On the 50th anniversary of the band’s inception at an event in Harlem, NY to commemorate Malcolm X’s birthday on 19 May 1968, influential spoken word artists, poets and commentators The Last Poets return with their first album in over 20 years, ‘Understand What Black Is’.
The inauguration of the latest US President in 2016 inspired Umar bin Hassan and Abiodun Oyewole to resurrect the group to create a brand new record, modern and edgy, and deeply relevant and reflective of our times.
Produced by Ben Lamdin (Nostaglia 77) and Brighton legend Prince Fatty, whose speciality is traditional reggae and dub productions, ‘Understand What Black Is’ is a ten-track album which speaks of a revolutionary struggle defined by both race and identity, that has never sounded more relevant.
The album acts as a body of work between individual members each speaking of their own personal journeys, but feeding into the much larger narrative of struggle and oppression, alongside a fervent hunger for social change. These are struggles and tests of personal resolve that have directly shaped and moulded the bands’ unique sound over the course of an impressive 50 years, and their powerful and influential commentary remains as relevant as ever.