Be careful. Immortal Technique has got a brain full of knowledge, a heart filled with hatred, and a potent mouth spurting out more truth than an anti-smoking commercial, and he’s not afraid to use any of it.
His second full-length creation “Revolutionary Vol. 2,” the follow-up to his controversial “Vol. 1,” not only picks up where the first leaves off, it comes for the heads of those that are not listening yet, the half-truth news anchorman, the unoriginal A&R, the snake promoter, and the weak public that accepts whatever the government tells them. But, unlike other “revolutionists” and social connoisseurs, Immortal Technique manhandles a mean set of rebellious beats and radical lyrics too, with an attractive and informative approach that makes the average socially conscious rapper look like an average social slacker.
Though Immortal Technique takes the tried-and-true formula of throwing his mug on the body of a “Scarface” extra to grace the back cover, that is about as “conventionally” hip-hop as Technique gets. “Peruvian Cocaine” (featuring C-Rayz Walz, Pumpkinhead, Loucipher, Tonedeff, Diabolic, and Poison Pen) flips the concept of a posse cut into a tale of the cocaine business as told from the point-of-view of everyone from the poppy plant picker to the Harlem hustler, with each emcee playing a role. The group effort also serves as a worthy lead-in to “Harlem Streets,” Technique’s true to life and very vivid walk through Harlem minus the glitzy glamour that others have force-fed the public (i.e. “Harlem World”).
“The Message & The Money” and “Industrial Revolution,” where Technique tells fellow rappers, “If you go platinum, it’s got nothing to do with luck, It just means that a million people are stupid as f*ck,” both demonstrate his deep-rooted hatred for the way in which the record industry functions. The former shows Technique at his best without rapping, as “Message & Money” is a delightfully no-holds-barred speech on the politics of the hip-hop world, while “Industrial Revolution” shows that Technique has got skills, but he’s not compromising them anytime soon to sign a development deal.
Beyond all his skills elsewhere, Immortal Technique is still the same story-telling, history-teaching, and most importantly, truth-bearing emcee that he was on “Revolutionary Vol. 1.” “The Point of No Return” marks Technique’s status as the cultural tell-all emcee that “knows too much, the government’s trying to kill me,” while “Obnoxious” spills numerous jabs and controversial bars over onto a just-as-obnoxious beat that is sure to send chills up the spines of the weak-minded with his cleverly-placed metaphors and thought-provoking wordplay.
Technique also adds one more element to his repertoire of talents on “Revolutionary Vol. 2”, as the Jean Grae-assisted “You Never Know” infuses a slow smoothed-out guitar fueled beat with Technique spitting about love and a relationship with a girl amongst the troubles of his life. Heard it before? Guess again, as the story incorporates the usual Technique flair for the truth, which does not always lead to a happy ending. Grae’s vocal performance on the chorus only enhances the new Technique experience, but also burns to ask the question: “With all this talent, why can’t someone market these two properly and successfully?”
Immortal Technique is not, and probably never will be, a rapper that seeks out fans for attention and shoots to create a fan base. Instead, much like his influence, Mumia Abu Jamal, Technique’s knowledge and intelligence shines through his words over his image, with his popularity being sacrificed for his truthfulness. In an age where “keeping it real” has become a cultural cliché in hip-hop, Immortal Technique and his second volume of the “Revolutionary” series are a spitting image of what the word “real” should mean. Just be careful. Technique’s not afraid to keep it as real as he has to, and he does not care who hears it…