Thursday, June 14, 2018

A00951 - Jalal Mansur Nuriddin, "Grandfather of Rap"




Jalal Mansur Nuriddin, ‘Grandfather of Rap,’ Is Dead at 73

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Jalal Mansur Nuriddin of the Last Poets in London in 1984. He delivered some of the group’s most urgent and incisive verses.CreditDavid Corio/Redferns, via Getty Images

Jalal Mansur Nuriddin, who helped establish the foundation for hip-hop as a member of the Last Poets and in his own solo work, died on June 4 at a hospital in Atlanta. He was 73.
The cause was lung cancer, said Umar Bin Hassan, a fellow member of the Last Poets.
The Last Poets emerged in Harlem at the end of the 1960s, reciting rhythmic verses over conga drumming and speaking directly to the disenfranchised youth of New York City’s black community. The group’s poetry pushed revolution and self-determination, while admonishing listeners about survival in an environment defined by racialized poverty.
With his high, declamatory voice and his way of milking words for their sonic potential as well as their meaning, Mr. Nuriddin (pronounced noo-ruh-DEEN) stood out. He delivered some of the group’s most urgent and incisive verses, and although the Last Poets’ lineup rotated over time, he performed with the group well into his later years.
By then he had come to be widely known as the “grandfather of rap,” a laurel he proudly accepted.
With the release of their debut album, “The Last Poets,” in 1970, the group became an underground sensation, reaching No. 29 on the Billboard album chart and staying on the chart for 30 weeks despite being rarely played on radio. Mr. Nuriddin was fond of saying that the record “sold over a million copies by word of mouth,” though he never had the documentation — or the income — to prove it.



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As the civil rights movement lost steam and gave way to the separatism of Black Power, the group spoke from a standpoint of disillusionment, although with vigorous attitude. In “On the Subway,” Mr. Nuriddin rapped:
Me knowing me
Black proud and determined to be free
Could plainly see my enemy yes
Yes, yes, I know him
I once slaved for him body and soul
And made him a pile of black gold
Off the sweat of my labor he stole
But his game his game is old
We’ve broken the mental hold
Things must change
There’s no limit to our range
Mr. Nuriddin may have made his greatest contribution to the future of popular music as a solo artist. In 1973, using the pseudonym Lightnin’ Rod, he released “Hustlers Convention,” an album that unified the black tradition of toasts — rhymed stories about the heroic exploits of renegades and rebels, and the battles between them — with the contemporary sound of streetwise funk.
Rapping in a crackling growl, Mr. Nurridin told an extended story of two young men surviving on the New York streets, with lush backbeats provided by Kool and the Gang and A-list session musicians.
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On “Sport,” the album’s opening track, he wove a boasting first-person narrative about street hustling, cool and deliberate but adamantly paced. Aside from the improvising horn and guitar lines that swept across the album, this represented almost the exact sonic and lyrical blueprint that rappers like Melle Mel and Eazy-E would pick up on a decade later, when they released some of the first major hip-hop singles, using D.J.s instead of live bands.






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The Last Poets in their early years. From left, Mr. Nuriddin, Abiodun Oyewole and Umar Bin Hassan.CreditMichael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Mr. Nuriddin arrived at the idea to put a funk band behind his verses with the producer Alan Douglas, who had recorded the Last Poets’ first few albums. Mr. Nuriddin said he had meant the album’s contents as a cautionary tale.



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“I wrote the album so people would sit up, take notice and not become one of the hustlers, card cheats, prostitutes, pimps and hijackers I rapped about,” he said in a 2015 documentary about “Hustlers Convention.”
In the documentary, the rapper Chuck D. of Public Enemy called the album a “verbal bible” for understanding the culture of the New York streets.
Mr. Nurridin was born Lawrence Padilla on July 24, 1944, in Brooklyn and grew up in a housing project in the Fort Greene neighborhood. Information on survivors was not immediately available.
“I had this need to express myself,” Mr. Nuriddin said of his childhood. “Everything was bottled up — not just within myself, but in the African-American people in general. So I began to write poetry.”
By his mid-20s, having briefly changed his name to Alafia Pudim, he was becoming known for his facility with words, and for speaking in spontaneous rhyme. (He began going by Jalaluddin Mansur Nuriddin in 1973.) He soon befriended members of the Last Poets, a group with a loose membership that had started in 1968 on Malcolm X’s birthday. He eventually became a core member.
Mr. Douglas got wind of the Last Poets and released their first album on his label, Douglas Records. But radio and television avoided the group, partly because of its unflinching attacks on institutional racism, and partly because it often used one particular word.
On pieces like Mr. Nuriddin’s feverish “Wake Up Niggers,” the Last Poets spoke directly to the street communities that they sought to help liberate, using an African-American lexicon that had rarely been caught on commercial recordings and alienating many listeners in the process.Record sellers often slapped cautionary stickers onto the “Last Poets” album (“Recommended for Mature Adults Only”) in yet another moment that presaged the conflicted relationship that hip-hop would havewith the mainstream.
Despite tensions with Abiodun Oyewole, an original member of the Last Poets, Mr. Nuriddin continued performing under the Last Poets name for many years, typically alongside Suliaman El-Hadi. Mr. Nuriddin is featured on Last Poets recordings including the influential “This Is Madness” (1971), the sonically experimental “Chastisement” (1973) and “Scatterap/Home” (1993).

