Friday, May 16, 2008

The Last Poets

From Wikipedia:
"The Last Poets is a group of poets and musicians who arose from the late 1960s African American civil rights movement's black nationalist thread. Their name is taken from a poem by the South African revolutionary poet Keorapetse Kgositsile, who believed he was in the last era of poetry before guns would take over."
Here is a nice overview of the Poets as well as their influence on hip-hop culture...

I was turned onto the Poets 15 or so years ago via Bill Laswell, who has featured Poet Umar bin Hassan on several projects since the early '90s...I was even lucky enough to see them in the support slot on a bill with Laswell's Third Rail project (which itself featured Bernie Worrell, James Blood Ulmer, Amina Claudine Myers and Ziggy Modeleste...wow). I really love Umar's voice and he shines in so many different contexts, hopefully demonstrated for you below.

The Last Poets: Black People What Y'All Gon' Do
from This Is Madness

Tribute to Obabi
from Chastisement (without Umar)

Down to Now
from Black & Proud: The Soul of the Black Panther Era, Vol. 2 (featuring Chuck D)

Liu Sola: A Discourse On The Zither
from Blues in the East

Axiom Funk: Sacred To The Pain
from Funkcronomicon

Common featuring The Last Poets: The Corner
from Be