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The Last Poets released first LP in 20 years (listen), playing free NYC show


This year marks the 50th anniversary of The Last Poets, the NYC spoken word icons who are generally considered the Grandfathers of Hip Hop. Dormant for some time, core members, Abiodun Oyowele and Umar Bin Hassan reactivated Last Poets in response to Donald Trump’s presidential inauguration, and have just released their first album in 20 years. Titled Understand What Black Is, the record was produced by Prince Fatty (who worked on Hollie Cook’s first two albums) and Ben Lamdin (Nostaglia 77), who give Hassan and Oyewole’s powerful words a heavy, dubby backing. You can stream the whole record below.

To celebrate the album’s release, The Last Poets will participating in on-stage performance, Q&A and album signing at Brooklyn’s Rough Trade on June 25. The event is free and all-ages. More info here.

There will surely be tributes at the Rough Trade show to Last Poets co-founder Jalal Mansur Nuriddin who didn’t contribute to the record but died just a couple weeks after its release. Rest in peace.

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