It was a full moon in the middle of June/In the summer of '59. This text opens the most forgotten album from the pre-history of hip-hop: Hustler’s Convention appeared in 1973 as a solo project by Jalal Nuriddin of The Last Poets. His epic rhyme in the black American tradition of jail toast, combined with a jazzy/funky soundtrack, showed the way for later hip-hop pioneers such as Fab Five Freddy and Melle Mel.
A rights issue surrounding a musical contribution by Kool & the Gang meant that the record, which Nuriddin regards as his masterpiece, was taken off the market soon after its release. On the street, the work led a life of its own, but there was no recognition for its maker. Forty years later, he and such artists as Chuck D, Ice T and KRS One look back on the musical heritage of this influential album, while The Jazz Café in London brings Jalal Nuriddin back into the spotlight to perform the album in full.