Immortal Technique
The 3rd World


2.0
poor

Review

by Nick Butler EMERITUS
July 1st, 2008 | 98 replies | 26,442 views


Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A poor attempt to satsify an increasingly impatient fanbase.

Immortal Technique's first two full-length efforts, Revolutionary Vol. 1 and Revolutionary Vol. 2, are about as direct as music gets as far as emotional impact goes - they're all about anger. Even Dead Prez, Lost Children of Babylon, and Public Enemy (the three acts Tech gets compared to most) temper their anger regularly with resignation, rationale, or even humour, but Tech's records are almost entirely one-dimensional on an emotional level - it's just anger, anger, and more anger with just one collapse into outright desolation ("Dance With The Devil", "You Never Know") by way of variation. In a lot of ways, then, The 3rd World is a step into unknown territory for the guy, because this release speaks of a new emotion entirely - fear.

Let me clarify. The 3rd World is a mixtape rather than an actual album in any real sense - it even ends with a plug for Revolutionary Vol. 3. And yet, it's being marketed, promoted, and hyped as a real release. As far as Tech goes, this is a win-win situation - if people react well, then it'll improve his reputation, and if they don't, then he has a ready-made excuse for why it sucks. In the case of the latter, it can even be stricken from the record books as his third album proper. In releasing a record like this, particularly five years after Revolutionary Vol. 2, Tech has accidentally revealed to us that he's scared of what the reaction to his third album might be.

And make no mistake, the reaction has largely been vicious. I suppose you have to expect that - five years is a long time for somebody's personal politics to be picked apart, particularly when they're as extreme as Tech's are. A backlash was inevitable once the shock of the new and the power of his delivery wore off, and people realized just what the lyrics were actually saying. Yet, to slate this album for the political views it espouses is to miss the point entirely. After all, it's not as if the two Revolutionary albums were watertight documents in that regard, and yet they are both still (correctly) seen as genre classics, underground classics, however you want to phrase it. No, the problems of The 3rd World run deeper than that.

One of those problems is, in fairness, no problem of Tech's at all. DJ Green Lantern mans the boards here, and quite frankly, he's shit at everything he does. His scratching, in particular, seems limited to pointless 'rewinds' that repeat the previous four lines of the rap so that you're forced to sit through them again. His beats aren't much more impressive, lacking as they are in any form of complexity, intelligence, or inspiration. Even when a rare good idea does arise - see the 'open your eyes before you die' sample - it's poorly handled. Tech has never had great beats, but these mark a new low for him.

Maybe it's because the beats have no impact that Tech has changed his rapping style to a new, harsher, more direct tone. If he IS compensating - and I'm being charitable in drawing that conclusion - then it's backfired. The new angrier voice makes for angrier lyrics, which in turn makes for less intelligent lyrics. Again, this is more a development of an existing problem rather than an entirely new one - the politics on the Revolutionary albums were hardly the most sane or measured in the world, but at least they felt like some thought had gone into them. These don't. Worse still, the constant barrage of harsh, static rapping simply gets tiring after a while; even if his lyrics were genuinely revelatory, the sheer sound makes it difficult to want to keep up. The only variations come from a handful of voiceovers (which again feel oddly tentative, as if Tech and Lantern are just searching for some kind of external validation for their beliefs), and the guests, who outrap Tech on an alarmingly regular basis.

No matter what way you cut it, The 3rd World is a bad release. It's redeemed somewhat by the clear conviction with which Tech performs, and the natural charisma the mas has, but even by releasing this he'll no doubt turn away a lot of people who've been supporting him for years. And that's a shame; the world could always do with another extreme artistic voice. Still, I guess I'm happy to fall into the trap Tech wants me to fall into - this isn't Revolutionary Vol. 3, and I'll wait until then before I declare his career effectively over. If you're a fan who hasn't heard this, though, I'd advise you stay away from it and just keep waiting, because this is a particular kind of failure - a stop-gap that doesn't stop anything OR fill any gaps.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
Iai
Emeritus
July 1st 2008



3553 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Took me a really long time to write this, for some reason.

Minus The Flair
Emeritus
July 1st 2008



862 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Agree completely, I found this really boring and tough to get through.

Athom
Staff Reviewer
July 1st 2008



17126 Comments


You nailed it. This was really disappointing.

Digging: Sad Lovers and Giants - Feeding the Flame

irishmanshibby
July 1st 2008



355 Comments


i didnt even bother since it had green lantern. prolly wont at all now

gmoneyguy
July 1st 2008



108 Comments


I listened to volume 1 and got bored to tears. I'm probably not going to bother with with this one.

dub sean
July 1st 2008



979 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5 | Sound Off

I kinda figured this was coming. I'm gonna pat myself on the back for not picking it up.

Smileyface
July 1st 2008



309 Comments


I really like this, but that's probably just me.

foreverendeared
July 1st 2008



14678 Comments


really great review. his first two releases are phenomenal imo, but you've convinced me to avoid this

IsItLuck?
Emeritus
July 1st 2008



4925 Comments


I don't think Immortal Technique is anything great, a few good songs in his collection, but nothing to really rave about

ninjuice
July 2nd 2008



6758 Comments


Word in summary is misspelled.

Why do you listen to music like this? Rap is so fucking gay, it can't even be called music.

I really hope that A)you're not who I think you are and B) aren't serious.

ilikemusicthatsucks
July 2nd 2008



1063 Comments


I really hope that A)you're not who I think you are


he isn't

foreverendeared
July 2nd 2008



14678 Comments


Why do you listen to music like this? Rap is so fucking gay, it can't even be called music.

for the sake of keeping this website at least halfway intelligent, shut up

francesfarmer
July 2nd 2008



1477 Comments


Album is intense.

ilikemusicthatsucks
July 2nd 2008



1063 Comments


Why do you listen to music like this? Rap is so fucking gay, it can't even be called music.


Fail.

Smileyface
July 2nd 2008



309 Comments


It wasn't you?

brandtweathers
July 2nd 2008



2009 Comments


disappointing.
he'll probably rap about this album on the next album

chickenfish
July 2nd 2008



1008 Comments


You're an idiot, you missed the entire point of this album. Lyrics, are what make his techniques immortal.

chickenfish
July 2nd 2008



1008 Comments


Technique chemically unstable, set to explode
foretold by the dead sea scrolls written in codes
so if your message ain't shit, fuck the records you sold
cuz if you go platinum, it's got nothing to do with luck
it just means that a million people are stupid as fuck

psilocybin
July 2nd 2008



74 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Haha, what the fuck?

To each his own I suppose....

I was glad to hear Tech improve his breathing and his flow. The diction is intense as ever. Great for a mixtape. I cannot wait for The Middle Passage and Revolutionary Vol. 3

combustion07
July 2nd 2008



5303 Comments


I love his first 2 albums, I don't think I'm gonna be picking this one up though...



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