Daily Archives: May 19, 2018

R.I.P. Reggie Lucas

Reggie Lucas, the brilliant guitarist, producer and Miles Davis alumni passed away today at age 65. Lucas was a member of Miles Davis’ band in the ’70s and recorded Get Up With It, Pangea and Agartha with him. In the late ’70s and ’80s, he worked with James Mtume and they wrote and produced a bunch of hits for Stephanie Mills, “You Know How To Love Me” for Phyllis Hyman and “The Closer I Get To You” for Roberta Flack and Donny Hathaway among others. Lucas also worked solo and produced records for The Weather Girls, Rebbie Jackson, The Four Tops and Randy Crawford. He is known in the pop world for producing most of Madonna’s debut album and writing “Borderline” for her. His daughter, Lisa Lucas announced his passing to the Associated Press. 

 

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The Last Poets Understand What Black Is (Interview)

Fifty years ago The Last Poets formed as a group in Marcus Garvey Park on what would have been Malcolm X’s 43rd birthday. The outspoken minister and activist was killed three years earlier in 1965 amidst civil rights turmoil in the country and a serious disagreement with Nation Of Islam leader Elijah Muhammad. The group emerged with their self-titled album in 1970 and took America to task for its racism as a trio of two poets and a percussionist. Their Pro-Black poetry was in the same class as the work of Gil Scott-Heron who also admonished America’s racist practices with the eloquence of jazz.

It has been 20 years since The Last Poets released Time Has Come. Black Lives Matter, Trump, and the overall feeling that America has not changed since they started making music five decades ago brought them out of retirement to record Understand What Black Is. The new music is just as fiery as some of their favored jewels like “Niggas Is Scared Of Revolution” and has a distinct jazzy dub sound. The album is also a celebration of their 50th anniversary as a group. Hip-hop and rap music gets so much of its passion, rhythm, and candidness from The Last Poets. Members Abiodun Oyewole, Umar Bin Hassan and Baba Donn Babatunde recently answered some emailed questions about Understand What Black Is and their view of America today. 

 

“Malcolm X was about human rights”-Abiodun 

 

 

 

It’s been a while since your last album, what is it about this time that made you want to create new music?

Umar:  The fact that we are alive and able to do this after 50 years and the changes we have been through as men in the black community, we look at things differently and more wisely as we are older and wiser.

Baba: And we are in Trump time.

Abiodun: To let it be known that The Last Poets are alive and well, and we are still thinking and we are still very vibrant when it comes to our thoughts and the world we live in.

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Media Questions Of The Week

 

Will the feminist group  Ultraviolet get their wish and have Nelly, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Chris Brown, Steven Tyler, Ted Nugent, Don Henley, Tekashi6ix9ine and Eminem removed from Spotify’s playlists? 

Did Meek Mill miss out on a good opportunity by canceling his meeting with President Trump for a prison reform summit at the White House? 

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