Immortal Technique live in Brighton
- By Adam Holden -
- Oct 29, 2012
Before witnessing Immortal Technique at Brighton’s Concorde 2, I thought I was a dedicated hip hop fan. Someone who knew the ins and outs of the industry and knew all of the quality artists who have spit their rhymes over the last 30 years, whether they are retired, dead or alive.
However, I found myself immersed in what always seem to be a futile debate, trying to argue with someone who finds contemporary hip hop fascinating and intriguing. My basic premise was simple, being that the game has lost its way, struggling to be innovative and bring something fresh to the genre.
Only few artists seem to be keeping it real and more importantly, pushing hip hop to new levels. There is a real element of decay in hip hop, as it has become stagnate and in decline. I keep preaching that I need something in rap to blow my mind again. Along come Immortal Technique.
I felt rather embarrassed that I could love hip hop so much and was almost oblivious to having any knowledge about the Peruvian rapper. After hearing things through the grapevine I went to see the revolutionary, only to have my mind blown.
Immortal Technique, or ‘Tech’ to the devoted fans, is of Peruvian descent but born and raised in New York, Harlem, which is clearly exposed in the accent of his voice. Reminiscent in tone and style to the likes Nas, Tech flows over the microphone with such clarity, speed and precision, there are seriously not many rappers who can match his standard.
Preaching like the teachings of KRS-One, Tech wasted no time to pass his message to the crowd, who most are aware and savvy to his lectures. Each song has a narrative put in place before being played, and being a revolutionary anti-capitalist lyricist; most of his points are noteworthy, although some are quite generic.
Being completely independent from the ‘corporate bullshit’ that runs the music industry; Tech introduced one song illustrating the predicament he found himself when trying to score a music deal for his first album.
He states that the record label loved his music and described his lyrical ability as purely unique, although made the fatal error of trying to persuade the revolutionary to take two highly political tracks off the album. His rebuttal was to put the music executive in his place and ask him a question. ‘I will take the tracks off the album if you allow me to go home and fuck your wife.’
As you can imagine, Tech never got the record deal, but the crowd went wild and he dropped one of the tracks that was asked to be omitted. Due to the instance, Tech inaugurated his own record company to release his own music free from the capitalist music labels. He has three studio albums under his belt, with another one on the way, and released his last album as a free download on the record labels website and as Tech pointed out – free of adverts too.
However, despite being a political activist and building schools in the likes of Afghanistan, one should always remember he is still an incredible rapper. After finishing his teachings, he thanked the crowd for turning out, asked the DJ for some theme music whilst he walked through the crowd and waited to meet and greet everyone who wanted to say hello.
There is hope for hip hop after all, and if hip hop is currently acephalous, Immortal Technique could prove to be the answer.
Immortal Technique - rapper, lyricist, revolutionist, activist and pure gentleman too.
By Adam Holden.
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