By Steve Weinstein
By Bryan Bierman
By Lindsey Rhoades
By Chaz Kangas
By Ben Westhoff and Sarah Purkrabek
By Jena Ardell
By Jesse Sendejas Jr.
By Katherine Turman
Immortal Technique is unlike many of today's "socially conscious," fashion-forward MCs. Trust. Not only does he frequent prisons here and abroad, but in a show of hip-hop's transformative mojo, the MC announced, via a MySpace post the day his record dropped, a partnership with a human-rights nonprofit organization called Omeid International to build an orphanage/clinic/school in Kabul, Afghanistan. "Hip-hop already is a bridge between cultures, and we have seen it transpire throughout South and Central America, Palestine, and from the Iraqi diaspora, with young kids using hip-hop to tell the stories no one else cares to report on," says Shamsia Razaqi, Omeid's co-founder, vice president, and chief operating officer. "Being a man of great conviction, [Technique] promised to help us upon the completion of his album—and sure enough, the day his album was released, he pledged his support to us."
Our interview over, Immortal Technique is ready to exit stage left, but not before opening the window into his mind's eye once more: "America is not the Great Satan, but finds a lot of little Satans around the world to do its work. People like Manuel Noriega and Saddam Hussein, who they needed to finish what they started; people like the Taliban, who we worked with, gave money to. It's not just us being prostituted by white people—it's us prostituting ourselves."
It's a matter of fact, he says. "There is much work left to do." He rises, and heads off to do it.
Immortal Technique performs at the Rock the Bells Festival at the Nikon at Jones Beach Theater August 3, along with A Tribe Called Quest, Nas, Mos Def, and myriad others