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Thread started 06/13/18 10:26am

djThunderfunk

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The Last Poets' "North, East, West, South"

On the new album by The Last Poets, Understand What Black Is, Umar Bin Hassan raps a tribute to Prince on the track "North, East, West, South". Check it out:

We were HERE, where were you?

4 those that knew the number and didn't call... fk all y'all!
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Reply #1 posted 06/13/18 11:45am

littlemissG

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Perfect.
I just wish he was here to hear it.
No More Haters on the Internet.
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Reply #2 posted 06/13/18 4:17pm

rnb

Great tribute! I will have to get that new album.
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Reply #3 posted 06/13/18 5:01pm

Lovejunky

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SO COol..

I had to search out the Lyrics...

Absoultuely BEAUTIFUL...

The news….

North, East, West, South
Hard core Honky tonk of St. Louis
Jimi Hendrix soundings and rebounding
The cool slick slide of Chicago Bop
The suave and sexiness of Motown
The soft winds of a desert breeze
The horns, the piano and drums
Feeling astronomical, intergalactic
The sound of sounds charming snakes
The news… North, East, West, South
The swiftness and elegance if a magic carpet ride
Veiled women teasing and tantalizing from the
Outer fringes of the market place
A sharp crisp military strut
Little drummer boys playing with big drums
Innocent flirtations of the big band sound
Some astral traveling. Blues and funk gone amok
Some Broadway and Hollywood sound
Tracking down… the truth of this beginning
How did it come to be
The News… North, East, West, South
Was it Jazz Prince?

Was it classical?
Or was it just some of that Razz Matazz
From the upper tiers of your mind
Back to the beginning...

[Verse 2]
Trudging through deep, deep snow
And blizzard like winds smashing up against your face
Trying to get to somewhere, anywhere soon
The sounds and rhythms of the machines in the factories
Booming out there concertos to our receptive ears
And we walked with that and we talked with that. It was our
Swing and then our bop. The way we hipped and the way we hopped
Our clothes, our style. That Motown Wile
Those Midwestern challenges, that Midwestern funk
Brothers and sisters huddled together. That burden of anticipation
Your mother. My mother. Cowering behind fractured moments
And the illusion that blind devotion could solve the unsolvable
Genius struggling against the brilliance of itself
My father ... Your father ... musicians
Talented creative ... productive ... and highly frustrated by the dead ends
And dead stops that impeded and curtailed their progression
The future looking for someone to take it forward
You took up that mantle and I took up that mantle
And we never ever forgot where we came from
A soft kiss of wine emboldens the passion
A dimmed Red light eases the apprehension and doubt
The Delfonics make their presence known
The heat of the moment is so right up against the wall
Under the stairs, in between the washer and dryer where it
All becomes so juicy and wet. A promise. A proposition. A phenomena when those
Basements started to grind. Those Midwestern challenges. T

hat Midwestern funk
That Church piano . . . on why don't you call me anymore.

You could be church
Prince.

That Sunday Morning solo. That voice that could bring the congregation
To the best of themselves. You could be that doo wop singer on the corner
Holding and preserving the highest note of our pleasures and fantasies
Was Warner Music a challenge? No ... Just a matter of time
Was Purple Rain a challenge? No… Just your poetic rhyme
Was all ... the music you created a challenge. No…Just the essence of your sublime

