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Rest in Power: Jalal Mansur Nuriddin of The Last Poets

Rest in Power: Jalal Mansur Nuriddin of The Last Poets

Jalal Mansur Nuriddin of The Last Poets has passed away at age 74. He was a key player in the movement coming out of the Harlem Writers Workshop in the 1960s.

Born in Fort Greene, Brooklyn, Jalaluddin Mansur Nuriddin was a member and co-founder of the late ‘60s spoken word group The Last Poets. Regarded as “The Grandfather of Rap,” Nuriddin’s talent and genius with words and rhythm are renowned the world over. It is with sadness to announce his passing at the age of 74.

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Nuriddin joined the first version of The Last Poets, with members Gylan Kain, David Nelson, Felipé Luciano, but left before the trio recorded and released their only album, Right On, in 1967. He would link up with Umar Bin Hassan and Abiodun Oyewole, Sulaiman El-Hadi, and percussionist Nilaja Obabi as the version of the group that most permeated mass culture.

Poems such as “Be-Yon-Der,” “White Man’s Got a God Complex,” and “On the Subway” are epic verses that if you haven’t heard them go to your nearest streaming service and get a full dose. As one of the main ingredients of this thing we love called hip-hop, there isn’t an artist from the past 30 years who wouldn’t say they were influenced by Nuriddin and his riddim. With works sampled by or quoted by N.W.A., A Tribe Called Quest, Public Enemy and more, Nuriddin represented the old school guys from the corner and served as a Rock of Gibraltar for the next generation.

Recording steadily throughout the decades, The Last Poets released their most recent effort Understand What Black Is earlier in the year. The loss is sure to impact the activist and artist community as noted in this statement from The Last Poets:

It is with extreme sadness and a heavy heart that the family of Jalal Nuriddin announce the passing of this great pioneer of the recording industry. A member of the Last Poets, and also known as ‘The Grandfather of Rap’, Jalal slipped quietly away this evening into the arms of Allah. The family asks that you respect their privacy at this time, and refrain from all calls and contact. Details regarding his jananza (funeral) will be forthcoming shortly. They ask that you make dua for Jalal especially during these last 10 days of Ramadan. Thank you.

Okayplayer wishes to extend our deepest and sincerest condolences to the family, friends, and appreciators of Jalal Mansur Nuriddin’s life, energy, and art.

May you rest in power, Alafia Pudim.

SOURCE: Get Into This



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