GoodshitRadio Interview With Immortal Technique [Oct 2006]
08-20-2009, 04:50 AM (This post was last modified: 01-27-2010 03:50 AM by Enzo.)
GoodshitRadio Interview With Immortal Technique [Oct 2006]
Immortal Technique Interview
13 October 2006 Posted by Don Martin
A while back Don Martin and Mr Pink sat down with Immortal Technique for an interview, the day after Immortal Technique played a venue in Kristiansand Norway alongside Gatas Parlament and Poison Pen. The audio version of this interview has been featured on podcast, as mp3 from our site and is also included on Immortal Technique’s street mixtape cd “The 2nd Passage”.
Download Immortal Technique interview mp3
Here is the somewhat longer version of the interview typed up.
DM: I know you have a strong story. Tell us a bit about your story, how you came to be the rapper that you are today.
IT: I could always rhyme, ever since I was about nine years old. In New York DJ’s used to spin just break beats on the radio so one day I just started to rhyme along. I wasn’t really influenced by anybody else rhyming. I had heard other people doing it before and I wanted to see if I could do it. Then I started writing graffiti and getting in to trouble. There where a lot of fights over graffiti and people getting shot. I think people was just looking for an excuse to fuck each other up really, more than it was serious drama over tags or whatever.
I think I didn’t take hip hop seriously in terms of making music until I got out of prison. I was in prison for like a year, and when I got out I thought about how much I had written and I had all these books stacked up with stuff that I had written. So I wanted to look into that and see how many songs I had, because I had to get this off my chest and speak about what I had seen in jail and what I had seen in the world. So that’s when I began my transformation. Plus I had been battling in jail all the time, and it was a lot less pressure battling outside. But I never lost in there, so why would I loose outside – that was my whole attitude. Very die hard.
I came to America when I was about two three years old from Peru. It was a war torn country. The United States had been pumping millions of dollars through the CIA down there and they had been funding paramilitary groups, like they do in lots of countries in Africa, Latin-America and the Carribien, so that they [the paramilitary groups] would have a war with the insurgency, cause the insurgents where threatening to take over and make a sort of communist government where the people would decide what happened and throw out all the American companies. So to protect their investments, they [the US] invested all this money in the war and it caused even more war and bloodshed, and the economy was very bad. So my father decided for us to leave.
When I came here, to America, my father wasn’t a very politically active individual. But he was smart, and he used to say things to me like “you wanna understand something you have to read the history of it”, if you wanna be a Christian – read the history of Christianity. If you wanna be knowlegable hip hop head you can’t just listen to what’s on the radio know, you have to understand where hip hop came from. It’s like KRS ONE said: “you don’t know where you’re going unless you know where you came from”. It’s a mathematical truth!
I decided to learn a lot about America, not only my personal experience and what I had been through, but also the history of America, which isn’t disputed by either party – they just have a different perspective on it. I looked at it and I took the facts for what I where and I included them in my rhymes. I was like “Yo – I’m not just gonna rhyme about what I see in the hood. But I’m gonna rhyme about what I see in other peoples hoods. What I see going on in the world”. So I like to travel a lot, and get an extra feel for things.
It’s sad cause it’s only about 15 percent of the people in America who actually have a passport. Nobody travels or leaves their little shitty town or project. And I tell them “yo you gotta see the world” just to see it from a different view point. How people in some countries they respect the rule of law.
In America, black and latino people we have no respect for the rule of law because the rule of law has never been the rule of law for us – it’s been the rule of oppression. That’s how we’ve always felt it, you know. Wheter or not they know it, people who rhyme about gangsta shit and rhyme about being in jail they doing that cause they been oppressed they whole life. They have been living in a project tenement. That’s the reason they emulate killers and gangsters and all that other stuff it’s cause those people aren’t ruled by law. So they feel like they free – and people are like “man, I wanna be like that”, when really they just wanna be capable of running they own lives without having people telling them what to do.
So it was a natural progression for me, cause I used to be on some drama. Like I used to steal cars and rob motherfuckers all the time. I’dd be in your house and you wouldn’t see me, like “yo”, you know – on some drama. Eventually I realised I should be fighting for something different, rather than robbing my own people or being out in the streets selling bullshit, I should have been concentrating my ideas on helping my community and trying to make sure my people have something so we can contribute to there rest of the world.
DM: Is there any political revolutionary movement in the US today?
IT: It is, but they don’t have so much influence as they used to. I do belong to one particular movement, and it’s called Grassroots Artist Movement (GAME). It’s the first organisation in the United States to unionize artists trying to get them political education so they can understand what’s going on, and get them information about the industry. We’ve also been successful now with getting healthcare coverage for underground emcees, which is crazy because people who have a regular job don’t even have health care coverage. But since we’ve all been working together and there’s allot of us, we’re capable of making moves of that magnitude.
I definitely like to work with other groups, I do fund raisers and everything that I can do. But the situation with throwing shows in New York is very difficult. Promoters are very shifty. I’ll be frank with you; I’ve had to choke the shit out of mother fuckers. And the situation isn’t funny, it’s sad, because these mother fuckers are robbing people. You do a show and after a show he’s gonna be like “oh I’m sorry we don’t have your money”. You gotta feed your family. You gotta pay bills. They gonna throw them out! We gotta choke them now – so people now, you wanna book Immortal Technique you better have his money!
