Flawless Hustle.com Exclusive: The 10 Question(s) Q&A Session Series: Immortal Technique
Interview by Dub MD
This artist needs no introduction, having selling thousands of albums worldwide, performing on stages in almost every continent across the globe, known for his no holds barred lyrics and concepts, emcee and activist, Immortal Technique is the definition of an independent artist on his grind. Fresh off his trip to Afghanistan, Immortal Technique has hit the studio to work on both his highly anticipated new albums “The Middle Passage” and “Revolutionary Vol.3″, in the meantime he takes time out to tell us about his trip to the middle east, his new album, how he has progressed as an artist and what sets him apart from every other emcee out there!
Dub MD: Immortal Technique, what’s good fam? its been a minute since our last Q&A session, and you’ve done a lot since then, for those who have been under a rock, what are some of the things you’ve done over the past year or so?
Immortal Technique: Travelled overseas to Afghanistan, Venezuela, Peru, for work really but in terms of music I have had a couple of tours to Europe, Latin America and of course the US.
Dub MD: Coming from Harlem, how did living in Harlem shape your attitude to the music/culture? and what do you think of the New York music scene right now?
Immortal Technique: Harlem is obviously a much different place than it used to be. It was once a place full of much more music in general, and the culture of Hip Hop wasn’t relegated to headphones and the occasional award show at the Apollo. I remember when the Apollo did regular gigs, and, when there was an abundance of record stores in the area and boom boxes.
Dub MD: You’ve got a new album called “The Middle Passage” in the works right now, which to your fans is long overdue, and can you give us a little background on the album, and when can we expect to hear it?
Immortal Technique: More concepts, street hip hop and a mixture of the perspective I have gained from travelling all around the world.
Dub MD: With this new album, what artists and producers are you connecting with this time around? and what’s your label situation like just now?
Immortal Technique: Can’t divulge that! I have a distribution deal through Koch / E1 Music, no record label but my own, no babygrande, no middleman, just straight distribution. I press my own CD’s and all that. Best thing in my opinion for the place that I’m at. I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Dub MD: Last year you released a critically acclaimed street album “The 3rd World”, now that its public property, are you happy with how that release went? and how do you think you’ve changed as an MC from “Revolutionary Vol. 1″ up until now with “The Middle Passage”?
Immortal Technique: I think that my flow got a lot stronger and the way that I structure music became better. I can actually read music and I worked on that to get better at it, rather than just pretending to be talented. I am a lot more mature and more focused on what the direction of my music is no too, rather than before what it was just wild reckless and just putting anything that I recorded on a CD.
Dub MD: This year you’ve been doing some work with a charity, Omeid International, out in Afghanistan building an orphanage/school for kids without families out there, can you tell us a little about the work you’ve been doing out there and why you decided to risk your life and do it?
Immortal Technique: We risk our lives every day believe me. I got fam in L.A., The Bay, Philly, VA, Chi town, you don’t have to go half way around the world to get your head blown off, you risk your life every time you leave your house. With the mission to Afghanistan though it felt like the right thing to do, and I gave my word. A promise might not seem like much to most people but it means a lot to me.
Dub MD: What do you think is your most defining and unique characteristic that sets you apart from every other emcee out there? and how would you describe your style to those who still haven’t heard your music?
Immortal Technique: I am a real Revolutionary and I don’t just try to portray one. I never claim to be best rapper alive, I have no desire to be and people can take their favourite gangsta, down south, old school, or young hot sensation and put them on a pedestal. I’m not threatened or in any way shape or form moved by that.
I know I am the hardest working person in the underground, I hustle hard, not just for me, but for the causes I rep. I feed my family, paid my parents mortgage, put my sister through college, bought my grandmother a crib, who can tell me that’s not success? How would I describe my music? Revolution on the Streets of New York.
Dub MD: Where do you get the inspiration to write the type of material you do? what is the writing process like when it comes to working on your projects? and why do you think mc’s that keep integrity in their music, never make a real mark on soundscan anymore?
Immortal Technique: I get inspiration from real life. Writing process varies. I don’t know I sold 45K with the first CD, 85K with the 2nd, and the 3rd has been out for a little more than a year and sold about almost 60K. I keep my integrity and I made a mark.
Dub MD: You’ve shared the bill with a lot of legendary hip hop artists, If I’m coming to a Immortal Technique show. What am I going to experience, that I won’t experience from just listening to your material on CD?
Immortal Technique: I think the music is more passionate in person!
Dub MD: What is on tap for Immortal Technique for the rest of 2009 and beyond? do you have anything to say to the fans? anything you wanna get off your chest? any shout outs?
Immortal Technique: Shout to the whole Rebel Arms, my people from the Sur, the West Coast, my Latin American brothers, my people overseas, “Money Shot” Poison Pen, cop that, Diabolic’s “Liar & a Thief” coming soon and I got a documentary dropping next year hopefully “Urban Warfare.”