• Abiodun Oyewole

The Tribute


On May 19, 2020, I participated in an online tribute to The Last Poets, celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of the release of our self-titled album in 1970, which was responsible for giving us our notoriety.  KRS, Rakim, Erikyah Badu, Chuck D, J Ivey, Dougie Fresh, Jessica Care Moore and a host of others made personal tributes. I was blown away with the love and respect that was rendered during this online broadcast.

I often  have a difficult time receiving accolades for the work I’ve done. I consider what I do as a part of my assignment. I believe everyone on the planet has an assignment. When you discover what it is, you can passionately get involved . I like and write poetry. This has led me into helping to create a platform for poetry to become the universal voice for the people all over the world. To think that The Last Poets sold a million copies of an album long before social media existed is amazing.

I have felt and still feel honored that so many people worldwide appreciated what we had to say. The tribute also highlighted all the collective members of The Last Poets -- past and present -- those who are still with us and those who have passed on. It was a beautiful tribute that gave viewers an uplift at a time when many are feeling down. I have heard from quite a number of friends and relatives who watched and were very touched by the event. I hope this tribute and celebration will not only reinforce our existence, but also make it possible for The Last Poets to connect with some of the younger wordsmiths and bridge the generational gap. I personally have been mentoring young artists for a long time and I have learned so much. Many things they are going through I’ve been through. Still there are things they know that I don’t know. Working together could be very lucrative for us all.




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