Feb. 19, 1978, in Lima, Peru. His family moved to Harlem two years later to escape Peru's internal conflict.


Sounds like: A political watchdog with a microphone.

For fans of: Public Enemy, X-Clan, the Coup, Paris. 

Latest release: The Martyr, a free download album of new songs that boasts guest appearances from Brother Ali, Dead Prez and Chuck D. 

Why you care: After earning a reputation as a ferocious battle-rap MC in the late '90s, Immortal Technique (born Felipe Andres Coronel) decided in 2001 to take on his biggest opponent yet: the U.S. government. That year, his debut, Revolutionary Vol. 1—a seething look into the causes of civic unrest in America's low-income areas—was released to underground acclaim. Tech followed the format of controversial rap veterans Paris and Public Enemy, who made music designed to enrage the listener out of complacency and into action. Since then, Tech has continued to craft aggressive, politically charged hip-hop from a candid perspective. He draws equal amounts of criticism and praise for his content, including 9/11 conspiracy theories, but his talent as a rapper is often overlooked. Tech's commanding delivery and heavy growl make his songs magnetic, even if you find his lyrics extreme. 

SEE IT: Immortal Technique plays the Wonder Ballroom on Thursday, Dec. 1, with Chino XL, Da Circle and DJ GI Joe. 9 pm. $17 advance, $19 day of show. 21+.