Felipe Andres Coronel, better known by his stage name Immortal Technique, is one of the most outspoken and controversial hip hop artists today. Born in Lima, Peru on February 19th, 1978 and raised in Harlem, New York, Coronel spent his youth in and out of jail for what he called “selfish and childish,” behavior. After a short time attending Pennsylvania State University Coronel was again incarcerated, this time for a year. While in jail he honed his rapping skills, and once paroled Coronel attended classes in Political Science at Baruch College (a condition of living with his father). Unable to find work after being released from jail, he began selling his music in the streets of New York and gained notoriety as a vicious Battle MC.
In 2001 Immortal Technique released his first album, Revolutionary Vol.1, without the help of a record label. The album has since become an underground classic, and Coronel is one of very few artists to attain success without the help of a major record label. In fact on many of his songs Coronel attributes his ability to say what he wants to the fact that no one “holds his reigns,” (“Freedom of Speech,”, Revolutionary Vol. 2).
Immortal Technique has released 3 albums, Revolutionary Vol. 1-2 and The 3rd World, and on each has clearly spoken his mind. His lyrics are passionate and concise, and although he is certainly a bit extremist his songs inspire the listener to seek information. “Peruvian Cocaine,” presents viewpoints of many characters involved in the drug trade. These viewpoints are presented in this order: the field worker, the cocaine field boss, a Peruvian government official, an American drug dealer, an undercover policeman, and finally (somewhat poetically) a prison inmate. Listen closely to each of the players in this “tragic comedy,” and then seek information for yourself. It’s what Immortal Technique would want!
Also, today it’s Paul McCartney’s birthday! Enjoy some of his fantastic music as well, and look forward to “Woodstock Wednesdays,” with Jessica this week!