Independents Day…

I have to give Immortal Technique mad credit for releasing ‘The Third World’ album. After some of the shit he spit on that disk there is no way a major label will be able to touch him. He willfully made himself an industry pariah. I hope it pays off for him in the long run by giving him a loyal fanbase to perform in front of.

Fuck album sales in today’s world anyhoo. Artists don’t get shit from that retail sale. What the artist had already is a fan that was serious enough to consume their art from a retail pricepoint. Artists need shows to get that money in their pocket. I check for one of my favorite rappers, Joell Ortiz, to see when he is performing in New York City. Then I go out and attend his show.

I’m not saying that you shouldn’t buy records either because record sales will tell the t.I.’s whose music should be distributed on a grand scale. This doesn’t always mean that the best music will be broadcast to the most people. The underground scene in Hip-Hop has a greater percentage of lyricists than does the mainstream movement. However promoting lyrics in rap has become something akin to selling cod liver oil fruit punch.

Immortal Technique, and even Joell Ortiz now since his separation from Aftermath Records, are part of the underground scene in Hip-Hop which is seeing a revitalization. It isn’t as full blown as it was in the early 90s, but it is getting there. Part of the reason is because of the two rappers I just mentioned. Master lyricists attract a higher caliber fanbase than do pop music artists. The fan that takes out their time to study and memorize lyrics will support their favorite artists through many seasons.

Immortal Technique deals with some hardcore themes on his latest project. He isn’t just spitting fire on the corruption of our government and the countless conspiracies they have set in motion to keep the poor disenfranchised. Im Tech is punching rappers in the nose as well when he tells them that “Jaob is a jeweler, he ain’t your friend.” There’s a lot of real talk on this album that too many rap fans today are allergic to. Im Tech got that Claritin bitches.

Between the NaS mixtape and Immortal Technique’s new project Green Lantern has positioned himself as the next great producer for lyricists. A new millenium Preemo. The beats on ‘The Third World’ are classic head nod boom bap rhythms. I almost want to copp a pair of those headphones that surround my skull like a helmet so I can go into these tracks completely without a peep from the outside. This album is an all-time underground manifesto. Poison Pen even features on this joint and you already know his steez.

I also dig that Immortal Technique can rap about real world economics like property ownership and the agriculture industry. I will avoid giving him the label as the ‘thinking man’s rapper’ and instead I will call him the ‘acting man’s rapper’. Too many people think but don’t act. Immortal Technique’s ‘The Third World’ is the soundtrack or all of you motherfuckers who decide to get up, get out there and do something.

A lot of motherfuckers claim they fear nothing, but then they don’t challenge something. Nothing isn’t a challenge. Something is. Challenge something. Change the world.

But first, declare your independence.

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  • LightSkinMofo

    Let ‘em know!

  • Rob The Music Ed

    REAL TALK Billy. Now working for XXL has it’s perks. Tech gave me the album almost two months ago, so I’ve been sitting on it since then.

    But it damn sure felt good to walk into Best Buy and buy the actual CD last week.

    Immortal Tech’s, Nas’ new album, as well as Kller Mike’s and Ice Cube’s let me know that hip-hop is gonna be JUST FINE!

    • Mark Ward

      Rob the Music Ed, you have been receiving a good share of criticisms for your posts, until the hot lyric one. While I question the duality of “Should Wayne of Ja’d 50?” and feeling good to walk into Best Buy and buy the IT album, your obvious love of the art form comes through. P.S. my Uncle wears tight ass jeans and he’s as gangsta as it gets.

      • Rob The Music Ed

        No. I didnt write the “wayne/50″ post. the “Tha Office” banner is a collection of post from the entire XXL staff. Tight jeans post wasn’t mines either.

        However I did write the Plies post and still felt good going into best buy to but IT [II]. You can go ahead and question the duality of that. lol!

        But yeah I love hip-hop as much as i assume we all do!

        • Mark Ward

          Fair enough, sorry I got it twisted. I don’t understand why everybody thinks Plies is ignorant. His actions and some of his songs have a social redeeming value.

  • LightSkinMofo

    Oh yeah… Fuck a first!


    Billy sunday you on the money
    That new g-unit album is trash.i download it and delete it within 5 minutes

  • Hold Tight The UK Garage And Grime… UK I Rep Thats Me When I Rhyme!

    Co-sign… Joell Ortiz = Best Rapper Alive alongside Joe Budden.

  • iLL G

    u are correct sir!! unfortunately rap has been so commercialized that the quality of the music is suffering. All the quality rap and rappers that are out now, unfortunately only hit about 20,000 units its first week, IF THAT! Our youth is being fooled, but their too stupid to know it anyway Underground is where its at if u want to hear some real shit and like u said, get up get out and do something. cop that 3rd world bitches for sum real hip hop!!!

  • Dub Sac

    Master lyricists attract a higher caliber fanbase than do pop music artists. The fan that takes out their time to study and memorize lyrics will support their favorite artists through many seasons.

    Great point, Billy. Underground fans don’t mind doing research to find the best music possible, so even if it’s not right in their face constantly, they’ll staying checking for it. Mainstream music “fans” don’t really think or care about music and therefore only consume what is easily accessible, so the second a mainstream artist drops off the corporate radar, they lose their entire fanbase.

    That’s why artists like Tech can have longevity when a hip-pop artist like MIMS, who had a bigger peak in popularity, will never be heard from again.

  • chad bro chill

    this was shockingly a very intelligent blog and u didnt even make fun of anyone. alot of good points about the mainstream fans compared to the underground ones.

    “cuz if im willing to smoke the president while hes sniffing his coke/then u kno it dont mean shit to me to cut a fucking cops throat”

  • henry

    for some reason his voice got deeper, why does that happen? same thing with eminem

    • Liam


  • African in the South

    Well Written man. Well said.

  • d. b. cooper

    Revolutionary Vol. 2 was a near classic. The Third World is an unfortunate release. There are no songs on this new mixtape that can match the conceptual and lyrical mastery of tracks like Harlem Streets, Industrial Revolution, The 4th Branch, or Obnoxious. I hope he can come back from the brink of mediocrity, but I’m worried.

  • Benicio Del Thoro

    Co-sign. I had the chance to see Tech last summer at the RTB festival, and his set was magnificent. He did one of his famous a capella freestyles, and the place went batshit! Then the set went too long and they were tryin to turn his mic off and he returned by telling us to chant “fuck the sound engineer” it was beautiful for hip-hop.

  • Maddolies

    I First heard of this guy after hearing dat “Dance With The Devil” Song. He’s Definately too hardcore 2 Be a Mainstream artist. And Thats A Good thing of course

  • Domjel

    I copped on the strength.

  • Liam

    Credit to Immortal for supporting Hugo Chavez, that takes balls in America

  • daz_oc

    the first time I actually heard this dude spit was on joell’s album but I had been hearing alot of good things about him. After reading this ima go Itunes the album….fuck that I supports the underground ima go best buy that mu’fucka and they better have it too

  • Optimus Prime

    I think Immortal Technique is amazing, or at least the vast majority of his shit is. However, it really doesn’t take any balls to support Hugo Chavez in America. As much as the Patriot Act and Freedom of Information etc. make it difficult to express your opinion, they certainly don’t make it impossible and for someone like Immortal Technique, whose rep and persona are based almost entirely on challenging any authority he can find, it would be much ballsier for him to say that he is against Hugo Chavez.

  • god

    ^ no

  • Billy X. Sunday

    Bust It Baby casting call was certainly entertaining