Immortal Technique Says Syria Conflict Dates Back To World War I

Immortal Technique says he is halfway done with "The Middle Passage" and that the album will include production from 9th Wonder and DJ Premier, among others.

As one of the most politically-minded artists in Rap, Harlem lyricist Immortal Technique didn’t hesitate in offering up his take on the current crisis taking place in Syria during a recent interview. According to The 3rd World rapper, the issues taking place in the Western Asia country today stem back to the Sykes-Picot Agreement, an agreement made between the United Kingdom and France in 1916.

Tech says that the agreement divided up land from the former Ottoman Empire (present-day Syria, Egypt, Turkey, and close to 50 other countries) for either British or French control.

“This goes back," Immortal Technique says. "And I tell people all the time when they ask me about, ‘Oh, how did you get your knowledge’ so to speak. And I say, ‘Listen, it’s about reading several different sources and it’s about going back in time.’ And if you want to understand that conflict then you have to go back to World War I. And even to before World War I. I mean, pretty much the powers of Europe and Russia decided that the Ottoman Empire was the quote-on-quote 'Sick Man Of Europe.' And they signed a treaty called Sykes-Picot. And with Sykes-Picot, it states that Europe being under of course France and England’s leadership, along with Russia’s help, would come in and would annex parts of the Ottoman Empire. In other words, they would take those lands that didn’t necessarily belong to them, but that were in proximity to them and they would use them to their own creed. They would expand colonialism in that way.”

Additionally, the New York emcee expressed his belief that the Sykes-Picot Agreement is the reason why America’s “little buddy,” Great Britain has no desire to intervene in the war with Syria.

“But ask yourself who just tapped out of the Syria war,” he said. “Our little buddy that goes to war with us everywhere, over anything, with anyone, says ‘Hey, guess what America? When we made this deal a long time ago, Syria, that’s not our slice.’ And you know the Brit’s are willing to go for any kind of paper that we have to send. And they curiously, and I use that word loosely because well obviously being sarcastic. They curiously decided, ‘No, we’re not gonna go to Syria.”

Most recently, the United States and Russia reached an agreement that will legally require Syria to surrender its chemical stockpile.

On top of sharing his thoughts on Syria, Immortal Technique also offered up a few details on his much-anticipated The Middle Passage LP. According to Tech, the album will include production from DJ Premier, 9th Wonder and a number of other notable beatsmiths.

“I’m about halfway done with The Middle Passage now," he said. "We have production from DJ Premier, Green Lantern, Ali Shaheed Muhammad, 9th Wonder, Southpaw. Just a bevy of individuals that have—Scram Jones, people that have been supportive of my career throughout the time that they’ve known me. I have some specials guest that I can’t necessarily name, but I’ll give those to you as soon as they come out. It’s just I’ve been working on a couple of other projects as well, I guess on the business side of it.”

Video of Immortal Technique’s interview with Get Your Buzz Up can be found below.

RELATED: Immortal Technique Comments On North Korea's Threats To The United States


  • Luis

    hes in the middle of completing the midle passage lol, cant wait to get that album.

  • armenia

    The Sunnis and Shias fought over religious interpretations - just as protestants and catholics did & that's still true today. Imperialism - Islamic,Christian,Hindu def.does not mean that they were all united - or even that groups with imperial ambitions didn't fight each other. All religions have factions who vie for control. They wanted to 'spread the word' and convert civilisations to their religion not just 'control resources'. The Ottoman empire arose as the Byzantine empire fell. The origins of the Ottomans can be traced back to the late 11th century & perhaps further, when a few small Muslim emirates of Turkic origins and Ghazi (Warrior for the cause of Islam) naturecalled Beyliksstarted to be founded in different parts of Anatolia. Their main role was to defend Seljuq border areas with the Byzantine Empire a role reinforced by the migration of many Turks to Asia Minor. They weren't after 'oil' then. Territorial control was socio/econmic religious control. The Madrasas, the primary education centres of the empire, had staunchly religious doctrines and acted as an expresser of the contemporary Muslim world view. Also, foreign policy, at least with relation to European states, was highly religiously motivated; geared towards Jihad against the infidel and was thus highly pre-emptive, a foreign policy common to earlier European feudal states.

  • armenia

    IT: 'and they would use them to their own creed. They would expand colonialism in that way. and as if Islamic Imperialism didn't do exactly that ! I suppose the Zoroastrians and the numerous civilisations who were massacred in the purges from the 6th century onwards don't count - or that Sunni violence against Shia is not a manifestation of theocratic ideological Muslim on Muslim violence. No, but wait, the west made them do it.

    • Know

      Even you just said that allegiances can change all the time. Obama talked about a Syria strike and then nothing. You want to know more about what you call " the bog-standard all-purpose conspiracy theory", read "Confessions of an economic hitman" by John Perkins. It's not blaming the U.S., it' blaming the U.S. government that want weak countries that bow down to everything the U.S. corporations want. Bot to mention the inflation caused by corporations that forces people to find "another home". Your talking like the mineral conflicts and blood diamond trade doesn't exist.