[Poem]
The 2017 MTV awards. Sheila E coming down the aisle
Prince already at the altar. This night, this time
This union will become a force. A direct assault upon our senses
The audience had better check their immune systems
They could catch cold. Because it’s about to become very ... very ... cool... up in here
That soaring, guitar. Those scorching timbales
See mommy, see Papi. You Brother ... Yoh Sister ... We
Can do this, We are this. That High Order of Afro Cuban. African American
Musical collaborations. Thank you Dizzy. Thank you Chano. A marvellous
Rendition of call and response. The meringue, the salsa, That Piano. The Horns
Giving a shout out to their cousins of the Blues… the Jazz and the funk of
The dancers on stage giving credence to who we are and where we came from
Music ... is the sound of Beauty... and you displayed and dispensed that beauty
As well as anybody Prince. A new symbol for your fans. Avid followers. Deeply
Devoted believers in your talent and humanity
Wherever you were was where they wanted to be. By bus by car by train By Plane
And you mesmerised... you tantalised... you romanticised them with death defying acts of musical
Genius. The speed... velocity... and depth of your splits and turns...
The acrobatic joyous atmosphere you brung to every corner of the stage. You were
That whirling dervish that baptised us in the name of feeling good about ourselves
While being at ease in the presence of others. You had that magic of
Transforming Adults into gleeful little children. And we were okay with that
We could handle that. Because we could feel the love and respect you were sharing
With us as much as we were sharing it with you. You made us feel like
Family. The Human ... family
The women in your life loved you trusted you
They allowed you to explore their passions ... their doubts ... their
Moments of joy. And every moment that you were accepted into their presence
You always tried to make them feel ... big ... about themselves. They adored that
They cherished that. Because they knew that as long as you were trying
To love and accept them. Then you would truly learn how to love yourself
Sleep well... Brave Prince ... for your deed and proclamations shall be forever
Renowned throughout the land. And I pledge to you that with all my heart and
Worth. I will try to make sure that no Purple Rain gets stuck in the clouds again

“LOVE IS THE MASTERPLAN”
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Reply #4 posted 06/13/18 6:04pm

1725topp

littlemissG said:

Perfect. I just wish he was here to hear it.

*

Yes, it's sad that Prince isn't here to hear this excellent tribute to him, but he has known about Umar Bin Hassan's love for him since reading McInnis' The Lyrics of Prince, in which Bin Hassan is featured in the chapter, "Poets' Praises for Prince." Prince had a copy of The Lyrics of Prince, and he and McInnis discussed Bin Hassan's inclusion in the book. Here is an excerpt of what Bin Hassan said then in 2000 about Prince:

*

"I love Prince both as a musician and a lyricist. He is probably the greatest musician who has ever lived. And because he understands the intricate and delicate balance between music and lyrics, I would love to work with that brother. I would go somewhere in the woods for a month, close myself off from any disturbance, just to write for his music. I really don’t want to go back into the studio because of the way that the Last Poets have been treated by the industry, but Prince is one of the few people who could make me reconsider. One thing about Prince is that his lyrics are often about real life..." (p 620).

*

From talking with McInnis, Prince was quite moved by Bin Hassan's words.

*

Also, here is the link to the Last Poets' Rolling Stone interview in which they discuss their new album and in which Bin Hassan discusses his love for Prince again: https://www.rollingstone....er-w519524

[Edited 6/13/18 18:07pm]

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Reply #5 posted 06/13/18 11:06pm

16Letsgo

Thank you for the lyrics. I just happened to watch the 2007 Alma Awards again so heard when listening to this that those are the awards they are referring to (not 2017 MTV).

wink

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Reply #6 posted 06/14/18 3:06am

BlueShakooo

Cool!
Thank you!
"Don't get too serious, it's just a dream."
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Reply #7 posted 06/16/18 5:03pm

Marrk

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Lovejunky said:

SO COol..

I had to search out the Lyrics...

Absoultuely BEAUTIFUL...

The news….

North, East, West, South
Hard core Honky tonk of St. Louis
Jimi Hendrix soundings and rebounding
The cool slick slide of Chicago Bop
The suave and sexiness of Motown
The soft winds of a desert breeze
The horns, the piano and drums
Feeling astronomical, intergalactic
The sound of sounds charming snakes
The news… North, East, West, South
The swiftness and elegance if a magic carpet ride
Veiled women teasing and tantalizing from the
Outer fringes of the market place
A sharp crisp military strut
Little drummer boys playing with big drums
Innocent flirtations of the big band sound
Some astral traveling. Blues and funk gone amok
Some Broadway and Hollywood sound
Tracking down… the truth of this beginning
How did it come to be
The News… North, East, West, South
Was it Jazz Prince?

