Becoming Champions of the People

//  03/29/2015

Talib Kweli and Immortal Technique(Felipe Coronel) are two of hip hop’s most brilliant representatives. Both were raised in New York, Kweli in Brooklyn and Coronel in Harlem, and both use their lyrics to convey their activism for various civil and international rights issues.

Talib Kweli had his underground debut in 1995 by a Cincinnati group called Mood on their album “Doom”. New York called him back in 1998 where he collaborated with hip hop legend Mos Def and the two became “Black Star.” Their only release, “Mos Def and Talib Kweli Are Black Star” reached #13 on Billboard’s Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums. Kweli’s first solo album “Quality” dropped in 2002, featuring Kanye West and DJ Quik as producers, and later appeared in West’s track “Get ‘Em High” on his highly acclaimed “College Dropout” album. Since then Kweli has gone on to release 8 other albums, and continues to intensely involve himself in the political arena, speaking out against police brutality, and being an advocate for political prisoners.

Born in Lima, Felipe Coronel aka Immortal Technique, emigrated to Harlem with his parents in 1980. He was admittedly good at getting into trouble in his youth, and was arrested during his time at Pennsylvania State University which forced him to be incarcerated for a year. After his release he found it hard to find a job, and began selling his music on the streets of New York, battling MCs and showing off the skills he had honed during his time in jail. His first release,”Revolutionary Vol. 1,” had no label and no distributor, and was funded via his winnings in various rap battles around the city. His lyrics are ripe with politics as well, often speaking out against institutional racism, class struggle, and religion. He spends his time outside of music working with youth and immigrant rights activists.

Between the two of them, Talib Kweli and Immortal Technique have more than a dozen albums, and countless hours of community service locally, nationally, and internationally. Their success continues as they tour the country, and will be gracing Dallas at Trees in Deep Ellum on March 31st. Don’t miss what is sure to be one of the best hip-hop shows the city has to offer!