“Hip-hop isn’t dead. It’s under occupation,” declared rapper Immortal Technique during his headlining set on Tuesday night at the Majestic Ventura Theater. And along with opening act Rebel Army, Immortal Technique delivered a most passionate show, performing songs from his recently released album, The 3rd World. Born in New York’s Harlem, Immortal Technique is one of the original hip-hop emcees. As a political activist, he focuses the intent of his words, speaking-and rapping-about a corrupt government, an ignored poverty, an underground culture, and the respect everyone owes to one another.
Starting out with newer tracks like “The 3rd World” and “Payback,” Immortal Technique demanded his audience raise their hands if they’d ever made a mistake. To those who were either too vain or shy to comply, he exclaimed, “Some of you are going back home to that mistake,” before launching into a remixed version of Bob Marley’s “Mistakes.” Technique then ended the show with a collection of old-timers, in particular “Dance with the Devil.” No matter how entrancing his songs are, Technique is not afraid to break the spell of performance and address what he is actually preaching. When two concertgoers seemed to get a little too feisty, Technique held up the show to ask, “How are we supposed to lead our revolution if we aren’t united? Just because one walked on the other’s shoe : Grow up!” And it was through those slight glitches that Immortal Technique’s personality mirrored his music, completing his image of truth and authenticity.
The Majestic provided the ideal venue for Immortal Technique. Small and tightly packed, it provided the audience with an up close and personal glimpse of Technique’s impassioned set. On The 3rd World, Technique urges his listeners to help the poverty-stricken countries currently being exploited by the world’s powers. A modern version of John Locke, Immortal Technique pushes the founding father’s original ideal-one that is still locked within our very own Constitution-“The people have a right to act as supreme, and continue the legislative in themselves or place it in a new form, or new hands, as they think good.”