Felipe Coronel (born February 19, 1978), better known as Immortal Technique, is a hip-hop artist and political activist. He is also currently the President and A&R of Viper Records. Originally from Peru.
Many of his songs focus on social injustice, covering a wide variety of topics such as urban poverty in the US and international economic inequality (especially in Latin America), protest against the imprisonment of Mumia Abu-Jamal (who has voiced several interludes for Immortal Technique’s music), militarism and the military industrial complex in the US, media bias in favor of conservative and corporate interests, and racism (especially in regards to the mistreatment of people of color in the US).
Although he has been offered a deal with at least one major music label, he has yet to sign with any, over alleged disagreements that they have over the political content of his songs. Immortal Technique has also voiced a desire to keep control over his production, and has made statements in his music that he is very aware that it is record companies, not the artists themselves, who profit the most from mass production and marketing of music.
Immortal Technique was born Felipe Coronel in El Hospital Militar De Lima in Peru. Only living in Peru for a few years, his family came to the United States to escape the civil war and inflation that had become common in South America in the early 1980s. After emigrating to New York City, he lived in Harlem and attended Hunter High School where he was best remembered as a school bully. He frequently intimidated younger students, had several run-ins with local drug dealers and never got good grades. While he was never considered to be a significant drug dealer or gangster, people remember him as a graffiti vandal and wild young man with a violent temper who often physically assaulted others. Despite numerous run-ins with the law and almost being expelled in 1996, he still graduated high school. Though he attended college at Pennsylvania State University, it ended prematurely with him being charged and convicted for multiple counts of assault, and he was expelled in his second year. He was subsequently sent to a remote prison in the state of Pennsylvania.
During his time in prison, he studied religion, history, politics and began writing songs. After being paroled in 1999, he excelled at freestyle battles, winning several competitions in New York City and elsewhere.
In 2001, he released his first album, Revolutionary Vol. 1. In November, 2002 he was listed by Source magazine as the month’s featured “Unsigned Hype”, which highlights artists that are not signed to a recording label. The following year, in September of 2003, he received the coveted “Hip Hip Quotable” in the Source for a song entitled “Industrial Revolution” from his unreleased second album. He finally released his second album Revolutionary Vol. 2 in 2004 under Viper Records. The album has sold around 65,000 units according to soundscan figures, but estimates reach as far as 80,000 considering his large underground street distribution wing that made him famous in the NYC area.
Immortal Technique has taken the role of an activist in much of his later work. In addition to his collaborations with Mumia Abu-Jamal, he has released songs commenting on the George W. Bush administration. The single “This Revolution” was released in 2003 and expresses his views on terrorism and the Iraq War as well as his disdain for the current American neo-con government.
In the summer of 2005, the song saw an official release on a 12” vinyl single along a remix with hip hop legends Chuck D of Public Enemy and KRS-One. Immortal Technique appears (as himself) in the independent movie This Revolution which is set during the 2004 Republican National Convention in New York City and chronicles the protests surrounding the convention in a pseudo-documentary style. The movie also features fellow hip hop artist Akir in a small role. Immortal Technique’s next release, The Middle Passage,has been delayed numerous times with no date set, although a mixtape with DJ Green Lantern called “The Third World” is set to release Spring of 2008, followed by a documentary DVD that is titled “Urban Warfare” and then the third and last volume (hence Vol. 3) in the Revolutionary series.
Social and political views
Immortal Technique provides listeners of his music with his views on society and world politics, particularly American foreign policy. He tackles a myriad of modern social and political issues in his songs, addressing events such as the killing of the prominent Black Panthers member Fred Hampton by the FBI, the new world order established by the neo-conservative American government, 9/11, the shooting of Amadou Diallo by New York City Police, and the CIA backed hunt and subsequent assassination of revolutionary leader Che Guevara - to name but a few. He is far-left in political orientation, referring to himself as a “socialist guerrilla,” but refuses party affiliation.
Often questioning the policies of the U.S. government, Immortal Technique points out social inequalities, and promotes a high level of social activism and revolution. Major themes include U.S. nationalism and jingoism, the right-wing bias and censorship of the media, the death of Senator Paul Wellstone, the CIA’s mind control project MKULTRA and the use of depleted uranium by United States troops. He also suggests that the World Trade Center towers were brought down by explosives.
His interpretation of history highlights what he considers to be the oversights of American education. Referring to a comet killing dinosaurs, he does not believe that dinosaur fossils were planted by God to test our faith. He claims the Hebrews that were involved in the Exodus were black, a belief held by Black Hebrew Israelites. Aligning himself with Ivan van Sertima, he believes that African discovery of America predates that of Christopher Columbus. He raps about Mary Magdalene giving birth to the children of Jesus, a subject rarely addressed in most American households before the release of the DaVinci Code. He makes various references to the history of the Knights Templar, fueling his belief that the world’s power lies in the hands of the Freemasons. Finally, he claims that there was a newscast on September 11, 2001 that spoke of bombs planted on the George Washington Bridge. He goes on to claim that it was reported that police arrested four non Arab suspected terrorists on September 11.
