Last Poets | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Last Poets 

Sign up for our newsletters Subscribe

This show should bring some historical perspective to the current rap-music furor; it may also refamiliarize contemporary audiences with the affirming message of liberation that lies at the roots of the form. The Last Poets were, along with Gil Scott-Heron, among the most important chroniclers of the urban revolt of the 60s and early 70s. Buoyed by a propulsive African polyrhythmic base, their readings were unabashedly revolutionary--fierce yet laced with profound love and hope for the future. They fused incendiary rage ("Die, Nigga!!!") with a tender solidarity forged in the anguished fire of day-to-day ghetto experience ("Little Willie Armstrong Jones"). These, by the way, are the "original" Last Poets, not the aggregation that recorded on Douglas Records circa 1969-'70, although lyricist Abiodun from this second group, whose "Wake Up, Niggers" was featured in the film Performance (with Mick Jagger), will be on hand to provide historical continuity. The Poets bill themselves these days as the Fathers of Rap; their reemergence is a hopeful sign that this modern urban folk form may yet live up to its potential and become a vehicle for meaningful social change. Saturday, 8 PM, International Room, Kennedy King College, 6800 S. Wentworth; 559-1212 or 324-0494.

Support Independent Chicago Journalism: Join the Reader Revolution

We speak Chicago to Chicagoans, but we couldn’t do it without your help. Every dollar you give helps us continue to explore and report on the diverse happenings of our city. Our reporters scour Chicago in search of what’s new, what’s now, and what’s next. Stay connected to our city’s pulse by joining the Reader Revolution.

Are you in?

  Give $35/month →  
  Give $10/month →  
  Give  $5/month  → 

Not ready to commit? Send us what you can!

 One-time donation  → 

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Agenda Teaser

Performing Arts
October 02
Galleries & Museums
August 20

Popular Stories