Immortal Technique

When Immortal Technique migrated with his family from a war-torn Peru to Harlem in the 1980’s, New York City wasn’t the ideal location for a childhood. With the crack epidemic in full swing, the resulting lawlessness had a knack for consuming the residents of the city – with Technique being no exception. By young adulthood he found himself incarcerated, however behind the steel and concrete this wayward and overly aggressive young man began an evolution. He went in a troubled youth with a penchant for fighting, and emerged a young man filled with determination, and a newfound talent – emceeing.

Technique took on a new form of anger management, the emcee battle, and entered each one he could find. Frequently victorious, he soon realized that he had a message to spread, and though battle raps were getting his reputation up, his real message would be better told on record. Using the money he saved up from battles, dead end jobs, and a generous donation from a label executive, Revolutionary Vol. 1 was born – and so was Immortal Technique’s career as an independent rapper.

The 2,500 copies of his debut LP that were pressed up ended up selling out, and soon enough it was time for a sophomore release. Now with his incendiary lyrics and menacing rhyme style earning him The Source’s “Unsigned Hype” bragging rights and a “Hip Hop Quotable,” as well as the backing of the  newly reformed Viper Records, Technique’s second album, Revolutionary Vol. 2 saw its release on a grander scale. Its singles landed at #50 on Billboard and #1 on CMJ charts, and landed Technique a nationwide tour. His politically charged message went from the underground battles of New York City to stages worldwide, gaining him fans and notoriety.

Choosing to give back to society, Technique began to focus on activism – he bought farmland in his native Peru and worked with organizations focusing on prison, immigrant, and youth rights. Around the same time his street album with DJ Green Lantern, The 3rd World, was released in 2008, he also announced his own writing contest for high school children and his plans to finance and build an orphanage in Afghanistan. All three ventures were successful, as The 3rd World has sold around 80,000 units and the orphanage has since been completed. To date, Immortal Technique’s albums have moved over 250,000 units.

The coming months have a lot in store for Immortal Technique, who has been hard at work preparing his next two albums, The Middle Passage and Revolutionary Vol. 3. But before any of those happen, he’s trying some new things. The (R)evolution Of Immortal Technique, a documentary featuring Ice-T, Chuck D, Cornel West, Woody Harrelson, KRS1, and other notable figures which he co-produced, will premiere in September 2011, at the Harlem Film Festival while Technique is touring the country with Rock The Bells. In addition to the documentary, a free project consisting of original, unreleased material will be debut in the form of The Martyr, if Technique fans need something to hold them over until the long-awaited Middle Passage sees the light of day.  Though Technique’s work has

managed to not only relay his message to the masses but help others in need as well, perhaps the biggest message that his previous and future works will tell is one of inspiration. He stands as proof that one need not rely on the backing of a major label or fit a mold dictated by fad and marketability to find success. One can, in fact, be independent and end up just as successful while maintaining the one theme prevalent in all of his music – freedom.

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