Peace, thanks for taking some time to answer these questions. How is your current situation in Harlem?
It’s peace. I’m moving a lot of units in the hood.
Not too many over here have heard of you yet, so please introduce yourself to the people in Germany.
My name is Immortal Technique. I’m Peruvian and Black. I was born in a Military hospital in South America. I came to the US when I was about 3. And I lived in Harlem since then. I went to jail came out and won a lot of MC battles here in NYC then I started making noise with some underground HipHop releases…I rocked over at every spot that I could. I got the Unsigned Hype and then when I released Vol.2 I got the HipHop Quotable and started getting more and more spins. Cuz if I didn’t none of ya’ll would have even asked me to be here being interviewed.
What were the reasons for you to call yourself “Immortal Technique” as an MC? Could you give an explanation?
I used to call myself Technique. But then something happened and I called myself Immortal Technique after that.
How and when did you get involved in rhyming and Hip Hop in general? What were your early influences in music?
I could always rhyme. It was just something I had to perfect in terms of flow and hookwriting…I don’t think anyone really influenced me I came up with my own shit, but I grew up listening to lots of different types of music.
What are you listening to right now? What’s in heavy rotation?
Classical, Jazz, and some old school R&B, Ottis Redding, Al Green. In terms of HipHop, EricB &Rakim, Gangstarr, KRS, Slick Rick, Kool G Rap, the shit I grew up listening too basically…Heavy rotation, just pretty much my peeps shit.
Are there any artists that are really impressing you nowadays? What artists would you like to work with at this moment of time?
I don’t want to work with anyone. I just work with whoever is down with what I am down with and whoever is a real muthafucka. The question is not who I will feature with…But who will feature on my album.
What do you think about Hip Hop being the leading part of the POP culture? At the moment the charts are dominated by Hip Hop songs that’s club compatible…
I like to dance, and there’s a place for everything.
How do you think Hip Hop will develop within the next decade?
It will become more abstract, more independent, more commercialized and watered down, it will become richer and poorer, more Revolutionary and more conservative…basically it will be used as tool for more people to express their ideas. It will expand in every direction…To every nation.
What’s your process for choosing a beat to rhyme to? Is there a certain criteria that it has to follow?
It has to fit the conceptuality of the project. And it has to be hot, don’t send me throw away beats…Or I’m gonna throw away your beats.
As far as I know, “Revolutionary Vol. 3″ will be released in 2005 – could you give us some information about the album concerning possible producers and guest appearances? There are some rumors spreading around that Bronze Nazareth will be providing some beats.
First off, never believe internet rumors, they’re usually not true and mostly corny started by nerds and little kids. As for Bronze Nazareth and me doing something …Maybe, it really depends on what we work out but he sent me some fuckin’ disgusting beats, I mean they were ill. We just have to finish the business side of things. I am an honest muthafucka, I tell it like it is.
What other projects can we expect from you in the near future?
Another album/ep/mixtape and then Vol.3.
I know that you’re down with the Stronghold Crew. Can you give us any news on this?
There is a Stronghold mixtape coming out right now, I think probably sometime next month, in the meantime everyone is working on some of their own stuff.
Has anyone tried to ban your music or told you to calm down in your lyrics?
Sure, but it doesn’t work. I’m my own boss, I answer to no one but God.
In “Obnoxious” you’ve taken a shot at 50 Cent by modifying a line from “Wanksta” – “Damn homie, in high school I beat the shit outta you and your man homie” What was the reason for that side blow?
It wasn’t a shot at 50 Cent at all..I’m not big on subliminal disses, if I say something about you, believe me muthafucka you’ll know who the fuck I am talking about…And I’ll call you before hand. Only pussy ass niggaz who don’t know shit about the street beef for no reason. I just modified the line and used it for my own reasons. I have no reason to hate on 50 or anyone else that made it by being smart and looking at the market. That’s what it takes to get out of the hood and to reach a level of success that goes beyond music.
A lot of your fans have been wondering, if the story behind “Dance With The Devil” is true or not, so please let them know.
It’s true, in the sense that it happened. Things like that happen all the time. It’s become an urban legend. Sometimes the story is a little different it’s someone’s aunt, or sister, or cousin or girlfriend…But I was not on the roof. I can write songs, so I wrote a song about something that happened and the people I knew who were involved and all died…
Are you into reading? If yes, what are your favorite books and authors?
I like reading anything and everything…I mean history, fiction, nonfiction, mystery, magazines, I lived in prison and I read whatever I could cuz there wasn’t a lot of freedom to get my hands on new literature. So now I am free to read anything I want to, and I do when I have the time.
Which historical events significantly impacted your ideas and theories regarding revolution and changing the world?
Do you think people get better informed about political verities and incidents if they listen to your album – different from listening to propaganda such as FOX and CNN spread all day long?
Not necessarily I can only release an album or two, these people are working day and night with new information. It’d be ignorant to assume that I have spies around that can get me updated information on shit going on, I don’t run a fuckin’ a newspaper man…What I do is put a historical perspective on what goes on not just in the hood but around the world. I mean I talk about something’s that they don’t like to mention or rather that they can’t because since they are corporate controlled
Are you a religious person? If you are not, could you explain your specific problem with it?
I’m a spiritual person, I was raised as a Christian but I am just not really into blindly following what some rich and privileged individual who has a direct interest financial and political in what my beliefs generate. I am not easily swayed in my political opinion, I rely on research and knowledge of issues not just seeing someone on TV say something or reading one book. That’s the problem I see today. That’s why I invite muthafuckaz to disagree with what I say so they have to see it for themselves.
Please tell us what you think about Donald Rumsfeld and his changeable political course…
Fuck Donald Rumsfeld, he had no problem with Sadaam “gassing his own people” when he was fighting against the Ayatolla Khomeni, he had no problem with him when the United States gave him all the chemical weapons he had. Terrorism has never been condemned by this country when it served the pentagons political agenda. But really this isn’t about Donald if he wasnt there the machine would just replace him, there’s nothing original about him, he’s just a clone a replica that was created by an ideology that although it became exicted last millenium has decided to try and have a place in society today.
What are your current thoughts about the election campaign in the US?
Kerry has to pick the best running mate in order to win. And even then Bush has raised an obscene amount of money and will therefore have more television adds, more press money to kick around and definitely have the upper hand even though he’s completely incompetent.
Is there a chance that we’ll see Immortal Technique doing shows in “old Europe”? Any plans for a tour in Germany?
I will go to Old Europe, New Europe, Western Europe, Eastern Europe…Wherever Hip Hop exists I will roll through at some point. That’s a promise.
Some words associations.
Ernesto “Che” Guevara Rebel
Thank you very much for this interview – any last words or shout-outs for the people out there?
Shout out to FoulPlay Ent, Saigon, Questchon, Poison Pen, Stronghold, Breez, C-Rayz Walz, Sean Price and Bootcamp, Jean Grae, SouthPaw, Beat Bandits, Omen, yeah, the whole Underground in NYC. My peeps The Coup, Dead Prez, Paris… DaveyD, shit this is gonna turn into an album insert. Basically… Peace.