After over 15 years of performing, educating and organizing, and 10 years since the release of their first independent album, "Project Blues," The Welfare Poets are back now with their third and latest album, "Warn Them." For years known for their socio-politically conscious music, mixing various genres from the Caribbean and Latin Jazz with Hip Hop, "Warn Them" is their first Hip Hop release in its purest form. Rayzer Sharp (R. Ramirez) continues to hold down the group since day one and has expanded the collective since the youngest member, emcee/producer and Harlem Puerto Rican, The Legendary MIC (M. Pacheco) joined the cadre. The band is still going as strong as ever these days, but this new album is a throwback in Hip Hop to a time where there was just an emcee and a producer, but here The Legendary does both.
With songs like "Free Your Mind," "Let It Be Known" and "Across 110th St.," The Welfare Poets continue in their tradition of exposing the contradictions of society and using the music as a tool of resistance. The titled track and first major video release from the album, "Warn Them," the single, is a 6 minute-plus tirade by Rayzer with his non-apologetic, slicing lyrics warning everyone from the fake emcees, the psuedo-revolutionary wannabees to the individual capitalists, multi-national corporations and right-wing governments that make it possible for a worldwide system of exploitation to exist. "Feel Something" and "So Alive" are classic Hip Hop tracks of inspirations and hope, and "Feeling" is an amazing story tailed in the form of a dream and encountering the spirits of some of our greatest revolutionary warriors. For the Hip Hop heads who just want to vibe out to a hard beat and hard rhymes, they gave us some of that too with "FMNB," "Last Of The Po'Ricans" and "Crocbax." But there is so much more. There's also the mixture of old school and new school, with Rayzer Sharp doing what he has done for so long, and The Legendary MIC, in his early 20's, being a student from an after-school Hip Hop workshop The Welfare Poets were running in El Barrio (East Harlem) over 6 years ago.
Many have said the days of classic Hip Hop albums are over, gone forever, but The Welfare Poets with "Warn Them" have rhymed to differ. With timeless songs, intense lyrics and amazing beat production, The Welfare Poets continue to remain urgently relevant in a time where so many artist sells the soul of their music to the highest bidder.
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