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Album of the Week: “Revolutionary Vol. 2” by Immortal Technique


Immortal Technique
Revolutionary Vol. 2 
Viper Records

By: Gus Navarro

The revolutionary stance of Immortal Technique is set from the very start on his 2003 album, Revolutionary Vol. 2, as it begins with an introduction form Mumia Abu-Jamal. From there, Immortal uses his music to discuss history, the international drug trade, politics, institutional racism, terrorism, capitalism, the music industry, the media and religion. With Revolutionary Vol. 2, Immortal Technique points out contradictions embedded in American political rhetoric, and comes down hard on the Bush Administration. Given the year this album was released, there is much we can learn about the tumultuous years that followed the attacks on the World Trade Center. Beyond that, it becomes clear that there are still gross inequities and oppression that exist, not just in the United States, but also across the globe. With Revolutionary Vol. 2, Immortal Technique forces the listener to reflect on these global problems that have an impact on our lives.

This is evident on the third track, “Peruvian Cocaine.” With help from Pumpkinhead, Diabolic, Tonedeff, Poison Pen, Loucipher and C-Rayz Walz the complexities of the international drug trade are revealed. Immortal Technique begins rapping from the perspective of an exploited field worker who harvests the coca plant because there is no other source of income. “I’m on the border of Bolivia, working for pennies / Treated like a slave, the coca fields have to be ready” and later, “Dreaming about revolution, looking at my machete / But the workload is too heavy to rise up in arms.” From there we hear from Pumpkinhead, rapping from the perspective of the South American drug lords that have the financial influence to pay off the police. “I got the power to shoot a copper, and not get charged /And it would be sad to see your family in front of a firing squad.” From there, each MC provides a different perspective from the various individuals involved in the complicated cocaine industry that oppresses, kills and makes people rich. As Immortal Technique explains at the end of the song, “The story just told is an example of the path that drugs take on their way to every neighborhood, in every state of this country. It’s a lot deeper than the niggas on your block.” I can hear Clarke Peter’s character from The Wire, Lester Freamon, advising McNulty to follow the money.

Following “Peruvian Cocaine,” Immortal Technique transitions from talking about the international business of the drug trade to the people of Harlem, New York. On “Harlem Streets” he reveals a neighborhood that is demoralized and struggling. As Immortal Technique laments, the citizens of Harlem are not to blame for this unfortunate situation, but rather the long history of racial subjugation in the United States. This song is an example of hip-hop being used to give voice to an under-represented community that is not taken into account in the predominantly Euro-American culture of the United States.

After “Harlem Streets” comes “Obnoxious,” “The Message & The Money,” “Industrial Revolution” and “Crossing The Boundary” where Immortal Technique demonstrates his abilities as an MC in all of his political incorrectness and reveals the exploitative nature of the music industry. Up to this point, Revolutionary Vol. 2 is up close and personal, providing crucial social, political and economic analysis.

On “The 4th Branch,” the content of this album is taken to the next level. With this track, Immortal Technique calls into question the narrative of the media based on the history of foreign and domestic policies of the United States. As he points out in the first verse, “Indigenous holocaust and the home of the slaves / Corporate America, dancin’ offbeat to the rhythm / You really think this country never sponsored terrorism? / Human rights violations, we continue the saga / El Salvador and the contras in Nicaragua.” And then in the second verse, “Embedded correspondents don’t tell the source of the tension /And they refuse to mention, European intervention /Or the massacres in Jenin, the innocent screams / U.S. manufactured missiles, and M-16’s.” Immortal Technique is revealing the highly contested history and imperialist ideology that is not a part of the history we learn. The dominant narrative is about the valiant, Euro-American triumphs. As Immortal Technique makes clear, these “triumphs” have been at the expense of Native Americans, African-Americans, Latinos, the Chinese, poor whites, women and Arabs. It becomes essential to seek out alternate versions of our history. This way it is possible to have a more accurate understanding of the past.

On Revolutionary Vol. 2, Immortal Technique uses hip-hop to challenge the institutions of oppression within the walls of our world. He presents a different version of history and image of the world we live in. In doing this, he makes it possible not to depend on only one narrative and encourages people to seek out multiple sources and versions of history, and current events. When people have a more complete understanding of history from multiple sources, it truly becomes possible to work for a better future. Ultimately, Immortal Technique’s music is more than revolutionary, it is educational.


