The topics of politics, social injustice, racism, and war are difficult topics to discuss casually with most people. As long as there are differing opinions and ideas, there will always be controversy in the world.
One outlet that continually discusses these topics openly and freely is hip-hop and rap music. And this Peruvian-American rap artist is at the forefront.
Felipe Coronel, a.k.a. Immortal Technique, is a Peruvian-American rap artist living in New York where his record label, Viper Records, resides. Known for his explicit lyrics, difficult subject matter, and ground breaking ideas and opinions, Immortal Technique has always been at the forefront of criticism, and just as equally, praise.
Immortal Technique was born in Lima in a military hospital and only spent his first two years of life there before immigrating to Harlem, New York in 1980. Although he didn’t spend too much time in Peru itself, he still holds an affinity for the country, as seen through his lyrics. His song, “Peruvian Cocaine,” details the entire process of how cocaine is produced and then exported to other countries through illegal means. He highlights many issues throughout global politics that concern the greater number of humanity, and advocates for those who don’t necessarily have as strong of a voice.
Unlike most artists who claim to understand the injustices and hardships of the world, Immortal Technique has taken personal action to better the lives of others.
He has helped to alleviate the pressure that worldwide issues cause. He travels to prisons to reach out to youth in an attempt to help reduce recidivism. Felipe also used profits directly from his music to develop an orphanage in Afghanistan for children, which currently houses over 20 orphans. He created a writing grant to help high school youth, further projecting a helping hand to those in need. He is highly motivated in true activism and attempts to inspire others through self-action and through the documentaries that he has appeared in.
Immortal Technique’s lyrics are not for the faint of heart. His song, “Dance with the Devil,” garnered him a lot of respect in the underground rap scene for describing some graphic scenes of violence. The respect he has built over the last 15 years doesn’t come from just his music; his involvement in charitable work and his political commentary projecting an unbiased view into global issues produced the steam he needed to stay relevant after releasing his last feature album almost 10 years ago.
With reports of new music in development, we may be seeing much more of the man in the near future. I’m anxiously looking forward to hearing what he has to say!
(Cover Art: Wikimedia Commons)