The problem with dead prez is that they’re kind of stupid. If you actually listen to Hell Yeah and watch its terrible video (in concept and execution), you’re going to realize a couple things. One, their scams won’t work. Two, the video is one of the worst-conceived pieces of trash in years. That’s your revolution? Really guys?
Immortal Technique is probably just as extreme, if not more, but he’s actually got some smarts behind his eyes. The 3rd World is a mix of old tracks and new, and is a delightfully coherent taste of rebel rap. It’s still hipster and college student high on new philosphy-friendly, but there’s actual meat to it, too.
One thing Technique has over other rebel rap-types is that you can see his growth as an artist and a thinker as you follow his career. He’s adjusted his views. There’s less misogyny and homophobia than there was seven years ago. His criticisms are more focused and direct. And yes, his skill has gotten better, too.
Immortal Technique is raw rap. It isn’t a record you put on to chill with your friends and play video games. It definitely isn’t one to play when your girlfriend comes over for the weekend. It’s abrasive. It’s not as harsh as Technique’s Dance with the Devil (don’t click that), which I listened to once and then promised to never, ever listen to again, despite its quality. It was too harsh, too real, and too dark.
3rd World is more palatable, though he isn’t afraid to put the boot in. Lick Shots, with Crooked I and Chino XL, is one of those tracks that’s just three dudes going in, Reverse Pimpology is the second coming of Industry Rule 4080 (record company people are shady), and Payback features Diabolic and a much-missed Ras Kass getting back on his political grind.
I’m not even getting into Technique’s in your face rhymes. He’s very quotable, but you really can’t quote him without either getting arrested or funny looks. He just sounds angry, but in a good way. He’s urging revolution and striking back at the system. It’s something like Tupac said. “Only in Cali will we riot, not rally, so live and die.” Talking is easy. He wants to see action. He even takes aim at rappers who jump onto “conscious” songs once every couple of years on Lick Shots:
Niggas love to say “Fuck revolution!”
Until the jury come in and move for the prosecution
And them brothers act like a born-again Huey Newton
Forgot about the bullshit music they was producin
You want to have a computer nearby while listening to Technique’s 3rd World. Sometimes you have to google something he talks about just so you can know more. Tech is well-read, intelligent, and worth listening to. It’s music to get angry, or perhaps be angry, to while you drive or commute.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t point out Immortal Technique’s Beef & Broccoli, wherein he dismantles those people who think that veganism or vegetarianism is some kind of revolutionary act. Here’s a spoiler: it isn’t.