Immortal Technique is not gentle with his politics, his lyrics, or his beats. In "Freedom of Speech" he raps: "I guess to America I'm a disaster/A slave that was destined to own his masters." If street cred were a numbers game, fivethirtyeight.com might put Immortal Technique near the top. Born in Peru and raised in Harlem, educated in hip-hop as a battle rapper, he released Revolutionary, Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 without major label support. His latest effort, The 3rd World, is a mixtape collaboration with DJ Green Lantern, and it's just as furious an indictment of American politics as the Revolutionary albums were. But Immortal Technique has a soft side. Once at an after party, he picked up a friend like a sack of potatoes for being a Puerto Rican who didn't speak Spanish; then he smiled and set her back down, gently, onto the couch.
Sun., Nov. 23, 8 p.m., 2008