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Jalaluddin Mansur Nuriddin (July 24, 1944 – June 4, 2018) was an American poet and musician. He was one of the founding members of The Last Poets, a group of poets and musicians that evolved in the 1960s out of the Harlem Writers Workshop in New York City.
He was born in Fort Greene in Brooklyn, New York, USA. Earlier in his career he used the names Lightnin' Rod and Alafia Pudim. He is sometimes called "The Grandfather of Rap".[1]
In 2004 Nuriddin wrote the foreword to Malik Al Nasir's poetry collection Ordinary Guy, published under Malik's pre-Islamic name Mark T. Watson in the UK by Fore-Word Press.[2] Nuriddin was also featured in the documentary Word Up – From Ghetto to Mecca, along with poets Gil Scott Heron, Mark T. Watson a.k.a. Malik Al Nasir, Rod Youngs (Gil Scott-Heron's Amnesia Express) and dub poet Benjamin Zephaniah, where he discussed the significance of the spoken word as an extension of the African oral tradition, as well as the origins of rap and the work of his student and friend Malik Al Nasir. In the film Nuriddin recites from Al Nasir's book "Ordinary Guy" the poem he wrote as a foreword to the book called "Malik's Mode". Nuriddin also later recorded Malik's Mode with Al Nasir's band "Malik & the O.G's" for the album Rhythms of the Diaspora Vol's 1 & 2 at Mercredi 9 Studios in Paris while filming the Word Up documentary. The album Rhythms of the Diaspora Vol's 1 & 2 was released on 1 August 2015 on Mentis records in the UK.[3]
Nuriddin returned to the UK in 2014 to perform live the seminal solo album Hustlers Convention, credited as being the first ever rap album[4] live at the Jazz Café in Camden Town, London. The event was produced by Fore-Word Press for Riverhorse Communications who filmed it as part of a documentary on the forgotten roots of rap called Hustlers Convention. The executive producer is Public Enemy's front man Chuck D. The film Hustlers Convention,[5] directed by Mike Todd, premiered at Docfest in Sheffield UK in 2015, with its London premiere at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, on June 14, 2015. The Hustlers Convention Live featured The Jazz Warriors International Collective, Malik & the O.G's and poet Lemn Sissay. The UK DVD release of the historical Hustlers Convention was in 2015. After the film premiered in the UK at Docfest 2015 it went on general release through Kaleidoscope, and premiered in New York at Tribeca Film Festival 2015 for its USA cinema release. Nuriddin screened the film also in Canada in 2016 as part of a tour with UK poet Malik Al Nasir called "The Revolution Will Be Live" comprising seminars, poetry performances, school visits, workshops and joint screenings of Al Nasir's film also featuring Nuriddin, called Word-Up.
Jalal died after a long battle with cancer on June 4, 2018.[7]

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Jalaluddin Mansur Nuriddin (b. July 24, 1944, Brooklyn, New York – d. June 4, 2018, ) was an American poet and musician. He was one of the founding members of The Last Poets, a group of poets and musicians that evolved in the 1960s out of the Harlem Writers Workshop in New York City.
Nuriddin was born Lawrence Padilla on July 24, 1944, in Brooklyn and grew up in a housing project in the Fort Greene neighborhood. Information on survivors was not immediately available.Earlier in his career he used the names Lightnin' Rod and Alafia Pudim. He is sometimes called "The Grandfather of Rap".
He cofounded the Last Poets in May 1968, with fellow poets Omar Ben Hassan and Abiodun Oyewole, and percussionist Nilijah.

