The Late Ones — a socially-conscious reggae/hip-hop hybrid made up of brothers Tui Avei and Tau Avei, along with their cousin Josh Brunson — have dropped “Babylon Exists”, their first single off the upcoming four-song EP, Lately, set to be released on December 4th through Easy Star Records. Adding itself to the long list of extremely powerful protest songs, “Babylon Exists” highlights this unimaginable year perfectly with a message that remains timeless. It encourages us to stand up for our rights: to fight police brutality, systemic racism and social injustices across all forms of government.
Let’s fight to ensure Liberty and Justice for All.
Along with the release of the single, the band also filmed a music video during the Los Angeles-based Black Lives Matter/George Floyd protests that took place in the spring and summer of 2020, showing clips of the band marching alongside other protestors, as well as trying to actively improve the situation by hand-delivering mangos to just some of the thousands of homeless that are in L.A. Band member Tau Avei explains, “‘Babylon Exists’ is a straight shot at the evil and brutality that we feel from the government and police. This song is an anthem stating that evil is real and, until we all can unite and figure out how to truly put an end to it, it’s gonna live on forever… 2020 has been a crazy year and the song is so relevant to what’s going on. That’s what makes this release so special.”
This year sure seems to be trying like hell to finally convince us that Babylon, in fact, does exist. The evil of this world has unabashedly shown itself and the (now) former presidential administration was cheerfully pouring gas on the fire. With “Babylon Exists”, however, The Late Ones have handed a war cry to those who are involved with all of the important social justice movements around the entire country. The group added, “When you’re feeling down, use this track for motivation to stand up for what’s right in your OWN life and then act upon it. We’ve only got once chance, so let’s make it right. One Love.”
It’s pretty difficult to assess what has happened over the past 10 years or so and not feel like something truly evil has happened in this society.
The guys use their Samoan and African-American heritages, youthful and powerful presences, conscious lyrics and unforgettable melodies to speak directly to the fact that there are still so many issues facing Americans these days, especially People Of Color. The killing of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and others sparked an incredible, history-altering movement that we can never come back from. This must be a moment of change for the better once and for all. One thing the band makes sure to drive home is hope — a deep desire to connect with our fellow man. It strives to bring us to together, to bring out the love that we can all share if we actually try. More connects us than divides us. Built on this deeply-rooted conviction, the three have developed something undeniably special in their calls for justice, freedom and equality with their music.
I first discovered The Late Ones at Cali Roots in 2017 and was blown away, becoming an instant fan. Since then, the band has built a respectable underground following over the past few years, sharing the stage with headliners like The Movement, The Elovaters, Easy Star All-Stars and others. With the upcoming EP, the band is eager to show off their motivated music that speaks universal messages of love and hope, all the while never giving up the fight, standing up for social, racial, and economic equality for all.