While largely unknown, the 1973 album “Hustlers Convention” is regarded as a cornerstone in the evolution of Hip Hop. It’s creator, Lightnin’ Rod, aka Jalal Nuriddin of The Last Poets, is affectionately known in some circles as ‘The Grandfather of Rap’ for his contribution to the genre.
The album is an epic rhymed story of a fast-talking hustler by the name of Sport. The music is provided by Kool & the Gang and Buddy Miles among many others. It is a street tale of card sharks, gamblers, dope peddlers and thieves that changed the face of music.
The likes of Melle Mel and Fab 5 Freddy can still recite it word for word. Wu Tang, the Beastie Boys and Jungle Brothers have all paid homage to it.
The film tells of the life and times of of Jalal and documents how, when his street rhyming style, based on the African American jail toast tradition, met the Black Power politics of the post-Malcolm X era, the art of rap as we know it today was born. Fab 5 Freddy describes the album as
the greatest toast of them all.
The film includes interviews with some of the key figures connected to the story, including the late Amiri Baraka, Ice T, Melle Mel, KRS One, MC Lyte, Chuck himself and many more – intercut with archive footage and stills as well as specially commissioned animation to help bring the album to life.
With funding from Creative England, Hustlers Convention is a co-production between Riverhorse, Chuck D’s company BTN Eastlink, Warehouse 51, owned by former Sky Vision CEO Carl Hall, who Execs alongside Chuck D, and Quenell Jones. The film has also received extensive support from Bristol-based post-production house Films @59 and animation support from Florida-based animation studio, Echo Bridge Pictures.
UK Release Date:
Sheffield DocFest – PREMIER – 7th June
HOME Manchester – screening + Q&A session – 11th June
FACT Liverpool – screening + Q&A – 12th June
ICA London – screening + Q&A – 14th June
General Release UK: 26th June 2015
Sales & distribution: Kaleidoscope Film Distribution
Anthony Buckner – email@example.com
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