The Last Poets, the critically-acclaimed spoken-word group, won early hip-hop fans over with their political rap vocals behind percussion accompaniments in the early 1970s.

Nuriddin, under the name Lightnin' Rod, also appeared on a 1973 solo album "Hustlers Convention," an album considered to be a cornerstone in the development of what is now a part of global and hip-hop culture.

"Hustlers Convention" became one of the most sampled albums ever made, with groups like the Wu-Tang Clan, Beastie Boys, and Red Hot Chili Peppers lifting ideas from it.

At some point in 1973, Lightnin' Rod transitioned to the name of Jalal Mansur Nuriddin.

Music icons like Miles Davis and Quincy Jones hailed the Last Poets as groundbreakers in the genre that became rap and hip-hop music.  After converting to Islam, the artist changed his name from Alafia Pudim to Jalal Mansur Nuriddin. When Hassan and Oyewole left the Last Poets in 1973, poet Sulaiman El Hadi joined and the group and started using poetry over tribal percussive beats, to an all-out band with spoken word at its core.
Jalal died after a long battle with cancer on June 4, 2018.

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Jalal Mansur Nuriddin, who earned the title the "Grandfather of Rap," through his work with the influential urban group the Last Poets, died Monday at 74, according to Rolling Stone magazine.
The Brooklyn native, who was professionally known as Alafia Pudim, died of cancer, The Guardian said.
He cofounded the Last Poets in May 1968, with fellow poets Omar Ben Hassan and Abiodun Oyewole, and percussionist Nilijah.
The Last Poets, the critically-acclaimed spoken-word group, won early hip-hop fans over with their political rap vocals behind percussion accompaniments in the early 1970s, Rolling Stone said.
Nuriddin also appeared on a 1973 solo album "Hustlers Convention," which rapper Fab 5 Freddie called, "a cornerstone in the development of what is now a part of global culture [hip-hop]," Rolling Stone reported.
Producer Ron Saint Germain called "Hustlers Convention" "one of the most stolen and sampled albums ever made," with groups like the Wu-Tang Clan, Beastie Boys, and Red Hot Chili Peppers lifting ideas from it, according to Rolling Stone.
Music icons like Miles Davis and Quincy Jones hailed the Last Poets and groundbreakers in the genre that became rap and hip-hop music, The Guardian wrote.
"If you were 14 years old and trying to understand the streets, it was sort of like a verbal Bible," Chuck D, of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame rap group Public Enemy, said of "Hustlers Convention," Rolling Stone wrote.
The Guardian wrote that after converting to Islam, the artist changed his name from Alafia Pudim to Jalal Mansur Nuriddin. When Hassan and Oyewole left the Last Poets in 1973, poet Sulaiman El Hadi joined and the group and started using poetry over tribal percussive beats, to an all-out band with spoken word at its core.
Many remembered Nuriddin on social media with some decrying that enough is not being made of his contribution the music industry.

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Nuriddin, Jalaluddin Mansur
Jalaluddin Mansur Nuriddin (b. July 24, 1944, Brooklyn, New York – d. June 4, 2018, Atlanta, Georgia) was an African American poet and musician. He was one of the founding members of The Last Poets, a group of poets and musicians that evolved in the 1960s out of the Harlem Writers Workshop in New York City.
Nuriddin was born Lawrence Padilla on July 24, 1944, in Brooklyn and grew up in a housing project in the Fort Greene neighborhood. Information on survivors was not immediately available.Earlier in his career he used the names Lightnin' Rod and Alafia Pudim. He is sometimes called "The Grandfather of Rap".
He cofounded the Last Poets in May 1968, with fellow poets Omar Ben Hassan and Abiodun Oyewole, and percussionist Nilijah.

The Last Poets, the critically-acclaimed spoken-word group, won early hip-hop fans over with their political rap vocals behind percussion accompaniments in the early 1970s.

Nuriddin, under the name Lightnin' Rod, also appeared on a 1973 solo album "Hustlers Convention," an album considered to be a cornerstone in the development of what is now a part of global and hip-hop culture.

"Hustlers Convention" became one of the most sampled albums ever made, with groups like the Wu-Tang Clan, Beastie Boys, and Red Hot Chili Peppers lifting ideas from it.

At some point in 1973, Lightnin' Rod transitioned to the name of Jalal Mansur Nuriddin.

