I see the world for what it is, beyond the white and the black/The way the government downplays historical facts/'Cuz the United States sponsored the rise of the Third Reich/Just like the CIA trained terrorists to the fight/Build bombs and sneak box cutters onto a flight…

Attention--the one and only Immortal Technique is back in town. If you made his packed-to-the-gills appearance at Neumo's a while back, you know that dude brings intellect and intensity by the OPEC barrel-ful. Tech is one of the most incisively incendiary figures in hiphop today, with a full clip of drama for the misinformation you've been force-fed…. So, come May 5, damn that bullshit P. Square/Belltown Cinco de Mayo revelry you were considering: Get your mind right with Tech, Dim Mak, and Sons of Hagar at Chop Suey and stop acting like a tool. (***Extra points if you questioned everything I just said.)

Another cat you need to get on your radar--before he gets whisked away to Camp X-Ray--is I Self Divine. Self, half of the ATL's Micranots (whose '04 The Emperor & the Assassin LP is quite the slept-upon nugget), has been bubbling in the underground for a minute. His solo debut, Self Destruction, laced entirely by Jake One, Vitamin D, Beanone, and Rhymesayers' soundcrafter Ant, is militant and raw, with a sharp eye for ghetto despair. Divine breathes righteous fire while never sounding self-righteous.

Marshall Mathers III's official road dog, hype man, and fellow D-12 shame-bearer Proof will be making a stop in town to rock at Studio Seven on May 11. The Detroit rhyme veteran (sorta portrayed by Omar Epps in 8 Mile) quietly dropped an album, I Miss the HipHop Shop, this year… and it wasn't half bad. It actually showed glimpses of real lyricism from the guy once considered one of Motown's most unfuckwittable… Speaking of Em, looks like he's doing it real big this summer with the Anger Management 3 Tour--featuring himself and damn near the whole Shady/Aftermath roster--including 50 and G Unit. Shit, can we fit Truckasaurus in there, too?

But, really doe… Common's new one, BE, is a grown-ass classic, if ya ask me. Yes, lil' buddy, I know Resurrection changed your freakin' life in middle school, but what we have here is no less than the full-circle synthesis of the disparate identities Lonnie Lynn has shown over the course of his celebrated career, lessons learned, swagger intact. Superprodcers Kanye West and J-Dilla buoy his not-a-bar-wasted insights with honey-dripping SOUL and hard, shuffling drums--arguably the best beats on which he's ever rapped (NO ID fans, please don't hurt me). Buy it, and feel just a lil' better.

The Pope and his folks got us under a scope/But for unknown reasons/'cuz we don't sell dope…

Word to Erykah Badu's old babydaddy. Somehow, the fact that homie calling shots in Vatican City once served in the Hitler Youth doesn't make my Arma-Geddo Meter spike at all. Really.

hiphop@thestranger.com

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