Exclusive: Immortal Technique - The RAPstation Interview Part Three

Immortal Technique Part III By Kyle Eustice Finally, the last installment of the extensive interview with Immortal Technique is here. While reading this, it's important to remember Immortal Technique was born in Peru and grew up in Harlem. He's witnessed first hand the devastation poverty and social injustices can inflict on the human race, just as many people have. His viewpoints, albeit harsh, are molded from his life experiences and offer a poignant view on life in America today. Hopefully, it's read with an open mind. Ladies and gentleman, Immortal Technique... Speaking of revolutions, I've been listening to you for a while and I used to be super into conspiracy theories and all the books about that and I always thought that you could put all the pieces in the right place for a revolution and it's still not guaranteed to go the specifically right way, look at Egypt for example. You have a lot of outside forces that are involved and I think even in terms of our own American revolution, we seem to forget there was lots of outside forces that helped us attain our independence. There were the French for example, the Spanish, they were always at war with England and they said, 'oh, you're having troubles with your colony? I remember how you screwed us over, OK.' The French come in with their fleet and bring in reserve troops. The Spanish bring up an armada. All of these things made our independence possible. Even during the War of 1812, that's repeated and I'd like to just state, as much as we see outside factors still have a role to play, there is no greater conspiracy than to imagine the forgetting of how things were set up in the first place and I think that's the problem that we're facing now. Because when people talk to me about Illuminati and I talk to people about conspiracies, I say, 'let's not pick a hypothetical.' Sure it's nice to imagine stuff so we can make a point and make a premise for an understanding of how America was founded. But let's take hypotheticals out of the argument completely. If you want to talk about a group of people or a cabal of individuals that make decisions that effect all of our lives behind closed doors, we don't have to make it some goat sacrifice, everybody's naked, having an orgy, worshipping an owl and you know, cutting their cock off for Satan or who knows dude? That's what happens when people have a corporate meeting behind closed doors. And guess who's not invited? The public. Because they're debating whether they can get away with putting this chemical in here instead of a natural ingredient. This is gonna save us a $176,000,000 over the course of the next ten years...'boom ba boom boom boom.' The law doesn't allow this to happen. What's cheaper? For us to use this natural ingredient or for us to spend $3,000,000 lobbying congress so that we can get that law changed and therefore that $176,000,000 over the next ten years turns into $173,000,000? But we still saved all that...I mean that's how they think! G8 Summits, people who get together in a war council and say, 'we don't need America's approval to go to war.' As opposed to when you have something in another country or another tribal society where everyone collectively decides what we're gonna do. If America truly was a democracy then in that point in time when George Bush said we're gonna go to war, he wouldn't have been able to say that. He would've had to say, 'I want to vote right now whether we're gonna go to war with Iraq' and my guess is he probably would've lost that vote. I mean because people were pretty nervous about the Middle East after 9/11. There was a lot of uninformed public. Now I think the majority of people, whether they're white, black, Asian, Latino, they understand things a little bit better and it's kind of like we've gone through this Vietnam syndrome, but a microcosm of it. The Vietnam syndrome was, of course, that they were told WWII was the great war, 'oh my god, like this is the war to end all wars' and then after that Korea and then after that, 'oh my god well here's a war my government lied to me about.' Same situation here, only we have 9/11, the great attack and then we have all these smaller attacks that kept happening to embassies afterwards so we say to ourselves, 'alright this is a righteous cause to fight against these people who would do this.' But then we attack a country that has nothing to do with it at all. Right. And pull out of a country in which we're pursuing the people, which were technically, supposedly responsible from one country into Afghanistan into our supposed ally, which is where we ended up finding the person which was allegedly responsible. I mean it's a soap opera dude. It's sad because when people don't realize it's a soap opera then they get upset about being lied to, you know, there's no greater coming to terms than looking at how many times we’ve been lied to. It's not like we've been lied to once. Yeah, why are we surprised? I just kind of assume that the mainstream is lying. At this point, I just take it all with a grain of salt. You were talking about humans and our kind of primal instinct and our unwillingness to see ourselves for the negative aspects. Do you think that played into how the constitution was laid out? I think there really was no factoring in of our own human condition. Maybe some of it, but not overwhelmingly enough. I think that if we're going to imagine scenarios like that, then imagine America without all of the sports that we have to distract us. Imagine us with no World Series, no Super Bowl, imagine us with no NBA final. I don't really watch much of that stuff anyway. I'm sure some people would be unaffected. But in reality, we have two choices. Either something else would replace that to distract us or there would be that many more people that would be politically minded and motivated or at least had no other choice but to be that ok, 'like, I'm not doing anything on Sunday so what the hell is going to happen on Monday when the school board votes to shut my kids' school down?' Or, if that's the case, then you start imagining what the U.S. would do if it didn't and couldn't rely on economically or militarily pressuring other societies to follow what