[Note] European Tour Recap [May 4th 2012]
05-05-2012, 12:34 AM (This post was last modified: 05-05-2012 12:39 AM by Enzo.)
[Note] European Tour Recap [May 4th 2012]
by Immortal Technique, May 4th 2012
Upon my return from Europe I would like to first and foremost send my most sincere appreciation to the people of Portugal, Switzerland, Holland, Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland. My brothers Dj Static, Akir & Swave Sevah reflected the professional & disciplined work ethic of The Rebel Army very well. I wanted to reflect on a few things about the trip before I make some upcoming announcements.
Portugal. This visit was admittedly too short. I only had a couple of days in Porto which was great, but I want to see Lisbon next time which I hear is more politically active and has a much larger scene for Hip Hop. There was a lady, an activist who came with a group of people to the show to specifically tell me this and as I looked into what she said I realized she was right and I should have done more research before I agreed to just that one show. All in all it was a success, we broke new ground and before I knew it we were off again, to Switzerland. Rain peppered the ground as we touched down in the land of secret bank accounts and Masonic European architecture. This show was just incredible, save one disgusting fact. I have been spoiled by the non-smoking laws NY has inside clubs. I will share a truth with you. I used to smoke cigarettes for almost 10 years. One of the best things I ever did was save the last one from the last pack I had and place it inside a box that I keep some of my most treasured possessions in. Ironic isn’t it that the smoke that contributes to and in many cases causes cancer, heart disease and a series of other lethal conditions is illegal. And an herb that relieves pain, that helps to prevent cancer and that cures the ailments of so many diseases is still criminalized in this country. I relaxed in Holland of all places contemplating this, Amsterdam to be specific. haha
Although people sometimes forget that the country is larger than that one city. I have been coming to Holland for years. The first shows I ever did there was in a place called Breda and Leiden, I had an in-store in Amsterdam back then. I traveled the nation in a small car full of other artists. I slept in a small bed far from home in a strange land where I found the names of places foreign and yet so familiar. It was like hearing the tune of an old song that was played for you in the womb, the ramblings of something from the dawn of your existence. I took my old friend Swave Sevah to the original Haarlem. We live in a place now that was one called “Nieuw Haarlem” and now is just Harlem. A place that was home to Italian, Eastern European Jewish, Irish, and plenty of other immigrants from the time the city was taken from the Dutch and became part of the British Colonies. We wandered around until we found a pool hall. At this point Swave discovered that he had left his phone on the train to Haarlem and he made all arrangements to try and locate the phone. What I’m going to tell you now baffled me. The city emailed him back telling him they had video footage of someone turning in his iphone and returning it to the station. I’m sorry but I just can’t imagine that ever happening on the subway in NYC.
Traveling gives us some perspective, a way of realizing that we are all some human race. That what many see and diagnose as racism, isn’t so much hatred as it is just blind and purposefully implanted ignorance. If you grow up in some isolated community where you aren’t exposes to anyone but people who look act and are exactly like you then how could you ever truly assess the human race. How can you understand God by reading just one book, or by ignoring the thousands of years of human history that preclude the founding of your belief system? If the most culturally ignorant and racist person in the United States had been exposed at a young age to other societies and educated to the barbarism and superiority of each one in relation to our own hypocrisy and inhumanity as a nation I can guarantee their outlook on life would be very different. Rather than just seeing a Black or Brown person demonized in the media, they would be able to analyze a person’s tone of voice, their demeanor, their gaze, their vocabulary, their temperament, the way they look at you in the eye when they greet you or how firm their handshake is. All of these things that tell you much more about an individual that their skin or phenotype that is primarily based on the region that they hail from. One day if you cannot learn to do this on your own the forces of nature will humble you, then you will understand that we were all one even though we tried to create a society in which some were more equal than others. Shout out to Walk-in-Wok. Best food we had in Holland. Shout to Europe for outlawing high fructose corn syrup, which makes all juice and soda (not that I really drink much of that anymore) feel lighter. The ketchup tastes like real tomato freshness not coagulated blood sweat.
Onto Scandinavia, Copenhagen was a wonderful experience one of the best shows I have ever done there. A thousand Viking descendants screaming and going crazy is a sight to behold. Of all the places in Europe Scandinavia has welcomed me with open arms from the very beginning. They have been some of the most dedicated supporters of the message and of the music I have created over the years. Denmark never ceases to impress me with the amount of young people who just refuse to be told what to believe. I say it times and time again, I do not want you to believe everything that I say. I want you to question everything that you are told. Think free and you will be free. Before we drove over the bridge to Lund we had some of the best sandwiches supplied by the soldier supporters who were running a shop near our hotel. Hit the spot.
Sweden is always a pleasure to be in. However I had a strange encounter this time. While Lund went off without a hitch, in Stockholm the promoter informed me that the police have begun to crackdown on marijuana and recently made a few headlines by arresting and detaining people for that at the hotels or at shows. I had trouble believing this, until after my show in Stockholm when a squad of officers burst into the backstage dressing room. They came unannounced, armed, and in search of weed. The government had recently had a scandal over racist imagery displayed and I found it interesting that everyone was telling me the cops never did this to hard rock or punk or metal shows, but rather just to Hip Hop. Is a generation criminalized or is it just plain racism? You make the judgment, I played it cool, told them nothing and they got nothing. Goodnight cops. Empty handed and upset that they could not delay me and tried to legally (barely) extort me for money, they packed up and left. I had better things to do with my time besides sit in a cage again for even a day. I instead finished strong with another sold out show and made my way to Norway the next day safely.
Seeing the events of Norway’s tragic shooting by an Extreme Right Wing, self proclaimed Christian, Lunatic gave me the inspiration to carry a message of truth, hope and solidarity with the people of Norway. We live in a Multi Cultural world, and if that is something that the world has difficulty accepting I think they should find another planet to inhabit. We cannot become the prisoners of fear and intimidation. We must strive to fight against the forces of extremism, this man Breivik was not just a lunatic he represented the Xenophobic, Racist & Ignorant views of all the right wing wishes they had the apathy of the public to pull off. It was hurtful to be told that some people had been secretly happy with his actions, but equally reassuring and inspirational to see that such a huge % of the came out to stand against that which he professed. Though certainly not endorsing his actions openly, the champion’s of white supremacy and racism do not see a connection between their violent rhetoric and these actions. Which is why they are losing the support of the people daily.
I loved being in Norway and feeing the energy of such a tough group of positive young people, a young Norwegian couple working to help other overseas, a generation of displaced Chileans all over Scandinavia, Lebanese immigrants trying to make it. There a million stories to tell and I enjoyed hearing them all. Someone invited me to come speak at Utoya upon my return, I don’t know if they were an official representative, but let me state here in print that it would be an honor to come and spend time with these brave young people.
Helsinki, I will be brief. This show was a direct competition with Judas Priests last European show ever, so it was the only non sold out show, but I appreciate every single one of those people for coming to my show instead of that. I love you Helsinki. Thank you for coming out for me. It was a great humbling and blessing of an experience.
The world is bigger than what you think it is, no complicated metaphors, no twist at the end of this story. This isn’t a rhyme, this is just my experience overseas. I hope to see the world again soon, but until then I will continue to fight with my Rebel Army here in the states, until I am called to the world again.
See you all soon.
General of The Rebel Army
PS. Tour dates for Summer Coming soon.
TOUR DATES FOR 2012: http://www.immortaltechnique.co.uk/Threa...REBEL-ARMZ