    • armenia

      Resource grab - the bog-standard all-purpose conspiracy theory. Last week, the jihadist rebel group Al-Nusra Front pledged allegiance to Al-Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri, who had previously urged rebels to establish an Islamic state in Syria & this group coming to power will hardly enable a 'resource grab' by the west - its another pseudo intellectual left conspiracy mantra. These internal disputes due to sectarian divisions are far more pertinent details than sideline observations of 100 years old agreements in a country where Britain and France long ago ceased to have influence on the domestic policies which have left thousands dead in Syria.Simply always blaming the U.S.A. for every failed state in the Middle East is to ignore the lack of democratic structure and the powerlessness of the public and democratic accuntability in the Middle East ; the lack of democratic structure and the powerlessness of the public in the Middle East. That is something only the Arabs can do for themselves as people in Europe, America and elsewhere have to do. I am not a fan of U.S.A foreign policy, but the most positive thing the Arab world can do is take responsibility for their own governance and ensure its one that protects it people.

    • Know

      What is Islamic imperialism? Saying that means that all Muslims were united in it, when in fact they were not, just as you said with the fighting among Sunnis and Shias. What you apparently missed is that it doesn't matter what religions it is, it's all about resource control.

  • gee

    Anyone who buys a word that comes out of this pseudo intellectual ass clowns mouth is a fucking moron.

    • Know

      I'm sorry, where in my comment did I deny the Armenian genocide or any genocide for that matter? Where did I say I was a scholar? Your singling out the Ottomans, when in fact all empires have a brutal history, justified by their respective religions. The Conquistadors killed more people that Hitler and used the bible to justify their genocide. My comment about marriage between religions was to point out that at the end of the day, the people who ran these empires, were in it for their own interest and used religion so that they would have support from the people, none of them really cared about practicing the religion or made up a bunch of crap and said it was in the Bible or the Quran, thus justifying their actions.

    • armenia

      Yes - and there was Christian imperialism also!

    • armenia

      Your comment means nothing. With your 'sources' comment you like too think of yourself as some scholar yet if you had read history you would know there a hundreds of sources! You think the Armenian genocide doesn't have sources? That it is merely a 'claim'? You are obviously grossly uneducated denialist! There are hundreds of 'sources' on this Google -same with the Ottoman expansion. The Ottoman Empire was an empire inspired and sustained by Islam. The tactic of marrying families is a very old one if you have ever studied imperial history (which by your comments I doubt!)The Ottomans did their best to cnvert The Albanian leader against the Ottomans was a Christian - George Kastrioti Skanderberg. Ottoman imperialists think they can keep him as their vassal and he rebelled. The Long campaign by John Hunyadi is another The bells of Catholic and older protestant churches are daily rung at noon to commemorate the Belgrade victory, although the pope had ordered this in advance, a week before the siege, in order to encourage the soldiers fighting for Christendom. Sources! Check some of these names and youll find sources.

    • Know

      Funny that neither of you provided sources or anything for your claims. The Ottomans consolidated power by marring daughters of Christian kings, so by extension, crime committed were committed by more than one empire. P.S. - No empire is a good empire.

    • armenia

      The Ottoman Empire was one of the most brutal and genocidal empires in history.

  • SF 415

    wow, i just hit up my local dispensary and bought a gram of some OG Kush sap and an eighth of some C-4 budget bud. that sap shit has got me flyin high right now lol

    • atom

      then you shouldnt read about the syrian "conflict" right now. You should listen to some Techs music, or watch the simpsons

  • Anonymous

    the rise of the lamb got contraband by pinhead and hellraiser crew.

  • Anonymous

    ja rule will smack this racist sp1ck nigga

  • Doublespeak

    Dude tries to come across as some intellectual, but he just repeats the most basic knowledge anybody with a cursory glance at a textbook can relay. Immortal Technique: Average intelligence in the real world; genius in the hip-hop sphere.

    • armenia

      then he should study more of the history

    • Anonymous

      Nah the worlds are the same. Black star, black thought, nas know more of what they're talking about. Cats like lupe and IT tend to reach, like they want to be known as informed and smart. Probably like you.

  • HNIC

    and another thing for your worthless ass--just because a brotha speaks knowledge doesn't make him less street. Don't let the knowledge fool you nigga, we'll still make your ignorant ass eat pavement. It's sorry motherfuckers like you that wear ignorance as a badge of honor. It's why niggas like me have to work twice as hard. You've let the man enslave your mind son.

    • Me

      Holy shit, just because this guy is speaking in complete sentences does not mean anything he is saying is actually true.

  • staxamillion

    Read a book or something. this isnt news and it makes you "hip hop" heads look real silly.