Music icons like Miles Davis and Quincy Jones hailed the Last Poets as groundbreakers in the genre that became rap and hip-hop music.  After converting to Islam, the artist changed his name from Alafia Pudim to Jalal Mansur Nuriddin. When Hassan and Oyewole left the Last Poets in 1973, poet Sulaiman El Hadi joined and the group and started using poetry over tribal percussive beats, to an all-out band with spoken word at its core.
Jalal Mansur Nuriddin died after a long battle with cancer on June 4, 2018.


Wednesday, June 13, 2018

A00950 - Maya Jribi, Tunisian Fighter for Democracy






Maya Jribi, Tunisian Fighter for Democracy, Is Dead at 58

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Maya Jribi, the first female leader of a political party in Tunisia, at a meeting of the country’s newly elected constituent assembly, the body in charge of devising a new constitution, in Tunis in December 2011.CreditFethi Belaid/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
By Lilia Blaise

TUNIS — Maya Jribi, the first female leader of a political party in Tunisia and a tenacious supporter of democracy under the country’s dictators well before the Arab Spring, died on May 19 at her home in a suburb of Tunis. She was 58.
The cause was colon cancer, her sister Najla Jribi said.
Ms. Jribi was an opposition figure during the long autocratic regimes of both Habib Bourguiba and Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali, who was overthrown in early 2011 in an upheaval that began the wave of uprisings across the Middle East known as the Arab Spring.
That same year, after the revolution, she was sent to parliament in the nation’s first democratic election, which brought to power the once-suppressed Islamist party, Ennahda. There she became a strong secular voice, leading protests against efforts to enshrine Islamic law in the new constitution and took part in the parliamentary debate that led to its adoption in 2014.
The efforts of secular voices were fairly successful: The constitution guarantees freedom of religion and draws a line between politics and civil society.





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Ms. Jribi became widely known throughout Tunisia and abroad. Thousands of people, including political leaders from across the spectrum, turned out for her funeral on May 20.
Ms. Jribi was nicknamed Maya the Bee for her seeming ability to be everywhere at once, traveling constantly to demonstrations or meetings in her small green Peugeot. “She was always busy with the party, going to a place a day, campaigning, protesting another day for freedoms,” said Safia Mestiri, a longtime friend.
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Maya Jribi was born on Jan. 29, 1960, in Bou Arada, about 60 miles southwest of Tunis. Her father worked at the Ministry of Agriculture, and her mother was a homemaker.
“Our parents taught us rigor,” Ms. Jribi once said, “and to never think something is due for us, to always deserve what we wanted.”
When she was still a child, her family moved to Radès, a suburb of Tunis.
Ms. Jribi studied biology and geology at the University of Sfax, on the eastern coast. There she became politically active, joining the student union and the Tunisian League of Human Rights.





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Several years after graduating, Ms. Jribi began working for opposition newspapers, and in 1983, with Ahmed Najib Chebbi, she helped establish the secularist Progressive Socialist Rally, which was soon renamed the Progressive Democratic Party.










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Ms. Jribi at a 2011 news conference in Tunis at which she announced her candidacy for the constituent assembly.CreditFethi Belaid/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Mr. Bourguiba had held power for a quarter-century and was opening the door a bit to other parties. But it took five years for the Progressive Democratic Party to gain legal recognition. The Democratic Constitutional Rally party — led by Mr. Ben Ali, Mr. Bourguiba’s successor — won 80.6 percent of the vote in 1989, prompting allegations that the vote had been marred by fraud. The Progressive Democrats boycotted subsequent elections.
In 2005, Mr. Chebbi went on a hunger strike with eight representatives of other parties to protest government pressure on journalists, lawyers and human rights advocates. The hunger strike helped unite a fragmented opposition.
Ms. Jribi took over as party leader in 2006. Soon afterward the regime closed her party’s offices, and she joined another hunger strike, refusing food for 33 days. The experience left her in poor health for years.
“The doctor came two weeks after she started the strike,” her friend Ms. Mestiri said. “He told her she was already a bit too fragile to continue, she was so featherweight. I told her to stop — we could have replaced her with someone. She told me, ‘I always finish my battles.’ ”
Ms. Jribi’s party merged with another to form Al Joumhouri, which succeeded in winning only one parliamentary seat in the last election, in 2014. She stepped down as party leader last year, citing ill health.





