Id really like to address peoples issues in general around the country. And its funny because when people look at stuff that I do theyre 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 whats going on in the hood because Im still there. Im not living in Hollywood or some s**t like that, I dont have a gigantic mansion in Beverly Hills. I walk around Harlem everyday. When Im 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 dont think they cant co-exist its 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. Its not just quote unquote political or revolutionary because that dudes a political rapper. No, I just rap about life and you wanna talk about politics, dog the reason why someone whos reading this and is not signed, if youre an artist right now and youre talented and youre not signed either to an independent distributor or put on, or not at the majors or whatever its because of politics. Its because someone has a better political relationship because there are plenty of people who are mainstream and dont really have that much talent, that dont write their own rhymes, everything is ghost produced for them [or] they be stealing other talented peoples work for years. So the fact that youre 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 thisWhat do you know about it? homie youre not on because of politics, understand that. Thats not me taking a personal shot at you, you f***in idiot, its me exposing it for what it is when you go promote your record. Its like the Obama/Clinton campaign, reach out to super delegates, DJs. Oh yeah Ima need your backing for when my album comes out. What do you need from me; Ill hook you up. I need this or come to my show. Thats just the exchange. When you show up to places, do the meet and greets, in stores, whatever it may be, its like campaigning basically. Other things in the game are political, whos gonna produce that track of yours? Thats political. Whether or not theyre gonna clear your samples. Thats political. Whether or not they let you go out your contract. Thats political, cmon man dont f**k with me n***a, are you out of your f***in mind? Political rapper tell me one rappers career that doesnt have politics introduced to it and Ill give you a million dollars yo.