“Peruvian Cocaine”

“Harlem Streets”

“4th Branch”

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United Inequality of America: A Personal Story by Victor Anderson


By: Victor Anderson

Nearly 50 years later we are still feeling the ripples from the civil rights movement, but according to the film, Back to the Future, we should be extremely advanced by now. Sadly, life rarely reflects the perfection of cinema.

Even though the concept of equality is a simple one, it appears to be a word that not many people understand. The fact that this is still a huge issue is ludicrous.

Prejudices and stereotypes are often comical and playful topics amongst the youth of America because most of the kids telling the jokes don’t have to deal with these kinds of problems. They don’t get frightened looks from their peers when walking late on campus. They don’t have to deal with others mocking the accent of their immigrant relatives. If you are not a minority, you simply blend in—-that is unless you are surrounded by minorities in one particular instance.

The media doesn’t seem to help the cause either. Through television, films, magazines, advertisements and whatever else, people are becoming brainwashed into identifying others based on physical appearance and lumping them into whatever group that they feel one belongs in. People think that just because one person who looks a certain way is associated with a particular lifestyle that all people who look that way must be associated with it as well. Ultimately, that is ignorance and there is nothing blissful about being misinformed.

Here is the norm: straight, Caucasian and male. But if you simply splash some color on the skin it becomes a completely different story. Why is that? It is simply mind boggling that a mass majority of people on this planet haven’t realized that skin tone is absolutely irrelevant to the actual human being that you are. The word “race,” is totally unnecessary in terms of classifying people because the only race is the human one.

Unfortunately, the color of people’s skin isn’t the only divider of equality in this country. Being a female is also an issue and so is being anything but heterosexual. But the feminist movement and the LGBT movement is steadily on the rise to reach their goal of acceptance and equality.

These are problems that are currently on this writer’s mind because an incident concerning similar issues occurred to him. The night was April 12, 2013 and I was near Central Charlotte (I live in Charlotte, North Carolina). This is how I was dressed that night:


So, me and some buddies were in this part of town that is littered with bars, venues and restaurants. Our plan was to bar hop and to eventually get food. We went to a couple of places and ended up at a joint called The Blind Pig. The entire night I was dressed like I am above and I was equipped with my backpack—something I have with me often. It has my rhyme book in there, some novels just in case I get bored, writing utensils, condoms, rolling tobacco and other miscellaneous things. I’d rather have them and not need them, than need them and not have them.

Anyways, we end up leaving The Blind Pig to go get hot dogs. We soon return to meet with friends who were still there. We left again to get pastries at a bakery and returned once more. We were going to go in and get our peoples and leave to go to a party. I left my backpack in the car. We enter The Blind Pig and they’re gone, so we were about to leave. Suddenly, I get approached by a guy asking where my backpack is. I tells him that I don’t got it, it’s in the car.

“You gotta go,” he says. I was confused but luckily we were leaving anyway or so I thought.

I head outside and I thought the dudes I rode with were behind me but when I exit the bar and look back, they’re gone. I question if I should go back in because I had been kicked out (for no reason) but I couldn’t just stand there. I approach the door guy who originally stamped my hand to get in and let me and my buddies back in every time that we came back.

Then a small, sweaty man with glasses and beady eyes, the manager, walked up and stared at me. I kindly greeted him and he ignored me and told me I had to leave. Of course, I question him and he tells me that I look like a drug dealer. A goddamn drug dealer of all things. I ask him how and apparently it was the coat, hat and backpack I was wearing. Also, I was talking to people and being social. These are totally justified reasons to kick someone out of your establishment (sarcasm).

I thought he was joking, but he wasn’t and there was obviously no reasoning with him. I couldn’t go back in to get my friends, I had to leave and I was treated like he had actually caught me dealing drugs.

You see, we live in a mad world where things like this still happen to people. Was it because of my hair or my skin tone? I don’t know. But he had eyes on me the entire time I was there and I reaped the consequences for committing the crime of being myself.

And that’s the fucked up part about all of this judgmental nonsense. People are discriminating against other people based on aspects of their life that they have no control of. You can’t change who you are and you shouldn’t have to because you didn’t do anything wrong. It’s society that needs to get its head out of its abysmal ass.

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