Saturday, August 23, 2008

Immortal Technique: Up Close Review

“Without economic sovereignty there is no political sovereignty”

That was the crux of Immortal Technique’s closing spiel at the emcee’s Thursday afternoon Slowtrain performance and signing. Not your typical hip-hop commentary, but Tech is not your typical hip-hop artist.
A liberal-arts understanding of econ and poli-sci isn’t necessary to appreciate this rabidly independent artist out of Harlem, but it definitely helps. On his most recent release, The Third World, he and his crew, including Rebel Armz, (on hand for opening duties and back-up), tackle geo-political issues like war, famine, and poverty with driving, antagonistic rhymes and martial beats by DJ Green Lantern.
Tech is a left-wing militant, a true-believer armed with a microphone instead of an AK only because of circumstances. If he’d grown up in rural Columbia instead of Manhattan, we’d probably be seeing him on the evening news, masked and brandishing an assault rifle next to a French journalist hostage. I mean that in the best possible way.
The show itself was in concentrated form, with a song each from the afore-mentioned duo Rebel Armz and Diabolic, self-described soldiers in Immortal Technique’s rebel army.
Tech himself took the stage, or rather, the corner of the store, with intense delivery to laptop canned beats, opening with an old favorite, but quickly segueing into a too-small handful of tracks off the new record. The reconstituted nature of the performance was excusable considering the rumors that the crew thought they were just coming in for a signing, with the performance getting slapped together at the last minute. Prepared or not, the entire entourage brought their best once they had their mics, spitting with conviction to the enraptured sub-cultural hodge-podge with the good sense to show up.
Tech is the kind of guy who can actually get away with wearing one of those Che Guevara shirts. He’s not only a performer, but also a self-styled educator and rabble-rouser, so the crowd got a few well-rehearsed but impassioned lessons along with their music on Thursday. I, for one, was convinced. The revolution may not be televised, but I will be able to bob my head to it.
(Rob Tennant)


  1. Che Guevara was a mass murderer that ushered in a communist police state you f-ing idiot.

  2. I will never understand how someone can preach against tyranny, then advocate of communism, socailism; the two best forms of Government for all out tyranny.

  3. really and capitalism is a primo governmental system for everyone

  4. Well at least he speaks his mind instead of wanking about rather communism or capitalism is best. Both sucks, and if you like any of em; you suck to.

  5. You all are hearing the wrong shit. read about Collectivism and how it affects the on the internet instead of watching and reading stories hashed up by an editor that already has a biased view and opinion.

  6. communism is not bad nor socialism. Human nature naturally corrupts the system to where pefect equality is made impossible. However that being said capitalism is far worse due to its encouraging of people to lie, cheat, and steal in order to climb a latter of succes at the expense of others livelihood. Any system that supports the rights of billionaires over the rights of the average joe is no system of mine.

  7. Communism is a society where no classes rule over others. If you think the eastern block was socialist anti-capitalist, meaning Workers Controlled their own Production, you should read a book. No complete country has been communist, as no country has been a society controlled by the workers. But if the option is whether to choose between capitalist imperialist extortion, hunger and poverty; or to having enough to eat but live in a state capitalist state, you as well would choose the option which some propagandist from the west have called "communist".


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