Born in Lima, Peru, on February 19, 1978, Felipe Andres Coronel later moved to Harlem, New York, where he began rapping during his high school years. He adopted the moniker Immortal Technique and became a frequent participant in the city's freestyle rap competitions, emerging as the winner of events like Braggin Rites and Rocksteady Anniversary. His success in the underground hip-hop community allowed him to self-finance his debut album, Revolutionary Vol. 1, which was released in 2001. Revolutionary Vol. 2 followed in 2003, which both albums featuring a mix of rapid-fire rhymes and left-wing political commentary. Immortal Technique's radical politics had been shaped by the year he spent in jail as a teenager, during which time he began following the teachings of Malcolm X, Che Guevara, and other outspoken activists. He continued rapping about poverty, injustice, and the plight of developing nations on 2008's The 3rd World, using the album's proceeds to help fund the construction of an orphanage in Kabul, Afghanistan. Meanwhile, he also collaborated with other rappers on a number non-album singles, appearing with Mos Def on the controversial "Bin Laden," tapping Public Enemy frontman Chuck D to join him on the subsequent "Bin Laden (Remix)," and partnering with Poison Pen for the song "Stronghold Warriors." Immortal Technique collected a decade's worth of unreleased tracks and released them as a free compilation, The Martyr, in 2011, the same year that his documentary film, The (R)evolution of Immortal Technique, premiered at the Harlem Film Festival.