The 3rd World
Release Date: July 8th, 2008
Itâ€™s been a couple of years since Immortal Technique dropped Revolutionary Vol. 2. If you recall I commented that for the most part, all the album was missing in most cases was tight production. Well in the interim to his follow-up to that LP, Revolutionary Vol. 3, Immortal is back with, The 3rd World, to keep the streets warm in the interim. Iâ€™m not sure if The 3rd World is being marketed as something akin to a mix-tape, but besides the cuts, scratches, and a few points where the DJ brings a section of a record back so listeners can hear a bar or line over it sounds like a quite a finished and polished product.
I never really have to worry about lyrics or content when I listen to an Immortal Technique album, but out of forced habit I went right to my Hip-Hop album checklist; lyrics â€“ check, content â€“ check, creativity â€“ check, beats â€¦.. â€“ check. And oh the difference a beat makes. This time around Technique has teamed up with DJ Green Lantern and Toure â€œSouthpawâ€ Harris, though they are not the only parties responsible for the improved production work. In fact Still Digginâ€™s Buckwild lays down one of the albums best beats on the outstanding crew cut, â€œStronghold Gripâ€, Scram Jones captures the mood perfectly with the track for â€œMistakesâ€, and â€œPaybackâ€ is laid down perfectly as Technique, Diabolic, and Ras Kass humorously recount how they would like to pay back their enemies. â€œGolpe De Estadoâ€ sounds like an imperial coronation for some kind of emperor and although itâ€™s all in Spanish and Iâ€™m hardly fluent, I found myself nodding my head through the language barrier.
The 3rd World is refreshing on numerous levels. Even the albumâ€™s title is an attempt to bridge the gap between the struggles of poor and working class people across international boundaries. Itâ€™s truly rare, especially on todayâ€™s music scene, to hear an MC with even a reasonable amount of visibility be able to tackle so much subject matter with clarity and perspective, and not lose his street edge. â€œHarlem Renaissanceâ€ takes on the issue of poor people of color being displaced from urban areas across the country; a process commonly referred to as gentrification. It even features an extended commentary by an African American music store, owner who is being forced out of his business on Harlemâ€™s 125th street after over 30 years on the famous street. You never really have to worry about Technique saying a rhyme or punchline you heard another MC say because even his metaphors are attacks on state power. In a nutshell, you couldnâ€™t be an ignoramus or someone who hasnâ€™t tried to seriously educate himself, and rhyme like he does. In fact if it comes down to making a political point or staying on beat, most of the times the political point wins, as it does a couple of times on the title track â€œThe 3rd Worldâ€.
As much as I take rappers to task for generally sub-par music, I donâ€™t have an issue with hardcore Hip-hop simply because it may be aggressive, a little vulgar, or edgy. In fact I generally prefer my Hip-hop that way, my problem is more with balance and content. As itâ€™s so well encapsulated on the hook of â€œLick Shotsâ€,
Lick shots, lick shots, lick shots for the Revolution!
Lick shots, lick shots, lick shots
but watch where the !uck you shooting.
Yo, where you aiming at? Where you aiming at?
Lyrics: A // Content: A+ // Production: B+ //
Creativity: A+ // Quality %: A // Bonus: N/A
Overall: A :Review by Eyecalone