Welcome to the Evolving Man Project’s ‘Evolved Man of the Week’ profiles. Each week we will highlight an individual that embodies what it means to be an evolved man, famous and non-famous men alike. The world needs to know their stories and deeds. This week’s honor goes to Hip-Hop artist, activist, entrepreneur, and revolutionary, Immortal Technique.
Felipe Andres Coronel was born in a military hospital in Lima, Peru. He is of mostly Amerindian descent, although also has Spanish, French and African ancestry. His family immigrated to Harlem, New York in 1980. During his teenage years, he was arrested multiple times due in part to what he has said was “selfish and childish” behavior. He attended Hunter College High School on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. Shortly after enrolling in Pennsylvania State University, he was arrested and charged with assault-related offenses due to his involvement in an altercation between fellow students, the charges stemming from this incident led to him being incarcerated for a year
Realizing his inevitable incarceration, Technique began to prolifically write down his ideas about what he had lived and seen in the struggle back at home about his visits back to his native land. He came to embrace his African roots that stemmed from his grandfather and understood the nature of racism and ignorance in its role in Latino culture, separating oppressed peoples and keeping them divided. He also began to study in depth about the revolutionary ideas that had caused a history of uprising in the indigenous community of his native South America
He’s better known by the stage name Immortal Technique. Most of his lyrics focus on controversial issues in global politics. His words are mainly a commentary on topics such as politics, socialism, class struggle, poverty, religion, government, imperialism, economics and institutional racism.
Immortal Technique visits prisons to speak to youth and working with immigrant rights activists, and raising money for children’s hospitals overseas. He created a writing grant program for high school students as well.
In June 2008, Immortal Technique partnered with Omeid International, a non–profit human rights organization, and dubbed the work as “The Green Light Project.” With the profits of the album The 3rd World, he traveled to Kabul, Afghanistan, to help Omeid build an orphanage without any corporate or external funding. The orphanage, having been successfully established, currently houses over 20 orphaned children from Kabul.
Here is Immortal Technique about his legacy and impact on Hip-Hop Culture:
“So, I’ll just tell them that I put the truth out there, I put the historical facts into Hip Hop to show us how much history repeats itself and that if we truly want to evolve as a human race, we need to stop sticking each other in these ridiculous categories. Maybe that’s what is going to be the ultimate outcome of this cataclysm that everyone says is coming. Maybe we’ll stop training our kids to stop looking at someone and automatically seeing them as Black or White or of this religion or that one etc., and instead, as a human being. Maybe we can stop forcing our ideas like, “I don’t want them to marry this person because they are of this religion or this color” on them. I personally want my daughter to marry the strongest man in this fucking room, the smartest man in this room, because everybody else is probably going to die. That’s the sickest and saddest thing in this world, but if anything comes of the terrible reality that could potentially befall mankind of this worst-case scenario that everyone keeps talking about, hopefully, it’s unity, and it’s that people are willing to not fall into the same trap that we’ve been plagued in the past few centuries. It’s time for us to accept our humanity and begin to evolve as people.”
Today we honor Immortal Technique has our Evolved Man of the Week.