It’s been a hot minute since we heard from Immortal Technique – five years to be exact – who last blessed us with a pair of albums in the form of Revolutionary Volumes 1 and 2. With back to back releases from the politically charged Harlem-by-way-of-Peru emcee, it seemed as if the third volume in Tech’s trilogy would be right around the corner – especially considering today’s hot political climate. Word is that Revolutionary Vol. 3 is still in the works, but just to let us know he’s still in the studio, Immortal bridges the gap with The 3rd World, mixed by DJ Green Lantern.
Whether this is your first introduction to Technique – or your third – he quickly establishes himself as one of the most outspoken emcees ever, never holding his tongue. His spits with the venom of the Viper his record label is named after, delivering shockingly raw, anti-Governmental lyrics. “Death March” is the perfect reintroduction, finding the emcee returning to form after his brief absence.
It’s easy to see why some of the tracks could not make a regular Immortal Technique album – sample clearances, of course. Tech gets cinematic, first on “Golpe De Estado”, a full Spanish language track using a piece of the score from The Godfather, then later on “Watchout Remix”, which chops up the “Duel of The Fates” sample from Star Wars: Episode 1.
Besides the obvious nods to two films that he might hold dearly, the album has much deeper substance within, thanks to the rich sample source material. “Harlem Renaissance” finds Immortal passionately speaking about the government’s invasion of his hood, over a moody Diana Ross sample. “Payback” is another stand-out track, where he, along with Ras Kass and Diabolic deliver scathing lyrics to enemies they seek revenge upon, over a well-placed Chi-Lites sample. Finally, one of the album’s best tracks, “I Made A Mistake” pits Immortal versus a classic Bob Marley sample, as he illustrates sixteen-bar episodes of various characters’ mistakes – from signing to a major label to joining the military.
Collaboratively, “Stronghold Grip” is one of the album’s strongest tracks, as the Stronghold crew of Immortal Technique, Poison Pen, and Swave Sevah obliterate a Buckwild beat. The super-emcee contest truly begins on “Lick Shots” however, where he is joined by Crooked I and Chino XL, making it hard to choose the best verse.
Conspiracy theorist or revolutionary? Perhaps a bit of both. Technique often speaks in metaphor to animate the severity of the situations he and his people are dealing with, taking things to the extreme when making a point about the evils of big government organizations. He will shock you with his statements – sometimes outlandish, sometimes dead on – but because of this, audiences may be divided on the way he chooses to conduct his revolution.
Strangely enough, the material included herein is strong enough to stand on it’s own as Revolutionary Volume 3, and perhaps it’s title is a sly nod to being the third chapter in the series. While many artists drop these type of mixtape albums in between projects, Immortal’s latest entry is worthy of being called an album. That, or the final chapter in his legacy if the government somehow arranges a mysterious disappearance. – D.T. Swinga
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