Jalal Mansur Nurridin gained fame as a member of the spoken-word collective The Last Poets and went on to a solo career as both artist and activist. Known as “The Grandfather of Rap,” Nurridin has died yet his influence on Hip-Hop’s early lyrical journeys remains.
Nurrdiin was born Alafia Pudim on July 24, 1944 in Brooklyn, New York. After a brief stint in jail shortened due to his enlistment in the U.S. Army, he discovered Black nationalism and Islam. After his honorable discharge, Nurridin worked on Wall Street and fell into the poetry and spoken-word scene. Joining with one of the many incarnations of The Last Poets, a group in existence for 50 years now, Nurridin’s impact and presence formed rap’s framework.
While The Last Poets had its best commercial and critical success with Nurridin on board, it was his “Hustlers Convention” album released under his Lightin’ Rod stage name that has served as a Hip-Hop lover’s dream destination of samples and lyrics. Ironically, Nurridin was no fan of modern Hip-Hop, due to the popular art form’s propensity for violent lyrics.
Nurridin had been battling cancer but remained active over the years. He reportedly completed a written sequel to the “Hustlers Convention” that was meant to detail his life story, according to an obituary published by The Guardian.
Jalal Mansur Nurridin was 74.
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