The Welfare Poets are a collective of activists, educators, and artists together since 1990. Through teaching residencies and workshops, through activism around community struggles and through sharp-edged performances of music that incorporates Hip Hop, Bomba y Plena, Latin Jazz and other rhythms, the Welfare Poets bring information and inspiration to those facing oppression and those fighting for liberation.
Welfare Poets Slam Death Penalty: A Review of “Cruel and Unusual Punishment”
New York City’s Welfare Poets declared “lethal injection ain’t no different than a noose” on a track from Cruel and Unusual Punishment, performed recently at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in Harlem.
Cruel and Unusual Punishment: A Hip Hop Compilation to Abolish the Death Penalty
Cruel and Unusual Punishment encapsulated the rage, anger, burning pain and intense loss that I was feeling from these cuts around the globe rhyming, yelling, struggling. The bumping bass lines, the heavy lyrics, and the heartfelt words let me know that neither I, nor Hasan was alone at that moment, and that the struggle he gave his life for had many hands and voices to carry it forward. Walidah Imarisha.
The band has also spearheaded 2 CD compilations/fundraisers since 2000, the first, “Cruel and Unusual Punishment,” against the death penalty released in 2007, and the other to assist the Puerto Rican political prisoners and their families, “The Puerto Rican Freedom Album” released at the end of 2009.