Felipe Andres Coronel (born February 19, 1978), better known by the stage name Immortal Technique, is an American rapper and political activist. He was born in Lima, Peru and raised in Harlem, New York. Most of his lyrics focus on political issues. The views expressed in his lyrics are largely a mixture of commentary on issues such as politics, poverty, religion, social class and racism.
He has been offered a deal with a Sony development plan and Def Jam Records, but he has never signed to any. Immortal Technique has voiced a desire to keep control over his production, and has stated in his music that record companies, not artists themselves, profit the most from mass production and marketing of music. The success of his decision to produce music independently can be measured by his strong and loyal fanbase, as well as claims of selling close to 200 000 units of his 3 official releases.
Coronel was born in a military hospital in Lima. His family, being of Afro-Peruvian descent, immigrated in 1980 to Harlem to escape the ongoing internal conflict in Peru. During his teenage years he was arrested multiple times due in part to what he has said was "...selfish and childish..." behavior. He attended Hunter College High School on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. Shortly after enrolling in Pennsylvania State University, he was arrested and charged with assault-related offences due to his involvement in an altercation between some fellow students and drug dealers. The charges stemming from this incident led to his being incarcerated for a year.. After being paroled, he took political science classes at Baruch College in New York City for two semesters. Admittedly, this was at the behest of his father, who allowed Technique to live with him on the condition that he go to school. Although he was able to rhyme since childhood, it was Technique's frustrations about his incarceration, sociopolitical issues and the need to provide income for his family that were the motivations driving him to think of music as a career. Honing his songwriting skills in jail, and unable to find decent wage-paying employment after his release, Technique began selling his music on the streets of New York while battling with MCs whenever the opportunity arose. This, coupled with his victories in numerous freestyle rap competitions of the New York underground hip hop scene such as Rocksteady Anniversary, Braggin Rites and others, led to his reputation as a ferocious Battle MC.
"Revolutionary", Volume 1 and 2
In 2001, Immortal Technique released his first album Revolutionary Vol. 1 without the help of a record label or distribution, instead using money earned from his rap battle triumphs. Revolutionary Vol 1 also contained the underground classic 'Dance With The Devil'. In November 2002, he was listed by The Source as the month's featured "Unsigned Hype", which highlights artists that are not signed to a record label. The following year, in September 2003, he received the coveted "Hip Hop Quotable" in The Source for a song entitled "Industrial Revolution" from his second album. Consequently, since he did not have a record deal or distribution at the time, Immortal Technique is the only rapper in history to have a "Hip Hop Quotable" while being unsigned. He released his second album Revolutionary Vol. 2 in 2003. In 2004, Viper Records and, in 2005, Babygrande Records have re-released Immortal Technique's debut, Revolutionary Vol. 1, to make it available to a wider audience. Point of No Return from Revolutionary Vol 2 was used as the entrance theme for Rashad Evans during the UFC 88 Main Event between Chuck Liddell and Rashad Evans. His second album was performed in Washington with Ali Hudair.
Immortal Technique (left) at the Roskilde Festival, 2006.
Before the presidential race in November 2004, the Immortal Technique song "Bin Laden", (also known as 'Tell The Truth') featuring Mos Def and Jadakiss (and later featuring Eminem, using backmasking) and produced by DJ Green Lantern, emerged on Shade 45: Sirius Bizness. However, it took almost half a year until it was officially released on a 12" vinyl single in the summer of 2005. The single also contained a remix of the song featuring hip-hop legends Chuck D of Public Enemy and KRS-One. The song lyrics imply that George W. Bush and previous administrations were largely responsible for the September 11, 2001 attacks. In fact, Immortal wrote on his website (9/7/05 news post), "I wrote in "The Cause of Death" that Bush was not responsible directly, that he didn't plan 9/11, but he and his definitely benefited from the end result of all those people dying."
"The 3rd World"
Immortal Technique's third studio album, The 3rd World was released on June 24, 2008. The Third World was given an Underground Gold Award selling over 54,000 copies. He is set to release his next albums, Revolutionary Vol. 3. and The Middle Passage, though a release date has yet to be confirmed for either.
"Voices of the Voiceless"
In early 2009, it was announced that there would be a collaboration between Technique and U.K. underground artist Lowkey. On September 11, 2009, a "snippet" of the song was released on YouTube. The preview was released ahead of it's September 21st launch on iTunes, as part of a web-campaign that included updates, promotion and links on forums, E-Magazines and several social networking sites. The buzz generated by this campaign and by fan-based promotion of the single, rocketed the single to #11 on the iTunes charts. The song's lyrics cover a broad range of issues that are familiar to listeners of both artists - racism, world revolution, war, socialism, government control, rape, famine, colonialism, Classism, self-determination and the war in Iraq. Amidst a flurry of rumors on the web, excitement of the fan community is high, speculating that this single may be a precursor to more collaborative efforts between the two artists. Claims that a full-length album is in the works have been made, though no official statements have been released.
Social and political views
Immortal Technique has described himself as a "socialist guerrilla". Immortal Technique's music is inspired by historical and often political figures such as Ali, Malcolm X, Che Guevara, C?İsar Ch??vez, Augusto C?İsar Sandino, Marcus Garvey, T??pac Amaru II, Jose Carlos Mariategui, W. E. B. Du Bois, Karl Marx, Fran?§ois Toussaint, Harriet Tubman, Emiliano Zapata, and Mumia Abu-Jamal. ,