Thursday, April 15, 2010
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Bookin' Bad Bitches and Flossin Mad Ice.
Every rappers dream.
So what is dis ting we call Hip Hop? Cop a squat wit some dank since you ain't got no cheese and we'll rap atcha.
Who are the people behind the music, the words, the videos?
We see the videos, we hear the songs, but who are they? Let's check it out bro'.
Roxanne Shante didn't just go to college - she got Warner Music to put her all the way through her PhD at Cornell. Coming out of Queens, New York, Shante achieved early success as a teenager with her biggest hit, 'Roxanne's Revenge.' She continued to perform with other artists through the late 1980s until she retired from music at age 25 in order to pursue a career as a psychologist.
Ludacris graduated Summa Cum Laude from Georgia State University (GSU). He got his start in Atlanta, Georgia as radio DJ Chris Lova Lova. In 2000, he and his manager co-founded Disturbing tha Peace, an imprint distributed by Def Jam, and he released his first major solo album, 'Back for the First Time.' Luda has subsequently released several hugely popular records, including the quintessential modern rap album 'Chicken-n-Beer.'
David Banner has a bachelor's degree in business from Southern University - and a master's in education from the University of Maryland. Banner, hailing from Jackson, Mississippi, achieved his first major musical success in 2003 with 'Mississippi: The Album.' His professional achievements also include acting, record producing and philanthropy. In 2006, Banner received a Visionary Award from the National Black Caucus of the State Legislature for his work after Hurricane Katrina.
Talib Kweli studied experimental theater at New York University (NYU). It's no surprise that Kweli went to college - he was raised in Brooklyn by two professors. Kweli first appeared on the rap scene in 1997, and released his debut solo album, 'Train of Thought' in 2002.
Sean Combs, better known as Puff Daddy or P. Diddy, went to Howard University. One of today's biggest rap stars, Combs has three Grammy Awards, two MTV Video Music Awards and a successful clothing line. He got his music industry start in New York City as an intern at Uptown Records, where he later became a top executive.
Paul Wall went to UH. Wall was a local boy, raised in Houston and rapping in classic deep South style. He's been affiliated with Swishahouse Records for many years, but didn't achieve widespread success until Atlantic Records released his 2005 album, 'The People's Champ.'
M.I.A. graduated from London's Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design. She's of Tamil descent, and spent her early years living in Sri Lanka. Due to political turmoil, M.I.A. and her mother and siblings became refugees in London in the late 1980s. M.I.A. started out as a visual artist, embarking on her musical career after electroclash artist Peaches introduced her to the drum machine. She rocketed to musical popularity with the single 'Galang' in 2003.
Ice Cube studied architectural drafting at the Pheonix Institute of Technology. He was raised in South Central Los Angeles, and got his musical start with legendary rap group N.W.A. Ice Cube's solo debut, 'AmeriKKKa's Most Wanted,' became an instant hit in 1990, and he's sustained a successful music and acting career ever since.
Flavor Flav graduated from Adelphi University. Flav is another old school rap legend. A founding member of the rap group Public Enemy, he hails from Long Island and began his career back in 1984.
Chuck D, another founding member of Public Enemy, got his degree in graphic design from Adelphi University. He's a New York native who's been credited as one of the earliest socially and politically conscious rappers.
Rah Digga, who's from Newark, went to the New Jersey Institute of Technology. She became famous as a member of the Flipmode Squad, a hip hop group led by Busta Rhymes. In 2007 she left the Squad on good terms to work on her solo career.
Common, formerly known as Common Sense, studied business at Florida A&M University. Hailing from Chicago, Common credits his time in Florida for exposing him to southern style hip hop. His first solo album came out in 1992, but he didn't achieve major acclaim until the early '00s, when he won two Grammies and started acting in major films.
Sabzi and Geologic, who make up Blue Scholars, met as students at the University of Washington (UW), where they were both part of The SHOW (Student Hip Hop Organization of Washington). This socially conscious hip duo has been rapping in Seattle since 2002.
E-40 studied at Grambling. He was raised in Vallejo, started rapping with Bay area rap group The Click and released his first solo album in 1993. E-40 achieved mainstream success two years later with 'In a Major Way,' and has subsequently released over ten albums.
Plies has a nursing degree. Born and raised in Florida, he started his music career as a producer with his brother on their independent label Big Gates Records. His first rap album, 'The Real Testament,' was released in 2007.
It's all about education son.