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The Watts Prophets Things Gonna Get Greater: The Watts Prophets 1969-71

Formed in the wake of the infamous 1965 Watts riots, the Watts Prophets were a sort of West Coast equivalent of New York's Last Poets, dropping pro-black street corner poetry atop minimal free jazz and tribal percussion with an urgency and resonance that would later influence the tones of such hip-hoppers as Eazy-E, DJ Quik, Brand Nubian and Ghostface. While 1971's Rappin' Black in a Black World and 1969's The Black Voices: On the Street in Watts (included on Things Gonna Get Greater in anachronistic order) are perhaps too exhausting to take together in one sitting, the high-pitched sermonizing of Prophet Amde Hamilton would be arresting in any milieu-and, as elucidated in liner notes by Can't Stop Won't Stop author Jeff Chang, many of the group's observations on race and America remain startlingly relevant today.

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