Who is Immortal Technique?
Felipe Andres Coronel, who is known professionally as Immortal Technique, is a well known American hip hop singer. He is also an activist who strives to spread awareness about social issues through his songs. Though he hasn’t found much commercial success through his albums, he is known for his refreshing and innovative take on traditional musical genres. His lyrics, which promote social awareness, completely align with his activism as well as his political engagement. He has gained considerable recognition for his fight for immigrant rights as well as for his charitable works. He has raised money for children’s hospitals and is known for visiting prisons where he speaks to youths to inspire them. He has stated that he is seen as a threat to the status quo of hip hop with his unusual and revolutionary style. Currently, he is working on his fourth album after a long break. He has also appeared in a few documentary films which include ‘The (R)evolution of Immortal Technique’. The documentary, which was about his life and career, was released in 2011, premiering at the Harlem Film Festival.
Immortal Technique released his first album ‘Revolutionary Vol. 1’ IN 2001. He had released it without the help of a record label, and by using money from his rap battle victories. Though the album wasn’t a huge success commercially, it sold as many as 45,000 copies over the years. The album included singles such as ‘Dominant Species’, ‘Positive Balance’, ‘No Me Importance’ and ‘The Poverty of Philosophy’.
His next album ‘Revolutionary Vol. 2’ was released after two years. It discussed several important issues such as poverty, drug trade, slave labor, censorship as well as the 9/11 attacks. Some singles in the album were ‘The Message and the Money’, ‘Crossing the Boundary’, ‘Internally Bleeding’ and ‘The Cause of Death’.
Over the next few years, he went on a lot of tours. He was also featured on the soundtracks of several movies and video games. In 2005, he released the song ‘Bin Laden’, along with Mos Def and DJ Green Lantern. The song became controversial due to its suggestion of conspiracy theories regarding 9/11. Immortal Technique stated in the song that Al-Qaeda was funded by Bush himself, and he also gave billions of dollars to Bin Laden, who actually worked for the CIA.
He released ‘The 3rd World’, his third album in 2008. The album did well commercially, as compared to his other albums. It included singles, such as ‘Open Your Eyes’, ‘Payback’ and ‘The 3rd World’. The album stood at the 99th position on the US Billboard 200 and on the 12th position on the US Top Rap Albums list. He released a compilation album named ‘The Martyr’ in 2011. It was released as a digital download and it received a million downloads in a week.
He has appeared in the documentary film ‘Something from Nothing: The Art of Rap’ as well as the docudrama film ‘This Revolution’. A documentary film about his own life was also released in September 2011. Titled ‘The (R)evolution of Immortal Technique’, the film premiered at the Harlem Film Festival and was released on DVD in July 2012.
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Felipe Andres Coronel was born in a military hospital in Lima, Peru, on 19th February 1978. His family moved to Harlem, New York, when he was only two years of age. He started rapping at the early age of nine. He studied at the Hunter College High School, where he gained a reputation for being a thug and a bully. He later went to the Pennsylvania State University where he got involved in college violence and was arrested for assault. He then developed his rapping skills in jail. Eventually, he went on to study political science at Baruch College in New York City. In the early days of his career, he used to sell his musical recordings on the streets of New York.
Known for his charitable works, he launched the Project Green Light in partnership with Omeid International, a non-profit human rights organization. He also used the funds from his third album to build an orphanage in Afghanistan.
Not much has been revealed about his private life and he is presumed to be currently single.