Review: Hustlers Convention With Jalal Of The Last Poets At Jazz Café!

Pho­to­graphy By: Rae Smith 

Chuck D once described the ground break­ing and genre-cre­at­ing but largely over­looked LP Hust­lers Con­ven­tion as “a verbal road-map for people try­ing to under­stand the ghetto they were in: ‘What is the life that’s ahead of me, and how can I actu­ally fig­ure out how to handle it?’ That’s what this record was.”

I Am Hip Hop inter­viewed it’s cre­at­or Light­nin’ Rod aka Jalal Nur­id­din earli­er this year and he con­firmed that, indeed, that was the inten­tion of the record, to guide and teach, to inform and advise. Hust­lers Con­ven­tion is clearly so much more than just the amaz­ingly beau­ti­ful poetry, banging hip-hop and spine-tingling soul that is brazenly evid­ent upon even super­fi­cial listen­ing.

For the first ever time, Hust­lers Con­ven­tion was per­formed live on Monday 10th Feb­ru­ary, at Jazz Café in Cam­den, Lon­don, filmed as part of the upcom­ing Mike Todd dir­ec­ted doc­u­ment­ary that prom­ises to tell parts of the hip-hop story that until now have remained untold. There was a def­in­ite sense of excite­ment as Light­nin’ Rod’s stage time approached and when he came on stage the crowd went wild.


Rather than open his set by going straight into a song, as most per­formers do, Nur­id­din first spoke to the audi­ence, telling parts of the story of the record, and the doc­u­ment­ary that was being filmed. This made a refresh­ing change from the reg­u­lar set struc­ture and really set the vibe, remind­ing any­one who’d for­got­ten that this per­form­ance was more than just a gig. Per­fectly wrap­ping prose around the funk band, Nuriddin’s set endorsed the poetry ele­ment of hip-hop writ­ing pro­foundly. Each word delivered was timed expertly and retained mean­ing while being wrapped flaw­lessly around the band’s funk.

A true rap­per can deliv­er mean­ing­ful rhymes whilst cre­at­ing rhythm with those words, deliv­er­ing them in a way that is under­stand­able and, for want of a bet­ter world, enter­tain­ing. Light­nin’ Rod did just that dur­ing the per­form­ance, veri­fy­ing his right to the title The Grand­fath­er of Rap.

Click here to read the full inter­view with Jalal Of The Last Poets

Click here to read the full inter­view with Malik and the OG’s

Micky Roots

Micky Roots

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Micky Roots

Micky Roots

Micky roots is one of the edit­ors of I am hip hop magazine, a pure hip hop head and visu­al artist he brings his strong know­ledge of hip hop, social con­scious­ness & polit­ic­al con­cern to No Bounds.

About Micky Roots

Micky Roots
Micky roots is one of the editors of I am hip hop magazine, a pure hip hop head and visual artist he brings his strong knowledge of hip hop, social consciousness & political concern to No Bounds.

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