I first heard this record back in the days of vinyl. It came from a friend’s older sibling’s or maybe parents’ record collection. I was in 10th grade in Alaska at the time, and this music and was the strangest thing we’d ever heard. We all loved it even though none of us knew what the heck it was.
Not too long ago, I’m reading the real estate news and see that the owners of the birthplace of Hip Hop, 1520 Sedgewick Ave, wanted to leave the Michell-Lama program. That’s where Kool Herc lived and held parties where he refined his style of DJing. I’d never heard of Kool Herc, so I Googled the name. I found a lot to read, including this True Skool Lesson of the Week:
Another profoundly influential cadre of artists was the irrepressible Last Poets. An ever-changing trio of New York-area poets, many of whom had taken on the Black Muslim faith, began to preach the ills of American society over a drumbeat at local cafés and political events.
All the old music came back to me when I read this. Who would have thought that pre-Hip Hop from the Bronx could affect a bunch of totally not hip kids in Anchorage? I discovered that the Last Poets is on CD. Now, older and living in NYC, I get it.
UPDATE: 1520 Sedgwick Avenue has been saved from gentrification! Kool Hurc (that’s him these days, in the shades) and his friends won.
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