These two albums by the Last Poets form a kind of late sixties exorcism of the African-American struggle for human, social, and economic rights during a time of great turbulence and cultural ignorance. The cover artwork for THIS IS MADNESS (1971) was the clinker for me. Its painting by Abdul Mati Klarwein may be familiar to those who hadn't given up on Miles Davis' radical period (BITCHES BREW 1970, LIVE-EVIL 1971, etc.) as he embraced both the Last Poets' and Davis' quest for a language that illuminated the freedoms they sought during this period. Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr. were surely influences on these revolutionaries, but for a conservative white populace (Nixon and the FBI were "fans") the imagery and language were pure Black Panther, with fear trumping understanding. Ironically, they lambasted white racism ("White Man Got A God Complex"), as well as black complacency ("Niggers Are Scared of Revolution"). If you're looking for the real roots of rap before it degenerated into street boasts about crack and hos, look no further.