Rapper Immortal Technique’s Anti-Rape Monologue, Rock the Bells (2010)

So, I was scouting on YouTube for live performances by my favourite hip-hop artists at the recent Rock the Bells festival, and I came across a particular video (below) that really caught my attention. It shows Immortal Technique — one of the most powerful, political emcees to ever grace a microphone — on stage performing ‘Dance With the Devil’, a incredibly haunting, real-life tale about a recently-affiliated gang-member attempting to prove his worth by raping a young girl in his neighbourhood.

This is hardly the most commercially viable song, but it’s never been Technique’s desire to make songs for anyone other than the people experiencing the harsh realities that occur in the poorest ghettos the world over. His lyrics are often very dark, deliberately obnoxious and deeply personal, and his music always has one hell of an impact upon the listener. At over nine minutes long, ‘Devil’ this is one of the stand out tracks from his first album, Revolutionary Vol. 1, which has gained a dedicated independent following on the underground circuit since its release in 2004.

It’s not just the song that interested me here, though; around about the 6:10 mark in the video, Technique gives a dramatic speech about rape to the small, but very respectful, crowd of hip-hop heads. I felt incredibly moved by the recording alone, and can only envy those people that got to witness the actual event stood only a few yards away. The evidence here only further contributes to the man’s reputation for being one of the most passionate and conscious artists in the music industry right now, and the more people that start listening to his words, the better. Talk about hammering home the message.

See for yourself:

Props to whoever videoed this!

(The Speech: “Your mother, your sister, your grandmother, the girl you came here with tonight, or the woman you’re going to marry some day, she might have lost her virginity by being a victim of rape… and she might never tell you. You poor bastards might never know, and it’s because women are prouder than men, and every time we’ve been made slaves, it’s only with the help of our women that we have risen up and fought oppression of every single kind…

So before you get up in the morning you look in the mirror and you think you see some revolutionary commando, or you think you see some fucking tough guy, I’ll tell you the real test of your fucking manhood. When you in the club and you see somebody dragging a shorty somewhere, or you in the park and you see somebody touching fucking kids or trying to drag them somewhere… THAT’S THE TIME WHEN YOU NEED TO STAND UP AND BE A FUCKING MAN, RIGHT THERE.”)


2 thoughts on “Rapper Immortal Technique’s Anti-Rape Monologue, Rock the Bells (2010)

  1. i’m conflicted about Technique. his response to rape culture is to throw more patriarchal masculinity at it? it’s easy to say people should stop rape when they literally see that it’s about to happen…who the fuck wouldn’t? but he obviously doesn’t see how homophobia (and he has tons of homophobic lines) intersects with patriarchy, and how this is a CAUSE of rape culture. i also recall him threatening to rape someone’s girlfriend in one of his songs, though i can’t remember which one of the top of my head. can we get some real revolutionary emcees who aren’t completely ignorant about patriarchy, homophobia, transphobia, ablism, etc.?

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