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The Last Poets

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Album Review

If rap could be traced to one logical source point, this exceptional piece of vinyl would be it, without question. Though the strict adherence to syncopated rhythms and standard song structures are absent, all the elements that would later become the hallmarks of hip-hop by the early 1980s (and predictable fare by the 1990s) are here: vivid depictions of street level violence, vivid apocalyptic predictions of racial genocide. All that is missing are pointless party anthems. But running through all the songs on the Last Poets' debut is an urgent sense of the need for radical action in the nation as well as the black community. In addition to railing against the injustices perpetrated by white America, the Poets' comment on the economic and social devastation of drugs ("Jones Comin' Down," "Two Little Boys"), complacency in urban families ("Wake Up N****rs," "When the Revolution Comes"), the emotional release of sex ("Black Thighs"), and the weight of oppression that leads to hopelessness ("Surprises"). At the same time, they warn of the dangers of half-hearted commitment to revolutionary change: "don't talk about revolution until you are ready to eat rats." In the same manner that Marvin Gaye's landmark album What's Goin' On depicted the problems that doomed black culture, the Last Poets are now seen by many as prophets. But also like Gaye, the realization that the problems depicted on The Last Poets are now much worse marks the record as an unheeded warning, far more than just a piece of Black Power kitsch.

Customer Reviews

The last Poets

This is where it started. I graduated 1971 and had this ALBUM. Rap is not new. Listen to The LAST POETS and realize the beginning. Gangsta Rap just brought it to the forefront because it was so offensive. But listen to this group ----- the 70's

Hate Crime Set To Music

N-Word This N-Word That - White Man Bad ohhhhhh Now I see why this was so cutting edge for 1970. I find this record hillarious, I laugh every time I hear it. I find it odd that this self loathing hate filled venom is on itunes. The social justice crowd at itunes is asleep at the wheel. If you want a good chuckle give this record a spin it's right up there with Skillet & Leroy.

Biography

Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap

With their politically charged raps, taut rhythms, and dedication to raising African-American consciousness, the Last Poets almost single-handedly laid the groundwork for the emergence of hip-hop. The group arose out of the prison experiences of Jalal Mansur Nuriddin, a U.S. Army paratrooper who chose jail as an alternative to fighting in Vietnam; while incarcerated, he converted to Islam, learned to "spiel" (an early form of rapping), and befriended fellow inmates Omar Ben Hassan and Abiodun Oyewole....
Full Bio
The Last Poets, The Last Poets
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Customer Ratings