Viva La Revolucion!

Immortal Technique, the emotionally and politically enraged underground rapper, appeared at Slim’s on April 12 in San Francisco with a few of his comrades from New York, where he performed several of his classic hits.

The venue was small, but the people were plentiful. It was as if you were looking at sardines squished in a tin can. There were people of many different ethnicities and types, reminding me of the diversity in Immortal Technique’s fans. Seeing how this was my first ever concert, I was extremely optimistic, and I went back home a happy camper.

The opening act of the night was by an up-and-coming Palestinian rapper by the name of Patriarch. It was perfect timing for him because not only was he the opening act, but he was releasing his first ever album, which he was trying to promote. He came out with a couple of political songs that had loads of intensity and dander, showing me that he had a bit of promise to his style. Patriarch confused me a bit, however, when he performed his last song, “Crunk Revolution.” I wasn’t sure if Patriarch was the guy that expressed his feelings towards politics with earlier songs, or if he was the mainstream rapper who talked about getting “crunk” in the club. Either way, it was quite the delight to see a Middle Eastern rapper.

After Patriarch’s performance came one of Immortal Technique’s good friends, Poison Pen. I had a feeling that Poison Pen was quite the character, especially when he brought a bottle of Hennessy and Vodka on stage with him. Not only did he drink while performing, but he offered shots to whoever provided him with a cup. Personally, I wasn’t feeling the vibe through Poison Pen’s songs. He had a lot of energy with his material, but I wasn’t into his style because I felt that he was too mainstream. Even though Poison Pen’s songs weren’t all that good, he managed to keep everyone uplifted because he constantly made fun of his looks and his obesity. One example was when Poison Pen was taking off one of his t-shirts, and some women screamed at him, where he replied, “Stop that! You know I’m not that sexy.”

Finally, the moment that we were all waiting for had arrived. It was time for Immortal Technique to come to stage and do his thing. And although Poison Pen was done with his performance, he remained on stage to witness Immortal Technique before his eyes, and to perform a song with him as well. Immortal Technique didn’t disappoint me, or anyone else at the concert one bit. He performed hits like, “Dance with the Devil,” “Crossing the Boundary,” and “Industrial Revolution,” along with many other classics from his album, “Revolutionary Volume 2.” In between songs, Immortal Technique would talk about many issues that were aggravating him, ranging from President Bush, record companies that wanted him to be something that he wasn’t, and the immigration bill.

In the middle of Immortal Technique’s performance, we were treated to the DJ for the night, DJ GI-Joe, who put on a good performance by scratching his turntables and break-dancing. Although Immortal Technique wasn’t afraid to let his anger take control of him, he humbled down and made a salute to Proof, Eminem’s friend and member of D12, who was shot and killed a few weeks ago.

It was inevitable, but all of us fans realized that the end was nearing. Immortal Technique performed his final song, and did something that was a bit unorthodox. He had everyone in the crowd raise their right hand and look towards the exit, where we listened to a speech that he was giving about being the best person that we can be, while fighting for freedom and change in the world. As he was done with his speech, he made us shout, “Viva La Revolucion!”

This was my first ever concert, but it had already left a lasting impression on me.