  • d-block all day

    prolly the most intelligent rapper around watch his interview with joe rogan shits dope and his revoulutionary vol.1 and 2 albums are classic

  • Anonymous

    fuck this under the underground ass nigga if he had songs that would get attention he wouldn't have to say crazy shit to get press

  • Anonymous

    I like how someone having a basic grasp of recent History is now newsworthy and presented like some big revelation. Anyone who isn't down right ignorant can trace the Syrian conflict back to World War I.

    • Dan Smith

      If you both happen to have some free time tomorrow, go find a bridge to jump off of

    • Shut Up Stupid

      "Anyone who isn't down right ignorant..." Ummm, we're talking about the hip hop community here. Most of them still improperly use "your" and "you're".

  • Mr Get Your Buzz Up

    This was a dope interview and I am glad Tech gave me the time to really sit down and talk with him.

  • Anonymous

    make some music already

  • 666

  • jasonnns

  • jasonnns

  • Anonymous

    i wish more people knew what they were talking about much less cared more about what's going on in the country compared to miley cyrus

  • Anonymous

    I don't take life lessons from high school dropout ex convicts

  • Anonymous

    but the reason UK didn't go is cause they're simply war weary. They didn't vote it in house of reps, even though the PM wanted very much to go.

    • Yup

      What's his core following - Shias and Sunnis that hate each other? Dude stood up for the massacres of Ahmadi muslims by Sunnis in Pakistan, when Sunnis represent about 85% of mulisms, why would he do that when that the majority of his "core demographic". You can find these discussions on his twitter page.

    • armenia

      lol yeah listen - IT would criticise them for going to war and he would criticise them for not going to war. Its about 'grabbing resources'. Sure - then take a good long look at the financial interests of Sunni states as well as the Shia ones as well as theocratic factions at war with Assad as well as the crimes of Assads supporters. However - if there are truths which don't sit comfortably with the demographic of your followers then theres no reason to mention salient facts. And yes; its disingenuous. Coronel can talk about the wests carve up of the middle east while omitting the long running Sunni Shia conflict which goes back centuries and pre-dates any 'western' influence - and today in Syria these are far more relevant. Some facts he will mention while he will conveniently omit. It wouldnt go down well with his core following.

  • Anonymous

    I don't listen to dude, but he's right. Iraq too. Israel-Palestinian conflict is also the Brit's fault for promising the land to both arabs and jews.

  • Anonymous

    that was after wwii though, of course.

  • Anonymous

    this dude intelligent and aware what's happening in the world dope artist

  • 9jqd


  • Real eyes Realize Real lies

    You guy`s think immortal technique is a fraud? This guy`s one of the realest in the game! I grew up with real meaningful hip-hop in the 80`s and 90`s and nowadays people are saying Drake is hip-hop, yeah right?! If we had more rappers like immortal technique on the scene hip-hop would be more like how it used to be...Containing a real message and a meaning.

  • Real Hip-Hop

    We don't support this fraud. Listen to real hip-hop such as Nas, Jay-Z, Tupac, Eminem, or Biggie not this loser or lame ass Hopsin

    • fool proof

      "fuck packing grams nigga,learn to speak and behave/ you wanna spend 20 years as a government slave?/ 2 million niggas keep the govornment paid/ stuck in a 6 by 8 cell alive in a grave" Immortal technique

    • WTF

      As much as I respect Nas, Biggie, Em, Pac, and the old Jay, Immortal Technique embodies hip hop culture and the mission of hip hop, that being a way to spread the word and decrease the ignorance of others. Not that I always agree with him, I don't, but it is nice to see artists make heavy handed and eye-opening music. It inspires me to want to make this world a better place, and that is forever. All great artists can inspire that thought, Nas has, for example, same with Rakim, Tupac, and many others, Immortal Technique is just next in line.

    • Ja Rule Army

      so he's a fraud because he doesn't always make up tales about robbing/shooting/drugs/sex/money hmm? Dude's music may not be all appealing but his shit is REAL...REAL LIFE 9/11, our 'lovely' government, Middle East...But hey let our beautiful media dictate your life. Those guys you named most of them are the BIGGEST Frauds especially Mr. Ballerina/Back Up Dancer Shakur

    • Anonymous

      he's real, was not a fan of him but he's dope, kinda like Chuck D

  • staxamillion

    If you listen to rap for any kind of knowledge about anything but true to life experiences then you would be better off picking up a newspaper or a magazine. And if you listen to Immortal Technique you will probably listen to anything that isn't street and think its dope regardless.

    • HNIC

      stax: the wise don't seek knowledge from newspapers and magazines....and he wasn't just spouting off about "something" you stupid fuck. He was putting a current world conflict in to historical context. He was connecting the dots for your slow, lazy, ignorant ass. Step your game up son. HNIC

    • staxamillion

      the fuck you know about me you ignorant fuck. just goes to show how ridiculous this whole thing is. this isnt news. this probably isnt even a good song. this is just immortal technique spouting off about something. Immortal isnt even the fifth best rapper in harlem so step back chump.

    • anon

      U dont read newspaper or magazines though. So stfu. Immortals from harlem. Please stop talkin.

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