The Last Poets had been going strong for over a quarter of a century when we talked to them in 1997. They started out in the Apollo Theatre and have worked with artists like B.B. King, Curtis Mayfield, and Aretha Franklin. Some say they're the first true hip hop act. We did a rare interview with Jalal Mansur Nuriddin (Alafia Pudim) and the late Suliaman El Hadi about modern rap and hiphop music:
"The Last Poets started out as Political community activists and what we wanted to do was articulate what 400 years of the legacy of slavery meant to us emotionally, psychologically and spiritually in America. Because all this was kept hidden inside our guts. And that began the birth of rap. The word rap means to place the blame on a guilty party."