Over the past few months, Harlem rapper Immortal Technique has provided fans with commentary on the conflict in Syria, the recent government shutdown and other politics-driven topics. But during a recent conversation with Get Gone TV, Technique offered his thoughts on the music industry and its handling of artists.
While commenting on the music industry, the Peruvian-born wordsmith addressed artists’ lack of ownership on their intellectual property, calling it “the new slavery.” And to aid in his break down of the music industry, the rapper referenced George Orwell’s 1945 novel, “Animal Farm.”
“I think what basically I’ve seen over the course of these years is that a lot of record labels use the artists the way the horses were used in ‘Animal Farm,’” Technique says. “And they seemed to act like the pigs in ‘Animal Farm.’ I think when you look at it in that fashion, we’re really used as the workhorse for that industry. And that we don’t have enough say. And we don’t have enough of our—not just ownership of intellectual property, which is the new slavery. Before it was physical property. A human being turned into physical property, but now it’s more about retaining ownership of the work that you do and that which you put into creating something that then another person will co-opt or then will take from you and claim it’s their idea.”
White supremacy was also brought up during Immortal Technique’s conversation as he questioned why persons outside of the United States or Europe are hardly mentioned when it concerns past breakthroughs in math and science.
“Now in the past this was done because society was dominated by White supremacy,” said the rapper. “So, any idea that came from people of color was automatically taken out of their hand. In other words, it wasn’t official until someone else put their stamp on it. Even European colonialism did this with the westernizing and the whitewashing of science and math. For example, we think of science and math. We can’t name one person from the Middle East. One person from China. One person from Africa. But then they tell us Sir Isaac Newton. We all know who that is, right?”
Immortal Technique also touched on mental slavery in a past interview with Vlad TV as he suggested that rich, Black people are victims of mental enslavement.
“I wouldn’t say that rich Black people are the new slaves, that would be ridiculous, but are rich black people being mentally enslaved? Absolutely, because if they had any sense they would start their own industries that benefited some of their own people,” Tech said.
In addition to expressing his thoughts on political and social issues in various interviews, Immortal Technique has also addressed those same issues, as well as matters of racism and religion, in his music.
The rapper’s last project, The Martyr, was released in 2011 and according to Technique, his next LP, The Middle Passage, is “about halfway done.”