Immortal Technique, Revolutionary Volume 2

Hua Hsu

By Hua Hsu

on 04.22.11 in Reviews

This fall's perfect soundtrack for rocking the ballot box comes from Immortal Technique, a young, Peruvian-born and Harlem-raised rapper with anger to spare. Having distinguished himself as one of the underground's most dexterous freestylers, his second album — featuring guest spots from Jean Grae, C-Rayz Walz and even Mumia Abu-Jamal — improves with tighter storytelling and songwriting. Where other MCs find satisfaction in skewering each other, this one uses the microphone as a weapon against larger foes: "I'll do a free show in North Korea, burning the flag!" he shouts with a genuine, choked-up rage. Like Public Enemy and the Coup before him, Immortal Technique never gave up on hip-hop's potential for political attack, and whether reporting from the corner ("Harlem Streets"), deconstructing drug traffickers ("Peruvian Cocaine"), lashing out at corporate America ("Industrial Revolution") or fantasizing about regime change ("The Point of No Return"), he is that rare lyricist who is more likely to name-check Enron or Paul Wolfowitz than Eminem or Jay-Z. Look no further for truth in the form of hip-hop.