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Ms. Jribi was a defender of women’s rights. Along with pushing for equality between the sexes in the constitution, she favored quotas for women in politics and other fields.
“We had heated debates on this because I was against the quotas policy,” Ms. Jribi’s sister Najla said. “But Maya used to say that even if she did not want them for herself, she thought society needed these laws to move forward.”
In addition to her sister Najla, Ms. Jribi’s survivors include two other sisters, Souha Khassiba and Sana Ben Ghorbel, and a brother, Nizar Jribi.
In a statement after the death, President Beji Caid Essebsi hailed Ms. Jribi’s dedication to “democracy, freedom, justice, equality and faith in the civil state.”
Ms. Mestiri called Ms. Jribi a role model for Tunisian women.
“She was a constant fighter, and she used to talk to other women as if she was their equal, not as a top-down member of the elite,” she said.
“She left a vacuum after her death,” Ms. Mestiri added, “because the country still needs people who know the value of liberty and who fought for it before the revolution.”

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Maya Jribi (January 29, 1960 – May 19, 2018)[1] was a Tunisian politician. From 2006 to 2012, she was the leader of the Progressive Democratic Party (PDP).[2] From PDP's merger into the Republican Party in April 2012, until her resignation in 2017, she was the Secretary-General of the centrist party.
Her father is from Tatouine, while her mother is from Algeria. She followed her studies in Radès Tunisia, before studying biology at the University of Sfax, from 1979 to 1983. During that period, she became involved and an active member of the student union, known as UGET, and the Tunisian League of Human Rights. She wrote for the independent weekly Erraï and later for the PDP-newspaper Al Mawkif.[2]
Together with Ahmed Najib Chebbi, Maya Jribi co-founded the Progressive Socialist Rally, established in 1983, which was later renamed into Progressive Democratic Party (PDP). Since 1986 she has been a member of the party's executive. On 25 December 2006, Jribi was appointed Secretary-General of the PDP.[2] She has been the first woman to lead a political party in Tunisia.[3]
From 1 to 20 October 2007, Jribi, along with Najib Chebbi, engaged in a hunger strike to protest against the forced move of the party's headquarters from Tunis, which caused serious health implications for her.[2]
Jribi headed the PDP’s electoral list in Ben Arous for the Constituent Assembly Elections in October 2011.[2] The PDP list received one seat in Ben Arous according to preliminary election results. On 9 April 2012, the PDP merged with other secularist parties to form the Republican Party and Maya Jribi became the leader of this party.[4]
Maya Jribi was an outspoken feminist.[2] She has labeled Israel as a "Zionist construct",[5] and proposed to disallow Israeli pilgrims to visit the El Ghriba synagogue on Djerba island.[6]
Maya Jribi, announced her retirement, during the Republican Party convention in 2017.[citation needed]
On 19th May 2018 she died of cancer.[7]

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Maya Jribi (b. January 29, 1960, Bou Arada, Tunisia – d. May 19, 2018, Rades, Ben Arous Governorate, Tunisia) was a Tunisian politician. From 2006 to 2012, she was the leader of the Progressive Democratic Party (PDP).  From PDP's merger into the Republican Party in April 2012, until her resignation in 2017, she was the Secretary-General of the centrist party.
Her father was from Tatouine, while her mother was from Algeria.  She followed her studies in Radès Tunisia, before studying biology at the University of Sfax, from 1979 to 1983. During that period, she became involved in, and an active member of, the student union, known as UGET, and the Tunisian League of Human Rights. She wrote for the independent weekly Erraï and later for the PDP-newspaper Al Mawkif.
Together with Ahmed Najib Chebbi, Maya Jribi co-founded the Progressive Socialist Rally, established in 1983, which was later renamed into Progressive Democratic Party (PDP).  After 1986, Jribi was a member of the party's executive. On December 25, 2006, Jribi was appointed Secretary-General of the PDP.  She was the first woman to lead a political party in Tunisia.
From October 1 to 20, 2007, Jribi, along with Najib Chebbi, engaged in a hunger strike to protest against the forced move of the party's headquarters from Tunis, which caused serious health implications for her.
Jribi headed the PDP’s electoral list in Ben Arous for the Constituent Assembly Elections in October 2011. The PDP list received one seat in Ben Arous according to preliminary election results. On April 9, 2012, the PDP merged with other secularist parties to form the Republican Party and Maya Jribi became the leader of this party.
Maya Jribi was an outspoken feminist.  She labeled Israel as a "Zionist construct", and proposed to disallow Israeli pilgrims to visit the El Ghriba synagogue on Djerba island. 
Maya Jribi, announced her retirement, during the Republican Party convention in 2017.
On May 19, 2018, Maya Jribi died of cancer.