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Hip Hop Culture in the African Diaspora

February 9, 2016 at 6:00 PM

Location:5050 Minto Centre


 ‘The Hustlers’ Convention was profoundly influential. It was a sort of verbal Bible to understand the streets. Jalal’s story needs to be told. It’s a missing piece of Hip Hop culture.’

– Chuck D, Executive Producer, Hustlers’ Convention

This is a truly global story. Rap, as a key part of Hip Hop culture, has changed the world. It has given a voice to people across the globe and yet, this crucial aspect of the arts origin is missing from history. We want to change that.’

-Mike Todd, Filmmaker and Founder of the Creative Development Project (a joint initiative with the Brooks World Poverty Institute at the University of Manchester)

********FREE SCREENING AND Q&A*******

Explore the roots and routes of Hip Hop culture in The Hustlers’ Convention and a follow-up Q&A featuring the subject of the film, Jalal Mansur Nuriddin (a.k.a. “Lightnin’ Rod”, founding member of the legendary Last Poets), and Associate Producer Malik Al Nasir (the subject of the short film, Word Up – From Ghetto to Mecca, which takes us on a poetic journey from Liverpool, to London, Paris to Washington DC whilst demonstrating how Malik’s poetry has been shaped and encouraged by Gil Scott-Heron, the Last Poets and other giants of the spoken word genre).

The Hustlers’ Convention is a unique recording that, in the course of the past four decades, has attracted new generations of fans. It has now emerged from the archives in a new feature documentary that received critical and popular acclaim at its premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival in November 2015.


Hailed by Grandmaster Flash and Chuck D, sampled by the Beastie Boys, Wu Tang Clan, and Nas, Hustlers Convention was the foundation for todays Hip Hop scene. This film tells of one of music’s buried masterpieces: the missing link between Soul Power and Hip Hop, which gave its creator the right to claim his title as the ‘Grandfather of Rap’.

Released in 1973 by original member of The Last Poets, Jalal Mansur Nuriddin, this documentary tells the story of two young hustlers who attend the eponymous convention, only to get tangled up in a shootout and police chase. It is also a tale within a tale of culture and identity, of ambition and greed. It gave the streets a voice, was recited in neighbourhoods word for word and still resonates with meaning today.

With original interviews including Jalal Nuriddin aka Lightnin’ Rod, Ice T, KRS One, Chuck D, MC Lyte & Melle Mel, Hustlers Convention explores the forgotten roots of rap, and takes a closer look at how the album changed the face of music.