Immortal Technique Lists His Top 5 MCs & Says A New Album Is Coming (Video)

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Immortal Technique is recognized as an MC whose music is informational and at times, extreme. The Harlem lyricist emerged during the rise of independent Hip-Hop in the early 2000s, and his politically-charged brand of Hip-Hop quickly struck a chord with fans worldwide. Further, he is widely acknowledged for his activism and charitable work in a number of second and third world countries.

AllHipHop‘s Chuck Creekmur recently conducted a nearly hour-long video interview with the Viper Records revolutionary, covering a wide variety of topics. A good portion of the chat offers a history lesson, as Tech shares information on why Eisenhower Republicans are quite different than today’s Conservatives, his beliefs that he’s been under surveillance, and why Brooklyn’s Poison Pen was a pioneer for pay-per-view Battle Rap culture.

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Towards the end of the interview, he is asked to give his “Top 5 Dead or Alive.” Creekmur qualifies that it doesn’t have to be specifically new or old MCs. The guest says, “I think though, for me, it comes down to the people who taught me the fundamentals. So, that’s who I would go off of. I would say obviously Rakim, [Big Daddy] Kane, KRS [One], [Kool] G Rap, and to close out, although I could interchange it, I would say Slick Rick.” A list of late 1980s and 1990s innovators gives proper respect to five foundational pioneers, and each entry has clearly influenced Immortal’s own sound, especially in storytelling. Notably, Tech adds that he met each of these artists, all of whom are fellow New Yorkers.

At the top of the interview, Tech addresses his upcoming album, a followup to The 3rd World, released back in 2008. “I was sitting on a bunch of songs, stuff that was from this era [and] stuff that I wrote a couple of years ago. And, all of the themes of music kept resonating with what’s going on today. I feel like that’s the difference between people who make timeless music and individuals who ambulance-chase styles or trends, or things like that,” he says before 2:00. “I never lost my love for it; I’ve been still touring. Those five years I didn’t make any new music, I did like three or four guest appearances, I did five world tours. So I’ve always been a global act; I’ve done every continent except Antarctica. But to come back, I felt like the music was so relevant for this time. I felt like it was either, what am I gonna do with these songs? Throw them away? Or, am I gonna put it down and come back. People have been harassing me, nagging me.”

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Tech also reveals what transpired behind the scenes of his life. “I’m gonna be honest with you: I really got motivated after my grandmother passed away. I had been on it here and there, seasonally, with one of the best producers in the underground, my brother Southpaw. Man, I think that really put the battery in my back, somewhere around February or March. I just said, ‘Man, I gotta leave something behind too.’ She left me something behind, and I appreciated that—a little plot of land. We’re gonna make something grow on that. It’s the same thing [with music]. I have a little plot of land where I put all these lyrics together. And what people kept telling me when they heard [the music] is that these lyrics are very different from what’s on the news. ‘Like, bar-for-bar, you’re still super nice, Technique. But bar-for-bar, these lyrics are nothing like what people discuss now.'” Later in the chat, he describes the album as “brutal.”

Tech also hints at a surprising guest list, and says that he will perform the new music on the road, starting now.