Conscious reggae/hip-hop hybrid band The Late Ones just released their new EP, Lately, via Easy Star Records. Listen and download it at http://moremusic.at/LatelyEP. The new release showcases a band in full form, with an original style and striking messages to boot. The Late Ones consists of brothers Tui Avei and Tau Avei, along with their cousin Josh Brunson, originally from Laie, Hawaii, and now based in Gardena, California. Rooted in both their Samoan culture and their African-American Heritage, the familial bond between the three members comes through in their harmonies and give-and-take with the mic, while each of them brings their own conscious lyrics and unforgettable melodies. The EP is followed by the “Troubled Streets” video out now, (https://youtu.be/5xMfTia58Fw) which depicts footage six years apart and between the different coasts of New York City and Los Angeles. As the band notes, “It has been six long years and the streets are still the same.” Directed by Chris Alborana, Amanda Alborana, and Kareem Atallah, the trio is immersed in the streets of the cities continuing to push for love, hope, positivity, social, racial, and economic equality.
Lately is aptly titled for The Late Ones who mention, “It’s a name that expresses not only the kind of year we’ve been all going through, but how The Late Ones are feeling in general. The topics we speak on are REAL and need to be addressed.”
The Lately EP kicks off with a powerful protest song “Babylon Exists,” with an accompanying video (https://youtu.be/fA3y4URgjQU), which Brooklyn Vegan hailed “The song and its lyrics are as impactful as the images in the video, and the music offers up a seamless fusion of the grooves and harmonies of mid/late ’70s reggae with the incisive bars of ’90s Native Tongues-style rap.” The potent protest song speaks to the moment with a timeless message to stand up for your rights against police brutality and social injustices. The video was filmed during the Los Angeles-based George Floyd protests earlier this summer, with footage of the band taking part, as well as handing out mangos to the homeless in L.A. “Brother’s Keeper” talks about giving your brother hope and faith that everything will work out. Loving your brother and looking out for your brother.
On “Troubled Streets” the band expresses, ‘Troubled Streets’ is about the hard times we face in the world. Very similar to ‘Babylon Exists,’ but different in its own way because we speak on the love and hope that’s instilled in every one of us. And that we should be spreading that love.” Rounding out the release is “The Noose,” where the band powerfully articulates, “the noose speaks on the history of our people here in America and how we’ve been fighting to be treated equally. Also how America has corrupted our minds and how we have to take back the power and basically not fall under their spell.” Rootfire premiered the track and stated the song “…reflects on the role and lineage of the noose in American life, and is accompanied by a rhythm sharp enough to cut your actual head right off. It is fierce drum and bass right from the get. Deservedly so. Setting up the vehicle to carry the voice.” “The Noose” features Easy Star labelmates also from LA, The Expanders with John Asher’s vocals and Chiquis Lozoya’s fierce bassline inviting the listener into the lived experience of being Black in America.
The name “The Late Ones” pays tributes to all of the late, great revolutionaries who have come and gone, such as Bob Marley, Tupac, John Lewis, Jimi Hendrix, Kobe Bryant, Steve Biko, Chadwick Boseman, and John Lennon (to name but a few). It is the fusion of each revolutionary story, struggle, and message that inspires and resonates with The Late Ones’ own journey and love for all genres of music. Built on this deeply rooted conviction, the trio harness something undeniably special in calling for justice, freedom and equality with their music.
The Late Ones bring a youthful and powerful presence to the reggae community, along with a unique spin by bringing in old school hip hop to the mix. Think of the Pharcyde, Souls of Mischief, and A Tribe Called Quest collaborating with The Mighty Diamonds or Culture, and you get a sense of what this sound is like. The band has been steadily building an underground following with releases and shows over the past few years, playing festivals like Cali Roots and sharing stages with The Movement, The Elovators, Easy Star All-Stars, and others.
With their upcoming EP, the band is ready to showcase their inspired music coupled with universal messages of love and hope, while consciously standing up for social, racial, and economic equality for all. The band concludes, “You can look at this EP as a taste of what’s to come from our full album dropping soon. It’s a great mix of tracks that brings a solid message, smooth harmonies and verses too.” Stay tuned for The Late Ones album coming in 2021 on Easy Star Records.