DM: You mention CO-INTEL PRO and PATRIOT-act in your lyrics. Tell us about that.
IT: I think the ill shit with projects like co-intel, is that the news media was controlled by the government so to not say anything. Not even admit that they existed, until years later. Even though we knew they existed, the same way the police in New York City never admitted to having a “hip hop division”, but now they admit that it exists in Miami. So I’m sure that it exists in New York because the Miami Police where trained by the New York police on how to do a surveillance on hip hop groups. So they come to my shows, they’ve come to Dead Prezs show. Their presence is known there, and I give them a shout out every time I see them there. There’s always been a CO-INTEL-program working, wheter it’s under the PATRIOT act [now] or under CO-INTEL or any other system working.
I think the PATRIOT-act is interesting, because, you know, as much as people think we’re gonna see it take effect now, I think the PATRIOT-act isn’t something that is going to be effectualized immediately. The people who control America are very patient people.
The industry that are behind America, as much as they seem impatient and rush to war, everything is done as if they played a game of chess. If they bring the queen out early in the game, people are gonna think that they want the game to end quickly. But maybe they’re bringing the queen out just to fuck with your head.
For example, the United States in 1823 created something called the Monroe-doctrine – after president Monroe – that said that Europe wasn’t allowed to take interest over American interest in the western hemisphere. So all of Europe’s colonies couldn’t interfere with Americas interests. In 1898 a weakened Spain gave independence to some of it’s colonies. The next year after that the United States kept building up these political rumors that Spain had interest in American profiteering. Then the ship USS Main on the coast of Puerto Rico was blown up, and it came out later that the ship had been blown up later, and there was no way that the Spanish could have sunk the
ship. But, due to the fact that that ship was sunk they in-acted the Monroe-doctrine and even thought Puerto Rico and these other colonies had been given their charter of independence the US claimed them. They claimed Puerto Rico, the Dominican republic, Haiti, Cuba and the Fillipines and all of these ex-spanish property based on a document that had come out sixtyfive years earlier. So believe me, the country is very patient. They will outlaw abortion so there will be a whole lot more people in America. There will be a draft – they’ll never call it a draft but they will have some selective mandatory service for the people. And they will have their New World Order.
DM: So far your releases have been independent and very underground. What are plans for the future, and are you going to keep putting out records only on street level?
IT: I just did a deal to have the next album distributed by Kotch, so it’s going to have widespread distribution. But the next record will not be Revolutionary Volume 3, it will be a middle passage. It’s going to be just as powerful, but this time I’m going to have a video, it will be a very explicit video, more vinyl for people and I’m definitely going to do a whole European tour. After that there will be a Revolutionary Volume 3
DM: What are your opinions on George Bush getting re-elected?
IT: I told everybody I knew it was going to happened again. No one wanted to believe me, because they didn’t want it to happen. But I expected it. In terms of voting fraud, black and latino people actually don’t have the constitutional right to vote in America. Lyndon Johnson signed an act that gives us the right to vote technically for 40 years. So our right to vote runs out legally in 2007. And when is the next presidential election?
If you see the difference in a white rich neighbourhood in America and the way they have voting and poling there, and the sometimes in the black and urban areas where there are poor white people that have been affected by Bush, they’ll have fucked up poling there or the voting machines will be broke and they wont care.
DM: So in 2008 you wont be able to vote and Arnold Schwarzeneger will be president?
IT: I don’t know what’s going to happen. I know that if I’m not able to vote, if they take away my rights, then there is no other option than guerrilla warfare. I’m not taking non of that bullshit.
DM: Did you vote for Kerry? Do you think he would have been any better.
IT: Yeah I did. He would barely have been better. But I don’t think he was ment to win. He was there to make it look like America was struggling, but America wasn’t struggling. Bush was in control the whole time. Or rather not Bush, cause he’s a fool, but the people behind. I never make this about Bush cause it’s not about him. If we got rid of him there would be some one else to take his place. If Bush got killed there would be Dick Cheney, who’s worse than Bush. 100 times more conservative…
DM: So you don’t support the “Kill Him Now”-campaign? (Satirical video and website fund raising for a hitman to shoot George Bush by Norwegian rap group Gatas Parlament)
IT: Hahaha. Nah. I want one of those t-shirts, though. I think if you killed him you’dd have even more conservatism in America, you would have more totalitarian regime. As much as people don’t like Bush, he’s interesting to look at because he’s not designed to do that [be president]. He was just ment to be a business man, but it just worked out that no one else in his family has the capacity for rhetoric that he has – to just spit out bullshit and talk like that. His cousin is very boring, the other cousin is a drug addict.
But the struggle is definitely not over, even if George Bush would have been kicked out of office, it wouldn’t end there. If anything I think that this has been a wake up call for the rest of the world, to let them know exactly who they dealing with. Because if it was John Kerry they’d be like “oh – America is good again!” Believe me see it for what it is – don’t make illusions for yourselves.
The mp3 download link is dead, i know, nothin i can do about that, besides its cut anyway.