Portrait Of: Immortal Technique

Jan 11, 2019
1:19 PM
Originally published at Latino USA

Felipe Coronel, aka Immortal Technique, is a legendary underground hip-hop artist, known for his skills on the mic as well as his raw, highly political lyrics.

His family immigrated to Harlem from Peru when he was a toddler to escape armed conflict and economic instability in Peru. He grew up in Harlem during the 80s and 90s during a time that was notoriously rough in New York City. Technique says because of the way he grew up, he harbored a lot of rage and eventually, that rage led him to prison. He was incarcerated for a year while he was in college, for assault-related offenses.

While in prison, he honed his rapping skills and when he was paroled in 1999, he took up freestyle rap battling and became a champion in the underground NYC battling scene.

Just two years later in 2001, he released his first album Revolutionary Vol. 1, which launched him to fame—eventually collaborating with famous artists such as Dead Prez, Mos Def, and Chuck D of Public Enemy. His brutal song “Dance with the Devil” is what he mostly became known for.

Today, Immortal Technique spends his time working on philanthropic causes, but he’s still writing music and fans are holding their breath for the release of his first album in over a decade.

This Latino USA podcast’s lead producer was Maggie Freleng

Featured image courtesy of Immortal Technique


NPR’s Latino USA with Maria Hinojosa, produced by Futuro Media, is the longest running Latino-focused program on U.S. public media.