The Last Poets

The Last Poets

Profile:
The Last Poets are a group of poets and musicians, rising from the late 1960s African American civil rights movement. Jalaludin M. Nuriddin, an Army paratrooper who chose to go to jail instead of fight in the Vietnam War, founded the group in prison after converting to Islam and learning to spiel, an earlier form of hip-hop emceeing.

With Umar Bin Hassan and Abiodun Oyewole, Nuriddin was released from prison, joined the East Wind workshop in Harlem, and began performing their spiels, along with music, on the street. The group adopted the name the Last Poets in 1969 from a South African writer named Little Willie Copaseely, who believed he was in the last era of poetry before guns would take over. They released an LP in 1970, The Last Poets, which reached the Top Ten album charts. Oyewole was arrested for robbery before a tour could begin, and he was replaced by Nilajah and featured "Whitey on The Moon," a classic protest anthem depicting social and racial divisions.

The follow-up, This is Madness, featured more radical and politically charged poems, which resulted in the group being listed as part of the counter-intelligence program founded by then-President Richard Nixon. Following that album, Hassan joined a southern-based religious sect and was replaced by Suliaman El-Hadi in time for Chastisement (1972). The album introduced a sound the group called jazzoetry, a mix of jazz and funk with poetry. At Last (1974), was a free-jazz album. The popularity of the group declined during the remainder of the 1970s, and Nilajah left.

In the 1980s, however, the group became popular with the rise of hip-hop. It returned to recording in its own right in 1984 with Oh, My People and its follow-up, Freedom Express (1988). Hassan and Jalal worked on several solo projects until 1995, when two groups using the name formed. Jalal and El Hadi released Scatterrap while Oyewole and Hassan released Holy Terror. The group's founding members reunited for 1997's Time Has Come, its only release to date on a major label. Recently, the Last Poets collaborated with Common on the song "The Corner."

The Last Poets stands as the true originator of hip-hop emceeing. With withering attacks on everything from racists to the American government to the bourgeoisie, their spoken-word albums preceded politically laced R&B projects such as Marvin Gaye's What's Going On and foreshadowed the work of hard-hitting hip-hop groups such as Public Enemy.
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Artist

The Last Poets Discography Tracks

Albums

The Last Poets The Last Poets (Album) Douglas US 1970 Sell This Version
The Last Poets This Is Madness (Album) Douglas Canada 1971 Sell This Version
The Original Last Poets* Right On! (Original Soundtrack) (Album) Juggernaut Records, Juggernaut Records US 1971 Sell This Version
The Last Poets Chastisment (Album) Blue Thumb Records US 1972 Sell This Version
The Last Poets At Last (Album) Blue Thumb Records US 1973 Sell This Version
The Last Poets With Bernard Purdie The Last Poets With Bernard Purdie - Delights Of The Garden (Album) Douglas US 1977 Sell This Version
The Last Poets Oh My People (Album) Celluloid Greece 1985 Sell This Version
The Last Poets Freedom Express (Album) Acid Jazz Netherlands 1988 Sell This Version
The Last Poets Holy Terror (Album) P-Vine Records Japan 1993 Sell This Version
The Last Poets Scatterap/Home (Album) Bond Age France 1994 Sell This Version
The Last Poets Time Has Come (Album) Mercury, Mouth Almighty Records US 1997 Sell This Version

Singles & EPs

The Last Poets On The Subway (Single) Douglas US 1970 Sell This Version
The Last Poets O.D. (Single) Douglas US 1970 Sell This Version
The Last Poets True Blues Douglas US 1971 Sell This Version
BTA 216 The Last Poets Bird's Word / Tribute To Obabi (Ogun)(7", Single, Promo) Blue Thumb Records BTA 216 US 1972 Sell This Version
KW 8401, KW 8402 The Last Poets Long Enough(12") Kee Wee Records, Kee Wee Records KW 8401, KW 8402 US 1984 Sell This Version
The Last Poets Get Movin' (Single) Celluloid UK 1985 Sell This Version
The Last Poets Black And Strong (Homesick) (Maxi) Rykodisc US 1995 Sell This Version
OST 006T The Last Poets It's A Trip(12") Original Sound Track Recordings OST 006T UK 2000 Sell This Version
The Last Poets, Dead Prez And Common The Last Poets, Dead Prez And Common - Panthers (Maxi) Counterflow Recordings, Traffic Entertainment Group US 2004 Sell This Version
SCTI 1094 The Last Poets / Time Zone The Last Poets / Time Zone - This Is Madness / The Wild Style(12") Black Beats SCTI 1094 UK 2004 Sell This Version
294030 The Last Poets Evolution(CDr, Single) Apples And Snakes 294030 Unknown Sell This Version
none Last Poets* Jazzoetry / Hands Off(Acetate, 10") Paramount Records none US Unknown Sell This Version
ADS-3 The Last Poets On The Subway / Jones Comin Down(7", Single) Douglas ADS-3 Unknown Sell This Version

Compilations

The Last Poets Jazzoetry (Comp, Album) Douglas US 1976 Sell This Version