it wants them to do. What if someone just says, 'hey, no! Sorry I won't do that for you.' Cuba said no. They got punished for a long time for it. They're still getting punished for it. Yeah the sanctions. But they had to find a "senior partner" to help them through that. Because that's not something that was achieved on their own. Russia. Right. I think when people think of revolution, they are always going to think of Cuba and Che and most people think that was a successful revolution, but I wouldn't necessarily say that. What's your personal take on that? Not to say Cuba didn't have a revolution, it definitely was, the conditions that existed pre-Revolutionary Cuba were abysmal, especially for people of color and for poor people that were suffering under a regime in which I believe over 50% of the gross national product went to parties unknown. We're talking about a kleptocracy, that was a nonfunctioning system, but that some, and especially rich white upper class Cubans, referred to as "La Socia de Antes" or "The Society of Before," which kind of means, 'oh you remember those days when black people knew their place?' It's like when people here say, 'Oh you remember those good ol' days in the '50s?' Please come over here to Detroit and talk to us about them 'good ol' days.' Tell me about them 'good ol' days' in Harlem in the '50s where the Harlem renaissance was going on yet people couldn't use the same bathroom. I mean, tell me about them, 'good ol' days.' I think that before we discuss that, it's important to note that in every revolution innocent people die. Innocent people's property is stolen and a bevy of horrible things will happen and I don't think Cuba is any exception. I think that Che is obviously responsible for killing people, especially after Havana was taken and those trials were set up at La Cabana where he put people to death, where they were killed and summarily executed and I think that we can look at that as a brutal example of the consolidation of power that occurs after every revolution, which is part of it's drawback. But also that's no different than, when people criticize the Cuban revolution, I say, 'hey listen, you think Washington never put a nigga to death?' You think Washington never said 'you know what, I have enough of your mouth. Kill that fucking guy. These Germans, begging for mercy up here, these hessians that have been torturing my men? No, they're gonna all starve today.' You think no one ever made a decision like that out of anger? You think that no king that ever represented the Judeo Christian line ever just said 'eh?' I remember when I was a kid and I used to read stories about Robin Hood and the Lion Heart who came to save the day and then I read the real history of Richard the Lion Heart and realized that yeah, he played nice with Saladin because he found himself in a position where he couldn't bully the dude and he was basically locked up with him because he found an enemy he could respect, someone who could give it as good as he took it, so to speak. No pun intended. King Richard gave it as good as he could take it, too [laughs]. There were other things about him that were very telling about society and I think when we look at that, we say to ourselves, 'you know, is any revolution ever perfect?' And I don't think it is and I don't think the Cuban revolution is any exception. I think obviously that it came to some harsh stepping-stones when it had to realize that it was also consolidating power after the rebellion, as well. But I mean for all intensive purposes, the one thing that definitely didn't give the ability for it to come to fruition or to fail on it's own was the embargo, which I think should end. Now Castro has the ability to blame every problem on the embargo and in reality many of those things were caused by him and the policies he put in place. It gives him an excuse. Right, but at the same time, America could have just as easily said, 'we'll let them fail on their own.' But there's a chance they won't fail on their own. We're playing 50/50 with people and America's not a gambler like that. But you know there are times when we've taken a gamble that's wrong. You know, those delusional neoconservatives that got us involved in Iraq and that entire region. But at the same time, we still control that area, so how delusional were they? Until the point where it all falls apart and everything starts ripping to pieces because of the inability for us to come to terms with the fact that we're no less fucked up than the rest of the world. America has killed how many of its presidents? It's just a different kind of war here. Right, but that's the other thing, it's the same exact shit that goes on in other places. It's just that our country is structured not to look at it that way. For example, the Civil War can be defined in many ways, but if we're looking at a Jihad between two Islamic countries, one of them who supports being a Shiite and one of them who supports being a Sunni. That framework, we assume and we've been taught to assume in the media, that it's automatically because of their religion that they have these differences. Or is it because of the interpretation of it and the ego that plays into one leader or another? Was the Civil War between an Islamic country and a Christian country? No, it was between two factions of Christians so why do we not attribute it to that aspect of what they did? Some of them, here it is, some of them interpreted Christianity to say we shouldn't have slaves, we should just have an economic servitude and that's what we're gonna do and the other group of Christians said, 'No, you're interpreting Christianity the way that you want to because your industrial economy isn't functional the way ours is and we should have Christianity compatible with slavery because it says so here in the Bible.' And they went to war and one of them lost, but we don't see it that way. We don't see it as 'these Christians are violent people who destroy one another' and that's all I mean. I mean that in practice, yes, there aren't people strapped with a bomb walking into a bank and blowing themselves up, but we did just have a dude shoot 15 people at a park in Chicago because of bullshit and shoot a 3-year-old child so how different are we?