Was it classical?
Or was it just some of that Razz Matazz
From the upper tiers of your mind
Back to the beginning...

[Verse 2]
Trudging through deep, deep snow
And blizzard like winds smashing up against your face
Trying to get to somewhere, anywhere soon
The sounds and rhythms of the machines in the factories
Booming out there concertos to our receptive ears
And we walked with that and we talked with that. It was our
Swing and then our bop. The way we hipped and the way we hopped
Our clothes, our style. That Motown Wile
Those Midwestern challenges, that Midwestern funk
Brothers and sisters huddled together. That burden of anticipation
Your mother. My mother. Cowering behind fractured moments
And the illusion that blind devotion could solve the unsolvable
Genius struggling against the brilliance of itself
My father ... Your father ... musicians
Talented creative ... productive ... and highly frustrated by the dead ends
And dead stops that impeded and curtailed their progression
The future looking for someone to take it forward
You took up that mantle and I took up that mantle
And we never ever forgot where we came from
A soft kiss of wine emboldens the passion
A dimmed Red light eases the apprehension and doubt
The Delfonics make their presence known
The heat of the moment is so right up against the wall
Under the stairs, in between the washer and dryer where it
All becomes so juicy and wet. A promise. A proposition. A phenomena when those
Basements started to grind. Those Midwestern challenges. T

hat Midwestern funk
That Church piano . . . on why don't you call me anymore.

You could be church
Prince.

That Sunday Morning solo. That voice that could bring the congregation
To the best of themselves. You could be that doo wop singer on the corner
Holding and preserving the highest note of our pleasures and fantasies
Was Warner Music a challenge? No ... Just a matter of time
Was Purple Rain a challenge? No… Just your poetic rhyme
Was all ... the music you created a challenge. No…Just the essence of your sublime

[Poem]
The 2017 MTV awards. Sheila E coming down the aisle
Prince already at the altar. This night, this time
This union will become a force. A direct assault upon our senses
The audience had better check their immune systems
They could catch cold. Because it’s about to become very ... very ... cool... up in here
That soaring, guitar. Those scorching timbales
See mommy, see Papi. You Brother ... Yoh Sister ... We
Can do this, We are this. That High Order of Afro Cuban. African American
Musical collaborations. Thank you Dizzy. Thank you Chano. A marvellous
Rendition of call and response. The meringue, the salsa, That Piano. The Horns
Giving a shout out to their cousins of the Blues… the Jazz and the funk of
The dancers on stage giving credence to who we are and where we came from
Music ... is the sound of Beauty... and you displayed and dispensed that beauty
As well as anybody Prince. A new symbol for your fans. Avid followers. Deeply
Devoted believers in your talent and humanity
Wherever you were was where they wanted to be. By bus by car by train By Plane
And you mesmerised... you tantalised... you romanticised them with death defying acts of musical
Genius. The speed... velocity... and depth of your splits and turns...
The acrobatic joyous atmosphere you brung to every corner of the stage. You were
That whirling dervish that baptised us in the name of feeling good about ourselves
While being at ease in the presence of others. You had that magic of
Transforming Adults into gleeful little children. And we were okay with that
We could handle that. Because we could feel the love and respect you were sharing
With us as much as we were sharing it with you. You made us feel like
Family. The Human ... family
The women in your life loved you trusted you
They allowed you to explore their passions ... their doubts ... their
Moments of joy. And every moment that you were accepted into their presence
You always tried to make them feel ... big ... about themselves. They adored that
They cherished that. Because they knew that as long as you were trying
To love and accept them. Then you would truly learn how to love yourself
Sleep well... Brave Prince ... for your deed and proclamations shall be forever
Renowned throughout the land. And I pledge to you that with all my heart and
Worth. I will try to make sure that no Purple Rain gets stuck in the clouds again

That is what i call a tribute. biggrin

Yeah, we'll, we'll try to imagine what silence looks like.
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Forums > Prince: Music and More > The Last Poets' "North, East, West, South"